Through a rigorous self-evaluation process the PEAC teachers have produced the following Mission Statement and guidelines for the delivery of PEAC throughout the NMER.
The operation of PEAC is in alignment with the direction and planning of the Department of Education.
- that each student is entitled to knowledge, understanding and skills that provide a foundation for successful and lifelong learning and participation in the Australian community; and
- that high expectations should be set for each student as teachers account for the current level of learning of individual students and the different rates at which students develop.
Western Australian Curriculum
All students are entitled to rigorous, relevant and engaging learning programs drawn from the Western Australian Curriculum by providing students with opportunity to:
- work with learning area content in more depth or breadth; accelerate student learning by drawing on content from later levels; and
- emphasise specific aspects of the general capabilities and/or focus on cross-curriculum priorities.
Focus 2019, Department of Education WA
- Design strategies for teachers to extend and challenge their most academically able primary students.
- Focus on growth in student achievement in addition to attainment.
- Provide deliberate opportunities through the Western Australian Curriculum for students to develop general capabilities of critical thinking, creativity and entrepreneurship.
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How are the students selected?
Students’ scores from the testing completed in year four are entered in to a database and are converted to a percentile rank. The Department of Education Policy states that we are required to take the top 2.5% of our student population. Identified students are eligible to nominate for a PEAC course. Comparisons between students and their classroom performance can be misleading as they may be under performing/underachieving in school and still be eligible for PEAC.
Once students are in PEAC are they in forever?
The identified pool of students remains the same and so students should be offered the opportunity to nominate for a course in each round from years five to six. However, there are times when students may choose to decline for a number of reasons. Transport to programs may be a problem; they may find they are missing out on their favourite subject at school; or they may find the increased workload too much. PEAC is not in competition with schools. PEAC works with schools as a support program.
Do they have to go to the nearest centre?
No, students may attend courses at any of the centres providing they have suitable transport.
Why do some students always seem to get their first choice?
If students were to participate in PEAC throughout years five and six it is unlikely they would always get their first choice. It may appear students are constantly getting their first choice but that may be due to a number of variables including the popularity of the course. If a student nominates for four courses then it follows he or she would be happy doing any of the four courses. The order of choices should not matter.
How do you decide on the courses?
The courses are designed according to the interest of the students. Their interests are constantly surveyed and new courses are developed wherever possible. Some popular courses are repeated due to demand. We aim to reach a balance across all learning areas of the curriculum.
How much homework is expected from the students?
To make the most of opportunities provided at PEAC, students are encouraged to make time to review and reflect on what they have learnt and to prepare and organise themselves for the next session.
A goal of the PEAC Program is to engage and excite students by providing authentic and challenging learning opportunities. Many students choose to invest more time outside of class to pursue passion projects in their chosen area of interest. We encourage students to set realistic goals and manage their time to allow them to complete tasks to a level of which they are proud. The scale, depth and complexity of a student’s work is determined by them.
What happens if a student pulls out of a course? Is s/he penalised?
Students are not penalised if they withdraw from a course. They should have the opportunity to nominate each round. However we try to stress the importance of making a commitment to a course and we seek a valid reason for any withdrawal. Often students say they are bored, however upon investigation it usually means they did not read the relevant course information carefully or they were simply not committed to working in that area.
What happens if they don’t perform well in a course?
Each course is a separate entity. Students can sometimes perform badly in one course and outstandingly in another. It may be the course didn’t turn out as they expected or it may be that they became too busy at school or at home and were unable to meet requirements. Once again the students are not penalised and will have the opportunity to nominate for other courses.
What happens when my child goes to high school?
There is no PEAC in secondary school. However, in year six the students may sit for the Special Secondary Placement Program, which assesses their ability in particular learning areas. If successful, students commence year eight at Shenton College or Duncraig SHS for the Academic Extension Program; Balcatta SHS for the arts program; Churchlands SHS for the music program or Perth Modern School as a Selective School.
For more information visit the Gifted and Talented Secondary Programs.
What happens if we move schools?
If you change schools within the region and you advise the PEAC centre then we are able to advise the new school and pass on any relevant data. The same would apply if you moved elsewhere in the state.
Do we start from scratch each round?
Yes. Each round is separate and a new package of courses is provided to schools. The nomination process begins again but there is not more testing
How does PEAC help our children at school?
PEAC is a needs based program. It is designed to help schools cater for their gifted and talented students. Many schools also develop school-based provision to cater for students when they are not at PEAC or miss out on gaining a position. The PEAC team offers a professional development program to support classroom teachers in this provision.
Why do you set the children up for disappointment if you can’t guarantee them a position?
We do not deliberately set out to disappoint students. However, we do appreciate that students are disappointed if they aren’t accepted into a course. Not all of the students in our identified pool nominate for courses and since we have no way of knowing who is going to apply or for which course, then we are unable to offer the exact number of positions for students. We attempt to prepare students in class for the prospect they may not gain a position and ask parents and teachers to do the same.
What do you do if a child misses placement for a second time?
We keep a Special Placement list at each centre and note any queries we have from parents or teachers. We also use the computer program to tag students who have missed a placement, then manually check their placement for the next round.
Why do the course charges vary?
The Department of Education allocates a budget to run the PEAC centres. The resourcing of courses is covered by course charges. Course charges range from a minimum of $10 and depend on course requirements, such as
- use of an external venue
- specialist teachers eg chess, cartooning
- materials and additional resources
- clerical support
Please contact Yuluma PEAC Administration if you have difficulty making the course payment.
May I see my child’s scores?
Although the scores of the tests completed by the students in year four are confidential, parents may have access to the results by contacting their school or the PEAC administration. However a set of numbers may have little meaning without context. Parents whose children are not in the identified group may be told their child’s approximate percentile rank and an indication given to areas of strength such as reasoning, mathematical or language ability.