Opportunity classes located in government primary schools cater for academically gifted Year 5 and Year 6 students with high potential. These classes help students to learn by grouping them with students of similar ability, using specialised teaching methods and educational materials at the appropriate level.
The High Performing Students Team administers the opportunity class placement process.
Parents normally apply when students are in Year 4. Students who are placed then attend the opportunity class full time in Years 5 and 6 at the primary school with an opportunity class. It is a two-year placement program.
In the majority of cases, students who accept a place in an opportunity class will leave their current school to attend the school with an opportunity class. However, placement in the Aurora College Opportunity Class allows students to access a challenging academic program without the need to leave their local school.
There is no provision to apply for Year 6 placement only.
There are 77 primary schools with opportunity classes across NSW, including Aurora’s virtual opportunity class.
What does the Aurora College Opportunity Class look like?
The Aurora College Opportunity Class (OC) is a provision that is accessible to students who may not otherwise be able to access a current OC provision.
Students will connect with teachers and classmates from around NSW through a virtual learning environment. Delivery of face-to-face synchronous lessons using Adobe Connect and a range of communication and collaboration platforms are used to support learning. Unlike other schools, our OC students remain at their current primary schools and engage in learning in collaboration with their home schools.
In Year 5 and 6 (Stage 3), students will study these subjects as part of the OC program.
STEM stands for the integrated teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These essential areas of study that foster students’ skills and prepare them to participate in a rapidly changing world.
An integrated approach to STEM education provides opportunities for students to develop knowledge, understanding and problem-solving skills. Its real-world application encourages students to actively contribute to society through empathy and the design think process. Critical thinking, engaging and relevant learning experiences and perseverance are key factors to STEM.
Our OC students engage in STEM based tasks to design, build, test and re-design if necessary a solution to problems that are relevant to our world, our communities and lives. The 5 stages in the Design Thinking Process are used in designing solutions to these problems. These stages include: Define, Empathise, Ideate, Prototype and Test and Modify.
The Journey of MAJAM
In 2022, we had two Year 6 teams, Team MAJAM and Team PIE, who were successful in the making it through to the Game Changer Challenge finals in Sydney. After two intense days of learning new skills, iterating and designing for their perfect pitch, Team MAJAM was successful in being crowned Primary School champions for the GCC 2022.
The Game Changer Challenge is a Department of Education initiative. It aims to improve design thinking skills and help students apply classroom learning to the world around them. Students work in teams to come up with solutions to Wicked Problems, and go through a rigorous process of refining, developing, extending and connecting their ideas to real contexts.
All Year 6 Aurora students enter the challenge in teams across their class. Working through the ‘playbook’ they learn and apply new thinking skills to generate, deconstruct and reconstruct their ideas. In 2022, 16 teams were successful in making it to the semi-final, with an additional 2 teams moving through to the Final in Sydney. We wish our future teams the very best of luck with this highly competitive and highly anticipated program.
Have a look at the video below that charts the Journey of the MAJAM GCC Champions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will students be online for lessons all day, 5 days a week?
We are a partial OC school in a shared partnership with your local primary school. We provide lessons in only 2 key learning areas of mathematics and science and technology. To accommodate the required hours, we currently have 400 minutes of lesson time timetabled throughout the week.
What subject areas are taught in Year 5 and 6 at Aurora College?
Aurora College will teach the Mathematics and Science and Technology syllabuses with a focus on STEM and your home school will cover all other aspects of the curriculum.
Why will English not be taught as part of the OC program?
We will be delivering the Mathematics and the Science and Technology curriculums. At home schools, literacy is a large focus and constitutes much of the school curriculum as it overlaps many other key learning areas. With English included in the virtual syllabus students would spend no time in their home schools. Although we do not teach the English syllabus, aspects of literacy are taught to support learning and understanding in Science and Technology.
What will I need to provide to support my child in learning in this virtual space?
Aurora will provide students with a laptop, headset and webcam to participate in lessons. Participating primary schools will be required to provide a desktop computer and allocated Aurora space to support student learning. The student laptops can be taken home to complete set tasks and support learning in all areas of the curriculum.
What is the reporting schedule?
Following the Department’s guidelines, Aurora College produces a full written academic report at the end of Semesters 1 and 2. An interim report is also provided early in Term 1. Parent/teacher interviews will be conducted in Term 2.
Will my child be disadvantaged if they have limited technology experience?
Aurora College staff supports each student with their learning in this new environment. During Term 1, Year 5 will undertake a transition program that builds their confidence and proficiency in the use of the various learning platforms and technological components. Aurora also provides funding for each partner primary school to support the learning of our shared enrolments.
How will my child be supervised during Aurora lessons?
Supervision will be provided by the Aurora College teacher as well as by the home school. Students will be working in a space that is visible to staff at the primary school they attend.