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Is your son ready for an honours program?

Many schools offer an honours or advanced learning program of some sort. These are tailored to students with exceptional learning capabilities who need to be challenged beyond the ordinary curriculum for their age or year group. Offering such a program means schools can provide personalised learning experiences for students. 

These programs are designed to challenge highly able students in ways that enhance their emotional, social and cognitive development. Students are typically introduced to complex concepts, encouraged to find advanced connections and apply these to new learning experiences with increasing independence. Is your son ready for an honours program?

It’s not an easy question to answer, so schools need to set out clear selection criteria that dictate if your child is suited to an advanced learning program. So what do these criteria look like?

The first thing to note is that each school is different. Different schools value different areas of education, so their honours programs will cover different education aspects. As a general guide, if your son meets the following criteria, it may be worth speaking with someone about joining an advanced learning program.

Honours program selection criteria

The first step in joining an honours program is being identified as eligible. This could be the case if:

  1. a parent or teacher nominates them. The first step is usually a discussion between parents and teachers about a student’s ability level
  2. your son is performing in the top percentile in standardised tests
  3. your son is meeting school-specific criteria
  4. your son is performing in the top percentile on general ability tests.

Once a student is identified, there may be more specific selection criteria that must be met. Again, each school will have different criteria; but as a general guide it could be that the student will sit exams above their year level. This allows teachers to identify students who have advanced beyond their usual curriculum. How they perform in these tests will usually determine their suitability for honours.

To learn more about Honours at The Scots College Preparatory School, download our Preparatory School Honours Program handbook.

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