New Student Excellence Program: Supporting high-ability students to excel

The Student Excellence Program provides $60.2 million to support government schools to provide a great learning environment for high-ability students through:

  • structured learning extension programs for high-ability students
  • upskilling classroom teachers to better support their high-ability students
  • more resources for government schools to build their programs for high-ability students.

Together these three strategies will lift the learning, engagement and wellbeing of high-ability students and help them thrive now and into the future.

Excellence in supporting high-ability students will be recognised through a new category in the Victorian Education Excellence Awards.

Structured learning extension programs for high-ability students

The Victorian High-Ability Program, which will commence in Term 3, is a 10-week online intensive enrichment program in English and mathematics.

The Department will be managing the selection process for the program centrally, and there will be more information about this early next year.

We will also be organising opportunities for high-ability students across all year levels to take part in activities through the new Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series.

The series will include incursions and excursions across all areas of the curriculum, including science, languages and the arts.

Students in Years 5 to 8 will have access to the Victorian High-Ability Program, a 10-week virtual extension program delivered by Virtual School Victoria. The first intake of students will be in Term 3, 2020, with a focus on English and mathematics. The Department will centrally manage the selection of students for this program. After completing the program, students will have the opportunity to participate in a face-to-face masterclass with other high-ability students from schools in their local area.

High-ability students from Prep to Year 12 will benefit from the Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series. From Term 3, 2020, schools will be able to nominate students to take part in activities from the series according to their abilities and interests. The series of excursions and incursions will include activities across all areas of the curriculum and will be delivered face-to-face and virtually by Tech Schools, partner organisations and universities.

Upskilling classroom teachers to better support high-ability students

Every primary and secondary school will have access to a High-Ability Practice Leader who will coordinate the school’s programs and supports for high-ability students. This will be a new additional role for existing teachers.

All teachers will also have access to a ‘one-stop-shop’ of online resources, including professional learning modules and a teaching toolkit. This will provide teachers with practical, evidence-based resources and guidance to better support their high-ability students.

Resources for schools to build their programs for high-ability students

Every primary and secondary school will receive funding to expand their support for high-ability students. Schools can use the funding to develop, deliver and coordinate their programs for high-ability students, or undertake professional learning to support this.

In 2020, the Victorian Education Excellence Awards will include a new category that recognises one primary school and one secondary school with an outstanding whole-school approach to supporting high-ability students. The winning schools will receive a grant of up to $25,000 to further support their programs for high-ability students.