Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) is proud to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the first purpose-built autism school, the Vern Barnett Teaching Centre – now known as Aspect Vern Barnett School - which opened in 1971.
A message from our Principal
Welcome to Aspect Vern Barnett School. We value each of our stakeholders within our community who help to make our school an open and collaborative environment for staff, families, students and supporters. At Aspect Vern Barnett School our students are celebrated for their strengths, interests and unique attributes.
A strong partnership is fostered with parents and it is through open communication that decisions are made about school activities and specific interventions regarding a child’s individual program.
Our teaching staff are dedicated to provide a stimulating curriculum whilst incorporating best evidence informed practice specific to autism. Programs are designed to motivate learning and engagement and each activity is differentiated to meet the student’s individual needs.
Students are encouraged to be the best version of themselves. Our goal is ensuring we support each student to become as independent as possible with a vision to establish skills for positive quality of life. Aspect focuses on a person-centred approach that underpins everything we do at Aspect Vern Barnett School.
We are proud of our school and the opportunities we provide for each enrolled student. Enrolment inquiries at all year levels are welcome at any time. Our executive team will assist families in navigating this process.
The Aspect Vern Barnett School
Aspect Vern Barnett School offers a range of services to support children on the autism spectrum and their families. It currently caters for approximately 121 students who are supported by a highly dedicated and knowledgeable staff.
Aspect Vern Barnett School was established in the 1970’s and was the first of the nine Aspect Schools. The school was established by its namesake Andrew Vern Barnett, who was driven by the need for an appropriate school to cater for his daughter, who is on the autism spectrum. Our school operates from our main site at Forestville which consists of an administration office and classes for primary and secondary students. The school also has satellite classes which are Aspect run and operated. They are located within a NSW Department of Education School at Lane Cove Public, and Catholic Primary Schools in Mona Vale, St Ives, Eastwood and Forestville.
Our specialised education program uses the Aspect Comprehensive Approach (ACA) to provide individualised programs that understand, engage and celebrate strengths, interests and aspirations of people on the autism spectrum. Class programs are delivered and supported by a team of teaching and non-teaching staff who continuously improve their knowledge and practice through ongoing professional learning and collaboration with colleagues.
Our Campuses & Satellite Classes
Learn about the Aspect Vern Barnett School
Aspect Vern Barnett School is registered and accredited by the New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA). Class programs align with the NSW curriculum with accommodations and adjustments made to meet individual needs and to ensure positive learning opportunities. Incorporating the students’ strengths and interests into their learning is an integral element of each class program. Each student also has an individualised plan which outlines their unique profile of strengths, difficulties and learning styles.
Our school uses technology in a range of ways to complement classroom learning. As with all components of our program this is individualised to the needs of students.
Positive Behaviour Support
Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is a proactive whole of organisation approach which is an integral part of the school program. PBS understands that challenging behaviour occurs for a reason, and is communicating important information about what the individual needs, wants and how best to support them. PBS also uses evidence-informed practice and data-based decision making.
Parents and Friends Committee (P&F)
Aspect Vern Barnett has a Parent and Friends Committee that meets twice a term including some evening meetings to accommodate working families. The main focus of the P&F is to raise funds for the teaching resources and equipment for our school. P&F meetings are a great way for families to socialise and meet new people.
Enrolment Information Sessions
Enrolment Information Sessions are held regularly throughout the year. The Information Session is for families who want to know more about our education program and the enrolment process. For the schedule of information sessions, please contact the school on:
Tel: (02) 9454 8359 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enrolment & Fees
Learn more about the process of enroling in Aspect Schools.
We’re upgrading our school!
The Aspect Vern Barnett School was first built in 1971 and turned 50 years old in 2021, it was Aspect’s first autism-specific school and is of historical significance. Over the years there have been a number of small refurbishments and minor upgrades, however in 2020 we developed Aspect’s Capital Works Master Plan, Investing in Our Future, which is enabling us to undertake the most extensive renovations to the Vern Barnett School in its 50-year history.
The scope of works for the refurbishment includes increasing the number of classrooms to increase student numbers, creating new landscaped and sensory playgrounds and incorporating autism specific design improvements to support sensory requirements in the classroom. When completed there will be 15 classrooms in total (up from the current 9 classrooms), new calm, sensory and active playground spaces (indoor and outdoor) and new multipurpose space with improved furnishing throughout.