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NSW Department of Education and Communities

Curriculum support for NSW Public Schools

Selective high schools and opportunity classes

Opportunity classes

Opportunity classes were formed in 1932 to prepare gifted upper primary students for academic pathways in secondary and subsequently university education. These selective classes cater for the needs of academically gifted students in Years 5 and 6. The academic benefits to students include access to a challenging curriculum and interaction with students of similar ability and maturity.

In 2008 there are 73 primary schools in New South Wales offering Year 5 places. Parents may apply for their children to be placed in one of these classes. Successful students will be offered places according to their academic merit determined mainly by a combination of the results of the Opportunity Class Placement Test in English, mathematics and general ability and primary school assessments of student performance in English and mathematics. The Opportunity Class Placement Test for Year 5 entry is administered in late July or early August.

The administration of this process is the responsibility of the Selective High School and Opportunity Class Placement Unit. You can obtain further information by contacting the principal of the government primary school that your child is currently attending. You may also find out about the process of selection by either contacting the Selective High School and Opportunity Class Placement Unit or visiting their website at http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/learning/k-6assessments/ocplacement.php.

Application packages will be available from your child's government primary school, from school education group offices of the Department of Education and Training and from the Selective High School and Opportunity Class Placement Unit. Contact Telephone: 9707 6262 Fax: 9707 6265 Email : ssu@det.nsw.edu.au

Selective high schools

Selective high schools provide a challenging curriculum for students with high academic ability.

There are 30 selective high schools including 17 fully selective schools, 4 selective agricultural high schools and 9 high schools with selective classes in NSW. There is also a senior high school with selective classes offering entry to Year 11. Entry to these schools is competitive. The order of merit for placement is determined by the combination of school assessments in English and mathematics and the results of the Selective High School Placement Test. Placement decisions are made by a selection committee from each school.

Applications need to be lodged at the end of the year when students are in Year 5, the test is administered while students are in Year 6 and enter Year 7 in the following year. The closing date for parents to return application forms to the student's current primary school principal is mid-November. The Selective High School Placement Test for entry to Year 7 is held in March.

Enquiries about courses and programs offered by specific selective high schools should be directed to the schools concerned. Application packages will be available from your child's government primary school, selective high schools, school education group offices and some Department of Education and Training state office locations. Information and the application packages are available from the web site at http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/learning/k-6assessments/selectiveschools.php.

Years 8 to 11 entry

There is provision for some enrolments into Years 8 to 12 in selective high schools depending upon availability of places. Application forms for Years 8 to 12 entry to selective high schools are available from schools in late June. Contact the selective high school to which you intend to apply for information about assessment requirements. Information and the Years 8 to 12 application package is available at http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/learning/7-12assessments/selective8_12.php.

Contact for the Selective High School and Opportunity Class Placement Unit:

Telephone: 9707 6262, Fax: 9707 6265, Email : ssu@det.nsw.edu.au

More information is available on varying enrichment and extension programs by viewing the information povided in Program organisation and Curriculum differentiation.

Additional support is provided through a number of case studies conducted throughout the state.

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