At TSS Preparatory School the Primary Years (P-6) are distinctive. Where secondary and tertiary education are increasingly organised around subjects and disciplines, we believe primary schooling should be organised around children. To this end our Preparatory School classrooms are characterised by enjoyment, engagement, discovery and curiosity. Our highly skilled teachers form close and sustained relationships with their students and have a deep understanding of how boys learn. They combine careful attention to the stage of development of each student and set high standards for all. They balance the need for explicit teaching of core concepts, knowledge and skills, with innovative ways of encouraging cooperative work, research, problem solving and student management of the various elements of their learning.
The TSS selective Prep Honours Classes are unique in that they are purposefully designed to offer academic boys a chance to work with like minds, at pace. One thing we know about boys is that a busy boy is a productive boy and a productive boy is a happy boy. Gifted and high academic achievers often need greater flexibility than the traditional year level program permits. Our two Honours Multi-age classes (Years 3/4 and Years 5/6) afford these students innovative opportunities to experience curriculum beyond their years. The learning environment will challenge and support the boys to pursue their aspirations and special abilities. The Honours classes empower the boys to take risks, think creatively and develop independent learning and the pursuit of excellence.
The Prep Triangle of Interdependence provides the framework through which we provide a curriculum designed for the ‘Whole Boy’. This develops the boys’ self-reliance and motivation and encourages them to become life-long learners.
Is a high academic achiever who loves learning and challenge at an accelerated pace. Like all proud TSS students he actively embraces the myriad of curriculum and co-curricular opportunities that the Preparatory School has to offer. Our key focus is to develop students with:
Boys in the Honours Class program will be fully integrated into the life of the Preparatory School and will join with their year level peers for outdoor education, assemblies, chapel services, special events and House activities. We believe that boys who are academically talented enjoy the broader relationships that this integration fosters. The selective Honours Classes are two multi-age groups (Years 3/4 and Years 5/6). This multi-age philosophy as been purposefully selected as it provides the flexibility to create a learning environment best suited to the needs of these students.
1. How many Honours Classes will there be?
Two multi-age classes. One for boys in Years 3 and 4 and one for boys in Years 5 and 6.
2. How many boys can be placed in the Honours Classes?
Between 10 and 12 boys in each year level 3, 4, 5 and 6 will be selected for the classes.
3. Are these classes for Gifted and Talented boys?
Some boys identified as G&T may suit these classes, but others may not. Students in the Honours Classes must be able to work successfully at pace and demonstrate strong academic achievement across all key areas of the curriculum.
4. Who are the classes for?
The Honours Classes are for boys who are high academic achievers across the curriculum.
They do not have to be identified as G and T, but they do need to have a strong work ethic and demonstrated high achievement.
5. How are boys selected for the class?
Boys will undertake an assessment in English and Mathematics. Their prior academic record will be taken into account and they will undertake an interview.
6. Will the boys interact with the rest of their year level?
Absolutely. The two Honours Classes will not be isolated in any way. The boys will join with their year level cohort for outdoor education programs, sport and cultural activities, across year level numeracy and literacy classes and of course their friendship groups.
7. Can boys move in and out of the Honours Classes?
Definitely. At the end of each year all classes are reviewed and new class groups are sorted based on the needs of the boys. In general, boys would remain in the Honours Class for the two years of the ‘stage’ – either 3/4 or 5/6, but if the class structure does not suit them or they are not achieving at an appropriate level they may exit the program.
8. What if my son is a high achiever and he is not selected for an Honours Class or does not wish to be in one?
All classes will continue to cater for all boys levels. With 20% of boys at TSS Prep identified as Gifted and Talented and many more achieving at very high levels, there will be many boys in all classes who work at an accelerated standard. The Honours Classes will enable a group of a particular type of learners to be clustered together, but there will continue to be other clusters of boys in each classroom representing the full range of abilities. Additionally as is current practise, ‘streaming’ or grouping the boys into ability based groups for either literacy or numeracy will continue to occur at those year levels where it best suits the boys’ learning needs.
9. Who will teach these classes and will they have any special knowledge and skills with regard to extending student learning?
The two class teachers in the Honours program will be selected from the team of talented staff we have at TSS Prep. All Prep School staff have undertaken professional learning in the provision of a differentiated curriculum, the teaching of higher order thinking skills, the characteristics of high achieving academic students and in the planning and preparation of curriculum from the new Australian Curriculum documents. As is the case with all classes, the teaching staff will be appointed based upon their specific skill set and understandings of the educational needs of boys at their differing ages and stages of development.
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