Aurora College, the state’s first virtual school, commenced classes on Monday 2 February 2015. The school is a NSW Department of Education priority and a key deliverable of the Rural and Remote Education – a Blueprint for Action. In 2020, Aurora shares students with more than 100 rural and remote government schools.
Aurora students connect with their teachers and classmates in timetabled lessons through a cutting-edge virtual learning environment which comprises web conferencing software, a learning management system, and a range of communication and collaboration tools. The school also operates one of the state’s only fully digital school libraries.
To be eligible for enrolment in Aurora College, students must also be enrolled in a NSW Department of Education school which is classified as a rural and remote.
Our school offers:
- Year 5 and 6 students Opportunity Class lessons in Mathematics, Science and Technology
- Year 7 to 10 students Selective School classes in English, Mathematics and Science
- Year 11 and 12 students the opportunity to study one or more Preliminary and/or Higher School Certificate subjects that may not be available in their local school.
Students study the balance of the curriculum in their local government school. This unique provision allows students to access a challenging academic program without the need to leave their local community.
Residential schools give students the opportunity to meet and work with their peers and teachers. This very popular program includes lessons, tutorials, master classes, mentoring sessions and programs with our many partners, including the Australian Business Community Network. Students also have the chance to experience the host area through excursions, activities and events.
Aurora College offers students expanded career options through innovative partnerships with business and with scientific, cultural and tertiary education institutions. Mentoring opportunities and master classes are key features of both the online and residential school programs. These initiatives broaden the horizons of our students by allowing them to learn from people who are leaders in their chosen field.
What is a selective school?
Selective high schools cater for academically gifted secondary students with high potential who may otherwise be without sufficient classmates of their own academic standard. Selective high schools help these students to learn by grouping them with students of similar ability, using specialised teaching methods and materials.
In NSW there are:
- Twenty one fully selective high schools. All classes are academically selective.
- Twenty five high schools with selective classes (partially selective). Partially selective high schools have both selective and community classes.
- Four agricultural high schools, three of which offer boarding places. Agricultural high schools are selective high schools that emphasise the study of agriculture, with the boarding sections giving some priority to isolated students.
- One virtual selective school, Aurora College, offering selective placement in Years 7 to 10.
Year 7 entry into these schools is determined by the student’s results in the Selective High School Placement Test in English (including reading and writing), mathematics and general ability, together with their primary school’s assessment of their performance in English and mathematics. Other evidence of academic merit may also be considered. Entry into Years 8 to 12 is determined using criteria developed by each school’s selection committee.
For more information, visit the Department’s Selective High School Placement website.
What are opportunity classes?
Opportunity classes located in government primary schools cater for academically gifted Year 5 and Year 6 students with high potential. These classes help students to learn by grouping them with students of similar ability, using specialised teaching methods and educational materials at the appropriate level.
The High Performing Students Team administers the opportunity class placement process.
Parents normally apply when students are in Year 4. Students who are placed then attend the opportunity class full time in Years 5 and 6 at the primary school with an opportunity class. It is a two-year placement program.
In the majority of cases, students who accept a place in an opportunity class will leave their current school to attend the school with an opportunity class. However, placement in the Aurora College Opportunity Class allows students to access a challenging academic program without the need to leave their local school.
There is no provision to apply for Year 6 placement only.
There are 77 primary schools with opportunity classes across NSW, including Aurora’s virtual opportunity class.
For more information, visit the Department’s Opportunity Class Placement website.