Program gives Greystanes kids big opportunities

Learning takes shape: Year 6 opportunity class teacher Peter Morris makes 3D geometric shapes with pupils Kei Fu Low, of year 6, Joshua Salama, of year 6, and Justina Devaranjith, of year 5. "We're incredibly proud of the children we teach," he said.Picture: Gene Ramirez

Learning takes shape: Year 6 opportunity class teacher Peter Morris makes 3D geometric shapes with pupils Kei Fu Low, of year 6, Joshua Salama, of year 6, and Justina Devaranjith, of year 5. "We're incredibly proud of the children we teach," he said.Picture: Gene Ramirez

Learning is contractual for pupils in Greystanes Public School's years 5 and 6 opportunity classes.

Each week the 60 pupils in the classes, which are team-taught in an open-plan classroom, get tasks across different subjects which they must sign off when complete.

These include caricature drawing and speeches on politics, while some year 6 pupils work out of a year 8 maths textbook.

"It's different to traditional classroom teaching in that we do a lot of contract groups where they're not all doing the same work at the same time but a variety of lessons in one go," said year 6 OC teacher and assistant principal Peter Morris.

"A lot of the children have very diverse interests so it's in our best interest and theirs to make sure they're challenged at the highest level of the curriculum.

"I'm doing algebra with them which is not something you'd traditionally do in a year 6 or year 5 classroom."

Read some of last year's OC achievements at Greystanes Public school below.

Mr Morris said many of the children were also talented in other areas, including sport and music.

"They keep us on our toes! The intellect of our students, their capacity for work and the determination they demonstrate to achieve their goals are qualities we witness on a daily basis."

■ A test for next year's opportunity class placements is on July 23. Applications close May 16. Details: schools.nsw.edu.au/ocplacement.

Greystanes Public School’s OC achievements in 2013:

■100 per cent of year 6 opportunity class pupils gained a 2014 selective high school placement.

■246 was the year 6 opportunity class’ score in the Australasian Problem Solving Mathematical Olympiad out of a possible 250 marks. Year 5 participants scored 234 points.

■43 high distinctions in the University of NSW academic assessments for year 6 pupils across science, computing, spelling, writing, English and maths.

■100 per cent of year 5 OC pupils achieved a Band 8 NAPLAN result in mathematics, the highest possible.

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