We had coffee with Mrs Samantha Glassock, Secondary Extension and Enrichment Coordinator and all round lovely lady, to talk about Extension and Enrichment
at Covenant Christian School.
Why do we have Extension and Enrichment at Covenant?
Extension and Enrichment is just a part of the school’s overall mission to
provide an academically rigorous education. It is about recognising that different students learn differently, and at different rates and at different
levels. The majority of students will operate at grade level. Some students will need education support; others will require extension and enrichment.
Some students will require education support and extension. We cannot assume ‘one size fits all’.
How does Covenant bring a Christian perspective to Extension and Enrichment?
Extension and Enrichment is similar to any other aspect of our school: We view all knowledge through Christ. That is, we apply a Christian lens to our
programmes and provisions.
What does that mean in practice?
It means that we start from a biblical perspective and this informs the way we teach. For example,
in our Year 7 pull–out English Extension Programme, Mrs Gardner is teaching a unit on allegory via the lens of political satire. In this, the students
look at composers’ use of words to convey truth about the world - to inform people’s view of the world and their place in the world. Also, the students
understand their power to use words as individuals and to be culture shapers, under God. They write their own allegories, having considered a moral
message which they wish to convey.
In our Year 9 Extension and Enrichment Day (Pushing the Boundaries) we run 18 workshops over the course of the day. We try to offer a full range of opportunities
and this year we will have UNSW Engineering and Computing workshops, alongside other presenters such as The Australia Theatre for Young People. However,
as a Christian school, we are able to prioritise learning opportunities which utilise a Christian framework. Our Psychology workshop will consider
neuroscience from a biblical perspective. Also, we have invited Carmelina Read to present a workshop on delivering a Christian talk. Carmelina has
plenty of experience giving Bible talks and can address this topic with the complexity it requires, allowing this to not only be a worthy enrichment
workshop but an opportunity for the training of future Christian leaders. Whenever we teach, we endeavour to be faithful representatives of Christ
and to consider a biblical perspective.
What sorts of programmes and provisions extend and enrich our students here at Covenant?
The classroom is the heart of any extension/enrichment program. Our students interact with our teachers for the majority of the day. Our teachers use a
range of approaches to assist students in their learning. Some of their strategies can involve supplying a differentiated curriculum, using open-ended
tasks and allowing students to work with like-minded peers. Some classes are streamed and this allows for the group to attempt more difficult work.
In Maths we also offer an ‘Enriched’ class in Years 9 and 10. In English this year we have begun some Extension Pull-Out classes. At times, students
are accelerated in single subjects.
Of course, there are also a myriad of other exciting opportunities. Covenant is involved in academic gala days such as GATEway8 and da Vinci Decathlon.
There are also a range of competitions to help extend our students beyond the boundaries of the classroom. We have Year 7-10 teams who compete in the
Warringah Independent Schools’ Debating Tournament. Earlier in the year, our students ably represented the school in the University of Newcastle STEM
Challenge and the Theatresports Schools Challenge. They won awards in the Mosman Youth Awards in Literature. In Week 2 of next term, Covenant will
compete in the Nexgen IoT Robotics Challenge and towards the end of the year, students will participate in the Combined Christian Schools Public Speaking
We have some superb lunchtime clubs which allow for learning communities. Some of these include our IT Club, DUNK Science Club and our Philosophy Club.
Our enrichment camps allow for students to be extended with like-minded peers. This week, we have students from Year 5- 8 heading off to our Maths
Enrichment Camp. Earlier in the year, students enjoyed Art Camp and the Writer’s Retreat.
Ultimately, viewing each student as an individual and valuing their unique gifts is our starting point. We provide learning opportunities and communities
to enable students to develop their God-given potential.
Thank you Mrs Glassock. If you have further questions regarding Extension and Enrichment at Covenant, please contact Mrs Glassock via the School Office.