The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme encourages personal academic excellence through the application of inquiry-based learning and higher order thinking skills. In designing rich and challenging learning experiences, our teachers ensure all boys have the opportunity for extension within the classroom environment and enrichment beyond the classroom, to support their academic, social and emotional development.

There are many parallels between gifted education and the MYP framework including:

  • concept-based curriculum and instruction, encouraging students to draw connections between facts and understand their place in the world
  • authentic assessment tasks requiring a real-world application of understanding and skills
  • development of critical thinking skills
  • development of students’ independent inquiry
  • higher order thinking skills
  • development of meta-cognitive understanding

FAQs

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How do you distinguish between enrichment, extension and acceleration?

Extension refers to the deepening of understanding offered to students in specific subject areas through differentiated curriculum within classroom teaching programmes.

Enrichment is distinguished from extension in that it refers to the broadening of learning opportunities and experiences beyond the regular differentiated curriculum within classroom teaching programmes.

Acceleration occurs when students move through the traditional curriculum at rates faster than typical to match the level and complexity of the curriculum with the readiness and motivation of the student.

What do you offer by way of extension?

The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme offers a structure for extension by way of differentiation within the classroom programmes.  Specific structures for extension in the Middle School are Extension English and Extension Maths classes for identified boys.

How are boys identified for Middle School enrichment opportunities?

The Enrichment Programme (Years 6 – 8) offers a wide selection of opportunities across all subject learning areas. Students are selected by the College for Enrichment Programme opportunities via a number of pathways including:

  • Standardised tests of achievement and potential (eg NAPLAN and Academic Assessment Services)
  • Teacher nomination
  • Information from previous schools
  • Student expression of interest
  • Parent information
  • Off-level testing

Being accepted into an enrichment opportunity requires the student to be able to manage the normal curriculum and, at times, be withdrawn from classes or attend before school and after school sessions.

The Enrichment Programme in Years 6-8 is overseen and coordinated by an Enrichment Programme Coordinator in conjunction with the Middle School Dean of Teaching and Learning. Teachers across Middle School deliver different aspects of the programme dependent upon expertise and areas of interest. Extra-curricular enrichment opportunities can take the form of ongoing or short-term intensive activities.

What do you offer by way of enrichment?

The following examples provide an overview of some of our enrichment offerings:

Maths Olympiad: identified students participate in challenging problem solving activities with like-minded students. Maths Olympiad aims to foster Mathematical creativity, develop flexibility in problem solving, strengthen Mathematical intuition and provide for the satisfaction, joy and thrill of mastering challenging problems.

Tournament of Minds: identified students compete with like-minded students to solve demanding, open-ended challenges from one of the following disciplines – Language Literature, Maths Engineering, Applied Technology and Social Sciences. Tournament of Minds develops diverse skills, enterprise, time management and the discipline to work collaboratively.

UNSW Competitions: Run by the University of New South Wales and the Australian Mathematics Trust students can nominate to sit any one of the following competition papers:

  • Science
  • Digital Technologies
  • Writing
  • Spelling (Years 6 and 7 only)
  • English
  • Australian Maths Competition

World Scholar’s Cup: selected students prepare to compete with like-minded students in this international academic tournament. The World Scholar’s Cup has grown significantly in recent years to become an international event with more than 15,000 students participating across 50 countries. The event is an inclusive enrichment experience in which students of all backgrounds work together to explore new subjects and practise new skills.

Events at the World Scholar’s Cup include:

  • Team Debate (collaboration, persuasive rhetoric, public speaking)
  • Collaborative Writing (teamwork, analysis, written communication)
  • Scholar’s Bowl (fast-paced group problem-solving)
  • Scholar’s Challenge (critical thinking, decision-making)

da Vinci Decathlon: selected students prepare to participate in an academic team competition set around competing in ten events that require collaboration, problem solving and higher-order thinking. This national challenge sees teams work on problems in Science, Engineering, Mathematics, English, Codebreaking, Cartography, Creativity, Philosophy and General Knowledge.

Cluedunnit Kids Competition: provides Year 6 student teams with an opportunity to ‘investigate’ a criminal offence with the goal of identifying the offender. Teams submit their findings to a panel of experts from the legal profession and compete against other student teams from schools across Western Australia. Students learn to develop research, analytical and creative, teamwork, and argumentative skills in line with NAPLAN.

Debating: Years 7 and 8 students can enrol in the Western Australian Debating League (WADL). WADL aspires to ensure all students have meaningful access to debating that encourages critical thinking, fosters engagement with global issues, and equips students with lifelong skills and the confidence to pursue their potential. WADL aims to do this by ensuring all WA school students have access to challenging debating competitions, high quality resources, and purpose-built development opportunities.

Australian Mathematics Trust: The Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians (MCYA) is a staged programme designed to motivate, stimulate, encourage and develop mathematically interested students in Years 3 to 10 and to bring forth the talent and potential within. It is an opportunity for talented students who enjoy mathematics to formally extend their knowledge of mathematics with course work that augments the school curriculum.

Art Stars: This co-curricular programme is designed to push and develop technical skills, as well as conceptual thinking skills. The programme focuses on a number of areas, some of which include drawing, painting and ceramics. Students’ work will be exhibited at the end of the year in the School Art exhibition, as well as targeted for entry into some of the State’s premier Art Prizes for students, such as the Black Swan portrait Prize in November.

Creative Writing: The Talented Young Writers Programme provides opportunities for boys to work closely alongside Australia’s most creative and inspirational authors of Young Adult Literature. Selected students attend intensive workshops to nurture and develop their skills and confidence as creative writers. Students are able to listen, question, write and share with other like-minded students and adults, building up a repertoire of writing samples and pieces.

Do you accelerate students?

Under rare circumstances, Scotch College provides opportunities for acceleration including grade skipping and subject specific acceleration. Please refer to the key documents for our Acceleration Policy.

Our targeted programmes are designed to align with current best practice in the field of gifted and talented education. We acknowledge the following five key implications, as outlined by Professor Emeritus Karen Rogers, for providing the most optimal environment for students of high academic ability:

  1. Daily challenge and talent development.
  2. Independent work on areas of passion and interest.
  3. Subject based and grade based extension and acceleration.
  4. Curriculum differentiation with increased pace, depth and complexity as well as limited drill and review techniques.
  5. Provide opportunities for gifted and talented learners to socialise and learn with like ability peers.

Here is a snapshot of some of the Senior School enrichment activities on offer:

FAQs

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How do you distinguish between enrichment, extension and acceleration?

Extension refers to the deepening of understanding offered to students in specific subject areas through differentiated curricula within classroom teaching programmes.

Enrichment is distinguished from extension in that it refers to the broadening of learning opportunities and experiences beyond the regular differentiated curricula within classroom teaching programmes.

Acceleration occurs when students move through the traditional curriculum at rates faster than typical to match the level and complexity of the curriculum with the readiness and motivation of the student.

How are students identified for enrichment, extension and/or acceleration?

Our identification process is inclusive and flexible, utilising information from a variety of sources. The identification process will identify a student’s intellectual strength, talents and social and emotional needs. The data will inform each educational programme. Identification is continuous as some boys may present as gifted and/or talented at different phases of development.

The identification of students who may partake in any one of the enrichment and/or extension programs is a process of collecting and comparing information from various sources.  Information from any of the following sources may be used:

  • Standardised tests of achievement (eg NAPLAN, AAS (Academic Assessment Services)
  • Standardised tests of potential (Academic Assessment Services)
  • Information from previous schools
  • Teacher nomination
  • Parent nomination
  • Peer nomination
  • Parent information (through use of a parent survey upon school entry)
  • Off-level testing (for candidates for acceleration or early-entry)

NB:  No one source of information in isolation will be considered proof of ability.

What do you offer by way of extension in the Senior School?

Extension refers to the deepening of understanding students receive in specific subject areas. In the Senior School we offer this through our differentiated curriculum within classroom teaching programmes. We also offer streamed Years 9 and 10 extension mathematics for students who are working on Mathematics at an increased level of pace and complexity.

Do you accelerate students?

Under rare circumstances, Scotch provide opportunities for acceleration including grade skipping and subject specific acceleration. Please refer to the key documents for our Acceleration Policy.

What is the Years 9 and 10 Enrichment Programme?

This programme is designed for students identified as being among our most academically able. Three broad concepts underpin the programme, namely, broadening units that extend beyond the mainstream curriculum; school community partnerships; and a culminating task that celebrates student learning. The programme requires students to be able to manage the normal curriculum whilst being withdrawn from six periods per term to take part in enrichment activities.

The enrichment sessions in Years 9 and 10 feature a series of rich multi-disciplinary units that involve boys in open-ended problems aimed at connecting learning to the world beyond the classroom. Curriculum is modified according to gifted and talented models of education and a range of methodologies are employed including design thinking and project-based learning. Modification of the curriculum includes fast paced content coverage with minimal repetition; complex, challenging and open-ended problems that promote higher order thinking skills; meaningful tasks with practical application; and collaborative student led projects. In accordance with the Maker model (1982), the programme emphasises the importance of allowing students to create products that solve real world problems with a focus on higher-level thinking, creative problem solving and decision-making.

 

The following examples provide an overview of the nature of learning in the enrichment programme:

 

  • Augmented reality projects
  • Philosophical discussions using Communities of Enquiry.  Students travel to St Hilda’s and MLC to participate to discuss philosophical questions and question each other’s thinking with an aim to promote deeper inquiry.
  • Technology design
  • Astronomy based learning experiences with staff from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research. Telescope design and build activities.
  • Design tasks conducted by Questacon (National Science and Technology Centre) that involve teleconference presentations and 3D printing. These employ Design Thinking methodology as articulated by Stanford’s d-school.
  • STEM based activities with Curtin University’s Engineering faculty and Multiplex (Perth Stadium site visit and truss design project)
  • Workshops and activities promoting creativity. These have featured expert artists including Anya Brock and notable academics including Professor Mark Parfitt (Curtin University School of Fine Arts)

How are students selected for the Years 9 and 10 Enrichment Programme?

Students are invited to participate in the ‘Years 9 and 10 Enrichment Programme’ based on the following key criteria:

  • Standardised tests of potential and performance (Academic Assessment Services – AAS)
  • A minimum total score of 25 (MYP criteria) based on student reports across Mathematics, Science, Humanities and English
  • Final confirmation of selected list from Middle School Teachers and Enrichment Coordinator (Renzulli’s safety net)
  • Twice exceptional students are assessed using alternative criteria that ensures they are not disadvantaged in the identification process

In the event that a student arrives from another school at the commencement of Year 9, relevant data from previous schools will be assessed.

At several junctions throughout Years 9 and 10 Academic Assessment Services (AAS) data and school performance for each cohort is re-examined and boys who present as meeting the criteria are invited into the programme. Once boys are invited, they hold their place until the conclusion of Year 10. Boys may opt out of the programme at any stage throughout Years 9 and 10.

Which academic competitions are Scotch College currently involved in?

WADL Debating

AHESA Debating

British Parliamentary Debating

Perth Philosothon

Australasian Philosothon

da Vinci Decathlon

World Scholar’s Cup

UNSW Science

Australian Mathematics competition

Australian Physics competition

Australian Chemistry competition

Maths Olympiad

Have Sum Fun

United Nations Youth Association competition

Mock Trials

Lions Youth of the Year Speech and Leadership Quest

Royal Commonwealth Society Speech and Leadership

Rostrum Speech Competition

Chess

Plain English Speaking Award