Victorian High Abilities Program
From 2022 and beyond, Footscray High School will enrich and enhance the learning of high-ability students through a range of initiatives within and beyond the classroom.
These include the Victorian High-Ability Program, which offers students identified as high-performing an intensive extension course online designed to target their academic needs in the early years of secondary school, and the opportunity for students with exceptional capabilities, skills and talents at all year levels to participate in events, workshops and programs run by expert partners and specialist practitioners, which are fully funded through the Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series.
Both of these projects form part of the education department’s Student Excellence Program.
Pedagogical Learning Specialists at FHS will continue to identify and respond to the needs of high-ability students by facilitating the provision of differentiated, deep learning tasks designed to promote higher-order thinking and stimulate creative and critical responses that further challenge and develop student capacities and promote growth.
Embedding STEAM into our curriculum is also intended to promote complex, rigorous, conceptual and original thinking through an interdisciplinary approach.
The Victorian High-Ability program will provide up to 48,000 high-ability students in Years 5 to 8 at government schools the opportunity to participate in 10-week online extension and enrichment programs, in English and mathematics.
The virtual program, delivered by Virtual School Victoria, will focus on extending and developing students’ mathematic and English abilities.
After completing the virtual program, students will participate in a face-to-face masterclass with other high-ability students from schools in their local area. All masterclasses will incorporate the latest COVID-19 advice and risk mitigation strategies to maintain a safe environment for students and staff.
The Department is centrally managing the selection process for the program based on student academic performance.
High-ability students from Year 7 to Year 12 will benefit from the Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series. From Term 4, 2020, schools will be able to nominate students to take part in activities from the series according to their abilities and interests. The series of excursions and incursions will include activities across all areas of the curriculum and will be delivered face-to-face and virtually by Tech Schools, partner organisations and universities.
Up to 100,000 Victorian government school students will have the opportunity to participate in the series from Term 3, 2020, until Term 4, 2022.
Activities will be delivered during school hours, after school, on weekends and during school holidays.
Parents and carers of students selected for the programs will be provided with more information by the High Ability Practice Leader, Kalinda Ashton.