Shouldn’t every class be an Opportunity Class?

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The OC

75 public schools and a large number of independent schools in NSW have an Opportunity Class.

They specifically cater for “academically gifted and talented children in Years 5 and 6.”

The NSWDEC states that:

[Opportunity Classes] provide intellectual stimulation and an educationally rich environment.

Am I missing something?

Is that to suggest other – let’s call them – No Opportunity Classes are not stimulating or educationally rich?

What does that say to those kids who aren’t in the OC – as it’s often called?

Some schools (public and independent) market themselves based on their OC. Some parents believe that the OC is the golden ticket to a selective high school, which in turn is the golden ticket to university, which is – of course – a cast iron guarantee of success… isn’t it?

Perhaps that’s why we hear of stories of babies, or even better… unborn babies being placed on waiting lists for private schools. Or maybe you’ve heard about two-year-olds attending tutoring… all in the hope they’ll get that golden ticket.

All in the hope that they’ll get an opportunity.

Of course I’m not arguing that we shouldn’t cater for our gifted & talented students, but I do believe we should think in broader terms of what constitutes gifts & talents and I also believe that every class should be an opportunity class.

0 Comments on “Shouldn’t every class be an Opportunity Class?

  1. So does this mean that we shouldn’t have A teams in sport either? Or is it just in academia that top performers are expected to plod along at the same pace as everyone else?

    • Seriously jgandr? One would hope that no teacher expects everyone in their class to plod along at the same pace. Every single student has different needs, interests and abilities – if the focus is more on learning and less on teaching, more on student choice/ voice and less on compliance… then every class can be an opportunity class!

  2. I don’t think this is about A teams in sport. This is about the narrow definition for G&T that doesn’t account for the benefits of a diversified group working to collaborate and a dedicated teacher who differentiates and has a growth mindset for all. Even an A team has a diversity of ability, temperament, leadership, skill set, and experience. It is as the team that they create magic. Our best batsmen in cricket, for example, and not the best bowlers, and not everyone can be the wicketkeeper!

  3. what if a child is at 2 years or more ahead of their peers. I was teaching at a selective and one of my Year 8’s was tutoring 4 Unit Maths. They were already performing at a univeristy levell Why should they be held back by the rest of hte class?

    • Thanks for taking the time to have a read and comment but if you re-read what I said, I’m not advocating that any kids get ‘held back.’ In fact I’m challenging schools to do the exact opposite…


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