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.