“At Epping Secondary College, we acknowledge that each student is different and will have their own unique set of learning needs. We also recognise that as a school, it is our responsibility to meet the needs of all of our students to ensure that they achieve the very best outcomes.”

Helene Alamidis, Principal

What is the ACE program?

The ACE program is a cluster grouped acceleration strategy that ensures that gifted and talented students are able to access challenging curriculum within the supportive environment of a class of similar aged peers.It provides students with the opportunity to accelerate through the curriculum at a faster rate than is typical, meaning that they will complete years 7 – 10 in some subject areas within three years rather than four. At the end of the three years, these students will then be able to access VCE studies as part of their year 10 studies.
 
The ACE program is part of the wider cluster grouping strategy employed at the college to ensure that all students receive a challenging but appropriate learning experience.
 
In 2020 acceleration in the subjects of Maths and English will be offered. Students may choose to apply for the program for either subject or both.

How does it work?

Acceleration means that students are given access to curriculum at a level above that of the year level in which they are placed. This allows them to move faster through the school curriculum than is typical and so they enter VCE sooner than their peers.
 
In a cluster grouping strategy, students who exhibit above average capacity are grouped in smaller clusters across classes rather than all placed in the one class. This model has advantages over other acceleration models as students in this model:
 
  • are able to maintain social connections with peers of a range of abilities
  • are less likely to experience negative labelling or stereotyping
  • are able to be accelerated in specific subject areas or globally depending on individual student needs
  • benefit from being in class with less able peers as they learn to understand the different ways in which people approach cognitive tasks
  • feel more comfortable when there are other students just like them in the class
  • develop social and life skills through collaborative problem solving with others who are operating at a range of levels

Who is it suitable for?

The ACE program is suitable for students who perform at a very high level and feel as though they are not always challenged in the regular classroom. It can also be suitable for students who have very high ability but don’t tend to perform as well due to disengagement from the regular curriculum.

In order to be considered for the ACE program at Epping Secondary College, students need to demonstrate that they are cognitively ready for acceleration. This is determined through an independent assessment run by Academic Assessment Services (AAS) that will assess student reasoning capacity as well as their performance in Maths, Reading Comprehension, Writing Skills and Spelling.