Extension Programs

Barker College believes that all students deserve to enjoy an enriched curriculum experience. Therefore, academic enrichment programs are available to all students regardless of academic ability.

Academic Enrichment

Barker College believe that all students deserve to enjoy an enriched curriculum experience. Therefore, academic enrichment programs are available to all students regardless of academic ability. Programs are designed to enrich and enliven the curriculum and to support academic development. Barker students are fortunate to have access to a broad range of enrichment programs, many which are delivered through the normal process of teaching and learning. These programs are built into departmental programs of study and are accessed through classroom teaching and learning.

Our students are enriched by their participation in a wide range of academic programs including Academic excursion, subject specific immersion events (Vietnam Day, Maths Week and Languages Day), the Hearts and Minds Philosophy and Rhetoric program, participation in external competitions (and a range of visiting speakers).

Other academic enrichment programs are available to all but may only be accessed by some students. Examples of these programs include subject specific academic support, Focus On, Public Speaking and Debating, Robotics and lunchtime clubs and associations.

Gifted and Talented

The aims of the Gifted and Talented program at Barker are:

  • To acknowledge that students of high intellectual ability have different learning needs.
  • To identify and support students with high intellectual ability.
  • To extend the learning of students with high intellectual ability and provide challenge learning environments.

The program of academic extension is based on the work of Francois Gagne and his Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent. Gagne's model recognises the features giftedness (Natural Abilities) and the dynamic process of translating these gifts into systematically developed skills (talents).

Identification of Gifted and Talented students

A number of measures will be used to identify intellectually able students. These include, low-stakes ability testing, subject specific testing and above level testing. The College also values parent and teacher nomination as a measure of suitability for participation in extension classes.

Gifted and Talented Programs

In Years 7-10, most mandatory subjects are organised in ability groups, with students identified as being of high intellectual ability placed in extension classes. Extension classes will follow similar programs of study but are characterised by:

  • Opportunities for open-ended inquiry and problem solving.
  • Increased academic challenge.
  • Greater academic complexity and abstraction.
  • Quest Program (Year 7-8) - student driven enquiry-based program.
Other extension opportunities

The College provides other opportunities for academic extension through participation in pre-university courses, external competitions (e.g. da Vinci Decathlon) gifted and talented programs and immersion programs.

Gifted and Talented (from Learning in the Junior School)

The Aspire program in the Junior School offers an enriched curriculum, enabling academic challenge and opportunities for personal interests and inquiry learning. In the Junior School, students are identified as being suitable for academic extension through a multi – criteria range of measures: nominations, external objective measures, internal assessment measures and above-level testing.