THE implementation of a gifted and talented class for the Orange High School junior cohort is designed to smash the school’s Higher School Certificate records.
The long-term goal of the gifted and talented program is to ensure the maximum number of students possible reach Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) in the high 90s according to principal David Lloyd.
The ATAR is a ranking out of 100 for every student in Australia who applied to have one.
“Some students who are really smart, really talented tend to just coast along ... this is designed to challenge them,” Mr Lloyd said.
The program is running in year 7 and 9 this year and will run through to Year 10 next year, applications are open for 2015.
The classes consist of around 25 students who fill out an application form, provide school reports, are interviewed and are selected on their academic abilities as well as their leadership qualities.
He said the selection process and class curriculum was similar to those seen in selective schools in metropolitan areas but this program consisted of one class per year, not the whole school.
The classes were run to suit the needs of individual students, for example some students did not learn as well with a teacher out the front of the class, rather those students might best learn in small groups, Mr Lloyd said.
The class is not designed to make the school more attractive to other students, it is about “meeting the needs of individual students”.
He said the school’s executive made the decision to implement the program and it was the only one in the region, in a public school.
A group of five teachers embarked on specialised training to teach the program and each had a different speciality.