“Today’s students need to be equipped to leave school with 21st Century skills,” says Ms. Megan Laing, Head of Senior School at Masada College. “By this I mean that today’s problems are complex, and while we have a lot of technology available, what we really need is people who have extraordinary thinking skills to unpack and solve these problems,” says Ms. Laing.

“I believe it’s our responsibility as a school to equip our students to achieve their potential and to enhance their higher-order thinking skills.”

This is the impetus that inspired Masada College to introduce its renowned High Potential Learner (HPL) classes into the Senior School, beginning with Year Seven 2019. “These classes offer accelerated learning to top students and is a continuation of the current, successful HPL program in the Junior School,” says Ms. Laing. “Although these classes will initially be offered in Math and English, in the near future we plan to extend the program to other subjects as well, like physics and chemistry.” HPL Maths classes will focus on problem-solving techniques and higher-order thinking, giving an all-round depth of study within current curriculum. The English classes will offer greater text analysis, skilled essay writing and increased vocabulary. “We have two dedicated staff members who have gone through HPL training and received their Certificate in Gifted Education,” says Ms. Laing. “Classes will run concurrently with regular classes and will consist of about 15 selected students who have been closely monitored by their classroom teachers and identified as having the capacity to progress at a quicker pace or show an aptitude within an area.” And while no student is turned away from the HPL classes, Ms. Laing says it’s important that all students understand the pace and expectations of the classes. “It’s imperative for students to have their skills challenged against someone else equally skilled, and to acknowledge that others have skills that are different from theirs.”

“In this way, Masada College ensures that both ends of the academic spectrum are catered for as we also have an extensive and experienced special needs department. And the advantage of a small school is that teachers can work with students of different needs on a day- to- day basis,” says Ms. Laing “The HPL classes, which offer a depth of knowledge rather than a breadth and include topics outside of curriculum, keeps our high achievers engaged and challenged in the classroom,” says Ms. Laing. “We find that the HPL classes bring out another side to our students as they are given the confidence to excel in a space where they feel most comfortable. We have no doubt our students will benefit from this addition to our curriculum.”

 

To find out more about the High Potential Learner classes, email enrolments@staff.nsw.edu.au or call 9449 374.

 

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