Research has shown us that gifted and talented students need to be supported differently. Highly intelligent and academically ahead of the majority of their peers, gifted students can often get lost in mixed-ability classrooms.
They’re less likely to feel challenged, which may result in the inability to achieve their full potential.
The Select Entry Accelerated Learning (SEAL) program, offered in SEAL accredited Victorian schools, provides gifted students the chance to accelerate their studies. Students have the option to complete high school in five years, instead of six, and study extra subjects, including a University Enhancement subject, as part of their VCE.
SEAL students are able to accelerate through high school because they are taught and absorb the required material at a faster pace, without the need for repetition.
As they move through the curriculum, the students start taking on subjects usually reserved for those in the grades above them.
SEAL students usually begin studying two VCE subjects in Year 10, enabling them to meet the requirements for an ATAR earlier. The program also allows these students the ability to go deeper in the content, and really tackle challenging concepts that mainstream classes don’t have the resources or time to explore.
As a parent, you want to see your children soar to their greatest heights. Gifted students can underperform if they don’t have the right levels of engagement and support. In our [x] years of coaching school-aged children, we know that if gifted students aren’t being challenged and schoolwork comes too easy to them, it impacts them in all other areas of their lives.
They don’t perform as well as they are able to because they’ve become used to not feeling challenged and pushed to their limits.
However, only focusing on their academic ability isn’t enough to see these students succeed. Their emotional well-being is really important and often, gifted students can be a little more sensitive. SEAL schools focus just as much on building connections among the students as they do on their academic growth. Inclusion is so important and young teenagers are susceptible to bullying and not fitting in at the best of times.
When they are with other like-minded individuals, they don’t feel so alone. This means that SEAL students can actually focus on their studies without fear of being made fun of – and they know their friends will be working hard, too. By feeling a sense of belonging, these gifted
students will achieve their potential in a supportive environment and won’t feel the need to dim their brightness.
The selection exams are usually in the first half of the year. Each of the SEAL accredited schools run their own entrance exams, and have different dates and procedures for application. We not only prepare students for the exams, but we ensure they are feeling good about the program.
We want our students to understand why the SEAL program is a great opportunity for them. When they can see the benefits, they perform better. The SEAL accredited school will also conduct an interview with the student and their parents or carers.
Schools not only want students who are capable of studying the curriculum at an accelerated pace and maintaining high grades, they are also seeking well-rounded individuals who are filled with natural curiosity, have a passion for learning, are positive and who enjoy being challenged intellectually.
When we prepare your child for the interview with the SEAL accredited school, we make sure they are aligned with the purpose of participating in a SEAL program.
The academic side of the SEAL program, together with the connection fostered between the students, increases engagement for a group otherwise at increased risk of disengagement. And just because your child might be a great fit for a SEAL program, it doesn’t mean they’ll naturally pass the test.
The questions are extremely challenging and most adults would struggle to get a pass mark. We coach our students in both the technique of sitting for the exam as well as the content.
Preparing your children for the benefits of a selective education is more than just preparing to pass the entrance exam. There is an art to taking these exams that we ensure our students are aware of, but we also make sure we prepare them for success.
It doesn’t serve anyone to prepare young students to pass an exam, only to see them failing in the program they worked so hard to get into.
If you feel as though your child might benefit from participating in a SEAL program, reach out to us for a chat.
We prepare students in the subject matter they’ll be tested on as well as the test-taking techniques they’ll need to know.
We’ll complete a complimentary assessment for your child to discover their ability and create an education plan to support them to get to where they want to be.