With over 30 years of teaching experience, 20 of them specialising in gifted education in non-selective and selective schools both in the UK and Australia, it is my firm belief that the selective school environment is best suited to meet the academic and social needs of gifted students. Furthermore, I am proud of our coeducational setting which I believe best prepares students for life beyond school where working together is a fact of life.
We are a proud agricultural high school where agriculture is mandatory for all from Years 7-10. Here, all students undertake the Preliminary HSC course in Year 10, after which students can choose to undertake the HSC as an accelerated subject in Year 11. Students regularly tell me that undertaking 'Ag' is their favourite aspect of the school. We are lucky to have such a beautiful and well-maintained farm attached to the school and students are welcome to enjoy it beyond their timetabled lessons.
As we are in a highly specialised educational setting, we are in the unique position to be able to tailor all our programs towards highly gifted students. That means we are able to provide programs that have been proven by research to be best practice in gifted education. To that end, we offer a wide range of accelerated opportunities, a wide range of academic and non-academic competitions and a wellbeing program that focuses on the specific wellbeing needs of gifted learners.
At James Ruse Agricultural High School your child will be surrounded by other highly gifted students and they will therefore benefit from spending time with peers who understand them and who will motivate them to reach their personal best in all aspects of school life. When I meet with each of the Year 7 students and ask them what is the best thing about Ruse, the most common response shows me that they feel happy to be surrounded by other 'like minded' students who are both competitive and collaborative.
At the same time they will be taught and nurtured by teachers who have the expertise and experience in working with highly gifted students. At Ruse we are able to tailor our staff professional learning to understanding and developing highly gifted learners. We have a whole school focus on the Department of Education’s High Potential and Gifted Education Policy https://education.nsw.gov.au/policy-library/policies/pd-2004-0051 and over 80% of our teachers have undertaken the UNSW Mini Certificate of Gifted Education.
Our school is known for its academic success, but we are much more than that. Our school vision is to develop the whole child and to ensure our students become active citizens who make positive contributions to the world. We do this by offering a wide range of co-curricular, creative and performing and sporting opportunities which also provide a number of leadership opportunities for students. Student voice is highly valued in everything we do at Ruse.
I understand that if you have a highly gifted child then the decision about which high school to send them to can be a stressful one. If you are undecided then I suggest that you book onto one of our school tours where a current student will show you around and answer your questions. I speak with each tour group that comes through and I look forward to meeting with you if you attend.