The "Challenge Class" Concept

The "Challenge Class" concept has operated at St John Bosco College since 2004 and has been so successful that other schools within the Sydney Archdiocese are now planning to implement similar programs.

The Challenge Classes are specifically designed to cater for the learning needs of the more academically talented students. It is similar to the “selective stream” that operates in some schools but offers much more because it emphasises the provision of teaching and learning strategies appropriate to academically capable students. Participation in the Challenge Class Program is an opportunity for very talented students to excel in an environment in which they are able to interact with students of similar ability and motivation. The program has been designed utilising current research and is continually being refined.

The key features of the Challenge Class Program include:

  • One Challenge Class per year level in Years 8 – 10 and four mixed ability classes in each of these year levels.
  • The “Challenge Class” concept differs significantly from “streaming”, which is usually associated with a whole year level group being allocated to differentiated classes on a sliding scale from the ‘top’ class to the ‘bottom’ class. The “Challenge Class” concept is only one class and all other classes in the year group remain mixed ability classes.
  • Students are required to apply for entry to the Challenge Class. Entry into the Challenge Class is offered to students according to their ranking based on a clear selection process and rigorous selection criteria. Students currently in the Challenge Class are required to reapply for entry into the programme each year.
  • Students in the Challenge Class study all their core subjects (English; Geography; History; Religious Education; Personal Development, Health and Physical Education; Science; and LOTE (Italian) in Year 8 only) in this class. Mathematics will continued to be studied in separate streamed classes.
  • Experience at Bosco reflects the findings of the available research, namely that all students, including those not participating in the programme, are advantaged by the programme. Those in the Challenge Class have the opportunity to develop their academic capabilities in the context of a supportive academic environment. In the other classes a new group of students emerges as particularly capable and increases in academic confidence and ability.

Further details about the Challenge Class Program will be available at a special Information Night to be conducted during term 4 in the College Theatrette.

Challenge Class Documents

pdfChallenge Class Information Booklet

pdfChallenge Class Application Form