The Enrichment Stream at Balmain Campus
As well as the selective stream and the comprehensive, mainstream classes, Balmain Campus operates an enrichment stream in each of Years 7-10. The aim of this class is to cater for students who are highly motivated and keen to learn, who, for various reasons, may not have participated in the Selective Schools Entry Test or may not have received a selective class placement offer. It is a school-based initiative that in many schools might be labelled as a "Gifted and Talented" class.
In the past eight years, the Enrichment stream has proved to be a major success for the school and the results achieved by the students have compared very favourably with the selective stream. Some of our international students, precluded from the selective stream, have been able to top the year from this class. Many students from the Enrichment stream will successfully seek placement in the selective stream in Years 8-10.
The content and teaching strategies used will be similar to those used with the selective stream. Students will undertake the same extension topics, assignments and examinations as the selective stream.
In Year 7 and Year 8 the class will remain the same for all subjects. In Years 9 and 10, students combine with students from the other streams in their elective subjects.
In general, the approach will be more open-ended, more self-directed and more oriented towards higher-order thinking skills. All students are encouraged to participate in academic competitions such as ICAS, WESSTA, and HTA.
In English, the class will engage with more rigorous texts and/or tasks.
In Mathematics, the class will be taught the common stage 4 course to a more rigorous level. Students undertake an extension exam at the end of each semester along with the selective stream. In stage 5, they follow the same stage 5.3 course as the selective stream.
In Science the class will follow the same program as the selective stream.
In HSIE students will undertake more self-directed learning tasks, participate in additional extension activities and undertake more rigorous research tasks and presentations.
In Languages, students will have more demanding writing activities and research tasks.
Initially, students and families are invited when enrolling in Year 7 to apply for a place in the enrichment class. Along with the application form, parents should submit, as evidence supporting the application, the student's most recent school reports, Year 5 NAPLAN results, Year 5 and 6 results in academic competitions such as ICAS, and, if available, their selective class placement score. They should also include a writing sample in which the student outlines the following:
- What skills and qualities they bring to the enrichment class
- Why they deserve a place in the enrichment class
- Evidence of their strong work ethic
This should be no more than one A4 page, preferably hand written.
The selection criteria are:
- Evidence of student achievement in academic and other areas (e.g. sport, creative and performing arts, leadership)
- Evidence of a strong work ethic
Application forms will be included with the school enrolment package, or may be downloaded from the school website or may be obtained from the Front Office. Applications for Year 7 placement would normally be submitted along with enrolment applications but may be submitted up until 15th November in the year prior to commencing. A. school panel, consisting of the Deputy Principal (Year 7), a parent and the Year Adviser will meet twice, in July and mid-November, to consider the applications and allocate positions. At the first meeting only up to 50% of positions will be allocated. Parents will be notified by mail or email as soon as their child has been selected.
In Years 8-10, students in mainstream classes may be offered a position in the enrichment stream based upon their achievement in semester assessments.
Where a student in any subject is not demonstrating either the effort or standard expected, parents will be notified either by a letter home or by an explicit comment in the student's report. Students will then have four weeks to demonstrate the necessary improvement or their place may be offered to another student. Student places in the enrichment class will be reviewed at the end of each reporting period.