Specialised programs and schools

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Specialised programs

Victorian primary and secondary schools develop specific approaches or access external programs to extend students' learning within the classroom, school and community environments.

These include:

  • personalising the curriculum to respond to the learner's needs
  • changing the pace, depth and complexity of the curriculum and the teaching method
  • different models of grouping, such as interest and subject acceleration
  • programs that give students access to specialist expertise and facilities, including facilities in the wider community
  • mentoring programs within or between schools to connect students with "like minds"
  • engaging students with strong personalised learning opportunities that provide greater breadth and depth of learning, such as participation in programs offered by:
    1. Victoria's six science and maths specialist centres
    2. the Victorian State Schools Spectacular
    3. the Science Olympiad
    4. the Model United Nations Assembly
  • the Higher Education Studies Program, which gives high-achieving VCE students the opportunity to study at a university as part of their VCE. Eligible students can complete one or more first year university subjects in a wide range of areas, including information technology, philosophy, maths and languages. Students who successfully complete the program have an increment added to their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) and may receive credit towards an undergraduate qualification
  • opportunities to develop high-level technical or vocational abilities through access to learning in a workplace or community setting.

Specialised schools and settings

Victoria has a range of specialised schools and settings that cater for the diverse learning needs of students.

In particular, you as a parent of a gifted child may consider the following options for your child to ensure they are engaged in challenging and appropriate learning experiences.

Selective entry high schools

Selective entry high schools provide an enriched learning environment for high-achieving and academically-gifted students.

There are four selective entry high schools in Victoria for students in Years 9 to 12: 

Students learn alongside peers who perform at a similar level. Teachers at selective entry high schools are experienced in providing a challenging curriculum for academically high-achieving students.

For more information on these schools, including eligibility and how to apply, see:

Specialist secondary schools

Specialist secondary schools that cater for gifted students include: 

  • the Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences is a branch of The University High School. This school provides a rigorous academic program focused on science and maths for students in Years 11 and 12. For more information, see: The University High School 
  • John Monash Science School is Victoria's first specialist secondary school devoted to science, maths, associated technologies and fields of endeavour for students in Years 10-12. For more information, see: John Monash Science School
  • the Maribyrnong Sports Academy is a sub-school at Maribyrnong College offering specialist programs for students in up to 20 sports. For more information, see: Maribyrnong Sports Academy
  • the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) Secondary School provides a nationally and internationally recognised specialist program for the training of talented young dancers, musicians and visual artists. For more information, see: VCA Secondary School

These schools provide an outstanding environment for gifted students and support other students across Victoria through their outreach activities.