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Academic Extension

We believe in future focused, lifelong learning. We are hungry for new knowledge and humble in accepting feedback. In our ever-changing world, we aim to be innovators, influencers and contributors to transforming society and creating a prosperous future for all.

The College aims to differentiate the learning experience to meet the diverse needs of all students. In particular, targeted learning support is offered through the St Francis Centre to students who experience challenges beyond those of their peers.

For academically talented students the College provides extension classes in Years 8, 9 and 10 English and Mathematics and in Year 10 Science. Participation in Academic Extension classes is by invitation and is based on students’ past achievement in each subject.

Academic extension is based on Vygotsky’s theory of the Zone of Proximal Development, which is defined as the space between what a learner can do without assistance and what a learner can do with adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers. Our academic extension classes extend students’ capabilities by exploring the upper limits of the Zone of Proximal Development.

Academic Extension aims to:

  • Foster an attitude of excellence and commitment.
  • Provide students with a deeper understanding of the curriculum.
  • Challenge students to increase their level of sophistication and analysis in their thinking, resulting in greater creativity and innovation.
  • Promote the essential global competencies of critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, character and citizenship.
  • Provide for greater agency and voice in students’ learning.
  • Prepare students for the rigour of senior secondary school by developing sound study habits, effective time management and efficient organisational skills.
  • Develop students’ confidence in tackling unfamiliar and difficult problems through the development of metacognition skills.
  • Build a growth mindset that thrives on resilience and perseverance, knowing that success may come from failure and disappointment.

Academic Extension is not an accelerated program in that it does not aim to move students through the courses more quickly. We believe that accelerated programs lead to superficial coverage of courses and do not allow for deep learning.  Rather, our aim is to build deep knowledge and understanding that leads to the creation of new ideas and understandings.

Where appropriate students may participate in National and State competitions that target academically talented students.