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Punchbowl Public School

Punchbowl Public School

Learning together

Telephone02 9750 5055


Inclusion between mainstream and early intervention preschool classes

Principal Welcome


At Punchbowl Preschool, we welcome all children and families and value the contributions that each unique individual brings. We work from a strengths-based view. We know that exclusion negatively impacts students with a disability but there are two pedagogical and practice challenges that exist at the classroom and school level hindering inclusive early childhood education.

1. In Australia, 24.2% of students with disability are enrolled in segregated education and another 15.5% in ‘mainstream’ schools are separated from their peers (Cologon, 2019).

2. The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) represents the national foundation for quality teaching and learning of children in all early childhood education and care settings; however, the EYLF is not comprehensively applied to all children in early intervention (EI).

The preschool offers an inclusive environment where children from preschool and Early Intervention are supported to become capable, lifelong learners.  Our practice begins with the strengths and interests of our children.  Universal design means that our Early Intervention children share the outdoor preschool environment for their own play, with freedom to interact and choice. Children develop strong foundations in care, empathy and culture. 

We utilise the expertise of our Early Intervention Unit staff to support the learning and development of children with additional needs and to embed inclusive practice this may happen incidentally as we co-teach in the outdoor space or through collaboration in meetings.

As a learning community, we continue to build on our action research conducted with UWS.

We focus on the inclusive design of the whole learning environment for all students, including the removal of physical and structural barriers and the provision of multiple and varied formats for instruction and learning. UDL is applied to create an inclusive play-based environment between the mainstream and EI through modifications to planning, structure and processes.

Co-teaching exists through focusing on applying effective strategies between mainstream and Early Intervention educators. These strategies include shared planning time, flexibility, defined roles and responsibilities, communication.

Donna McGeary