NSW Opportunity Classes: a quick guide for parents
In a highly competitive society, education has come a long way in providing opportunities for young students who are searching for new challenges.
The NSW Government Opportunity Classes (OC) were formed to provide opportunities for gifted and high-potential students who are seeking an intellectually stimulating educational environment. Here is a guide for parents wondering if an OC would be beneficial for their child.
Which schools have Opportunity Classes?
The two-year program is available within a small number of NSW primary schools, making the class entry highly competitive.
There are 1840 places available in Year 5 opportunity classes across 77 NSW schools in 2023.
What is the OC selection process?
Students are ranked in order of academic merit based on their performance in the placement test. The test components are reading, mathematical reasoning and thinking skills.
The placement outcome information advises that your child may be:
- offered a place at one school choice, or
- put on the reserve list (waiting list) for one or both choices, or
- unsuccessful for one or both school choices, or a combination of two of the above
Should I consider the OC for my child?
There are several factors you should consider in deciding whether to enrol your child in an Opportunity Class, such as:
- Changing schools
- Different peers/friends
- Teaching style and school curriculum
Is my child gifted?
What are ‘high-potential’ and ‘gifted’ students? According to the NSW Government Education, high-potential students are those whose potential surpasses, and gifted students are those whose potential significantly surpasses, that of students of the same age in one or more areas: creative, intellectual, social-emotional, and physical.
Opportunity class placement is suitable for those students classified as having very high to extremely high academic merit.
Image by NSW Government Education - The very high to extremely high levels of IQ typical of students in selective high schools and opportunity classes.
Students normally are in Year 4 when they take the Opportunity Class Placement Test. To be eligible, the student’s family must reside in NSW and be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen when applying for enrolment.
Students and their parents need to understand that accepting placement may require moving schools. These placement classes may be located further away from their current school and/or home. Parents can apply for their child to be placed in up to two schools with opportunity classes.
Although your child may need to change schools and start fresh with making friends, the Opportunity Class can give them the chance to build relationships with like-minded peers who have similar academic capabilities.
Teaching style and school curriculum
Regular school classrooms may cause high-potential and gifted students to disengage as the content is not challenging for them.
The aim for the Opportunity Class is to have a strong focus on learning though topics, tasks and problem solving that suits each child’s ability. The class continually provides challenges to advance their learning.
How can I prepare my child for the OC Placement Test?
It is never too early to enhance your child’s academic journey and it’s never too late to make a difference by supplementing their education with online test practice. Our Year 4 Opportunity Class Placement–style Test Pack provides great preparation, giving your child 365-day access to develop their knowledge and skills.
Recent changes like the new Thinking Skills section mean it is more important than ever to prepare for the OC Test. We provide real-life practice for online testing using different question types and formats to build familiarity and reduce anxiety.
Our Opportunity Class Placement–style Test Pack replicates the Reading, Thinking Skills and Mathematical Reasoning question formats in the actual NSW Opportunity Class Placement Test. These tests will improve students’ confidence and mastery by providing them with valuable practice.
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