Gleneagles has long been committed to providing quality pathways for all its students and the establishment of the School-wide Enrichment Model will increase our range of provision to the many high-potential and academically advanced students we have within our mainstream classrooms. However, as its name indicates, this is not a selective programme, but one designed to inspire all students to pursue their passions and develop their strengths and interests to a level of excellence.
The power of schoolwide enrichment lies in the way it puts students’ interests, abilities and learning style profiles at the centre of curriculum planning. The programme places a premium on critical and creative thinking for students of all ability levels and encourages independence. This year’s inclusion of introductory chess sessions within the Year 7 maths programme is an example of how strategic thinking and problem-solving might be integrated into an existing subject area to support a range of learning styles.
Commencing at the lower end of the school, we have focused on the collection and analysis of assessment data, so as to deeply understand the learning needs and personal strengths of students within the ten, Year 7 homegroups.
Meanwhile, much of the existing enhancement at Gleneagles SC has continued this year with students nominating to be part of interschool debating teams through the Debating Association of Victoria, the Monash University Engineering Project, Chess Club and Reading Club. Students have had opportunites to evaluate their skills against a broader cohort of students by taking part in competitions at state, national and international levels. This year, groups of teacher and self-selected students have entered the ICAS Science and English competitions run by the University of NSW, while many have also chosen to sit the Australian Mathematics Competition.
There have also been many opportunities for students to take part in domain-based enrichment through excursions, incursions and activities.
The Year 7 High Achiever’s Group has continued to meet once week to develop its understanding of philosophy, as both a discipline and practice, while Y8 High Achievers with an interest in robotics have recently enjoyed instruction from an industry professional.
Year 9 Gleneagles students are currently being mentored to participate in an engineering challenge run by Engineers Without Borders, along with students from the John Monash Science School.
Gleneagles staff are committed to ongoing efforts to build student achievement, well-being and engagement and, as a consequence, the need to cater for individual differences within the classroom is a strong focus. We are enhancing our skills in curriculum differentiation to better engage students who need academic support, as well as those requiring extension, if they are to be appropriately challenged in regular lessons.
We have studied Robotics for a semester and have really been enjoying it. In doing this subject we have learned how to create and program robots to accomplish set challenges. We’ve managed to complete an obstacle course for our robot to complete without any instructions. In addition, we’ve done a PowerPoint project outlining the concept of what a robot is and how it’s affected society.
We are glad to have participated in this elective subject as it will help us in our future if we are later interested in an occupation that requires robotic and computer technological skills. This subject is useful to us as it has given us an outlook on how important robots and technology are now and how they will benefit us in the future.