Jewells Primary School

Achieving today for tomorrow

Telephone02 4948 7300

How does opportunity class work exactly?

Students who gain a position in the opportunity class (OC) are offered the position for a two year period. i.e They enrol in the class in Year 5 and continue with their OC studies in Year 6. Fifteen new students are accepted each year, with fifteen students continuing in Year 6 (for a total of 30 students in the class).

Stage curriculum requirements are covered before extending and enriching the students' learning with differentiated subject matter. This ensures that the ‘basics' in a child's learning are complete, while still providing opportunities to enrich the gifted child.

Students in the Jewells OC class do continue to be a part of the wider school community, being involved in Stage 3 sport, across grade dance classes and the annual Jewells Showcase, to name a few.

Since a common characteristic of gifted student is that they learn at a much faster rate than other students, work in the Jewells OC class is completed more quickly than in a regular classroom. This curriculum compacting allows for students to progress at a rate that suits their needs rather than work becoming repetitive and potentially boring.

To provide an effective curriculum for gifted and talented students, at Jewells, we firstly look at the common characteristics of gifted students and then determine the best strategies to cater for their needs.

To assist in children settling in to a new school, new class and a new way of learning, a Year 6 buddy is assigned to each newly enrolled Year 5 student. This buddy is a valuable friend to answer questions, explain procedures and alleviate or prevent possible uncertainties.

School programs that support the gifted

Jewells has a very strong commitment to gifted and talented children and provide many opportunities for students talented in all subject areas.

Academic – OC class and differentiated curriculum in mainstream classes, participation in the Newcastle Herald newspaper competition, regional public speaking competitions, state debating competitions, chess interschool competitions.

Sport – PSSA sporting opportunities, competitively successful gymnastics, trampolining and aerobics programs with specialist staff.

Creative and Practical Arts – a strong dance and drama programs with concert band, training band and music tuition on site, drumming group, and guitar tuition, with specialist teachers or tutors.

Does being in an OC class mean my child will be accepted into a selective high school?

No. There is a selective high exam similar to the OC exam which prospective students need to complete. This test contains a writing component as well as the English, maths and general ability component.

Although students still need to complete the exam for the selective high school, the OC class does provide students with the opportunity to develop higher order thinking skills and their problem solving ability which provides them with learning experiences that help to prepare them for completing the exam.