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Harrisdale SHS Gifted And Talented Secondary Selective Academic Program

Harrisdale Senior High School’s Gifted and Talented Secondary Selective Academic Program is designed to propel students toward success by providing them with a solid foundation for their life and career aspirations in a dynamic world of opportunities, challenges, and transformations. Its goal is to offer students a comprehensive educational experience that moulds Australia’s future leaders across various domains, including public service, law, science, medicine, arts, engineering, education, and business. 

The initiation of the Gifted and Talented Academic Program in 2021 signifies a significant milestone in Harrisdale SHS’s journey toward becoming a center of educational excellence. It mirrors the school community’s ambition to deliver outstanding programs and pathways accessible to all students. The school’s 2023 ATAR students performed really well:

  • Harrisdale’s median ATAR has risen to an impressive 87.57. 
  • 39 students attained an ATAR of 90 or above. 
  • 16 students secured an outstanding ATAR score ranging from 95 to 99. 
  • 5 students achieved a remarkable score of 99 or higher. 
  • 3 students excelled with a score of 97 or above. 
  • 4 students accomplished a score of 96 or above. 
  • 4 students reached a score of 95 or above. 
  • 23 students achieved ATARs between 90 and 94. 
  • 14 students secured ATARs between 85 and 90. 
  • 8 students attained ATARs between 80 and 84. 
  • 8 students achieved ATARs between 75 and 79. 
  • 3 students secured ATARs between 70 and 74. 
  • 10 students achieved ATARs between 60 and 69. 

Harrisdale’s Gifted and Talented Academic Program assures students of a top-notch educational journey: 

  • Specialist teachers in their respective subjects are dedicated to bringing out the best in their gifted and talented students, fostering a love for learning and a desire to positively impact the global community. 
  • Students are actively engaged in their learning and encouraged to be independent, inquisitive learners, ethical decision-makers, creative problem solvers, and appreciators of the arts. Collaborative learning is emphasized, recognizing that support from peers enhances the learning experience. 
  • The curriculum is differentiated, progressive, and challenging, both inside and outside the classroom. Students are grouped with selected peers for specific subjects, fostering a conducive learning environment. Electives such as Classical Music and French are recommended options. 
  • State-of-the-art facilities provide an inspiring learning environment. Students are encouraged to participate in prestigious competitions, leadership programs, community service, university extension programs, and study tours. 
  • Student wellbeing is a priority, with active support to ensure a positive and nurturing environment for young adolescents to thrive. 

Co-curricular activities at Harrisdale SHS extend beyond regular class hours, encompassing leadership programs, sports, hobby groups, and clubs like Interact, Tournament of Minds, the Duke of Edinburgh Award, Bushrangers Cadets, Harrisdale’s Edible Garden, debating, peer tutoring, and volleyball.  

Development of the entire person is not just academic or co-curricular, Harrisdale also encourages students to get involved in community services because volunteering: 

  • Encourages social and civic responsibility, fostering empathy, a broader perspective on society, and a commitment to helping others. 
  • Connects academic learning to real-life events. 
  • Builds relationships and social connectedness with peers and adults. 
  • Develop communication, problem-solving, teamwork, interpersonal, and leadership skills. 
  • Helps students discover their passions and interests. 
  • Cultivates self-esteem and positive emotions, contributing to overall well-being. “Giving back” is seen as a healthy endeavor. 
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