Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives - choice, not chance, determines your destiny. Aristotle
What is it?
The Learning Excellence at Ferny (LEAF) Program is an academic excellence program that offers a unique opportunity for students to be extended and challenged to engage with their learning in an innovative way. The entrance exam is designed and marked by the Australian Centre for Educational Research (ACER). This program has been designed for students who have demonstrated high levels of academic and extra-curricular abilities, who are innovative and motivated, and who have a strong commitment to their learning.
Students in the LEAF program form a core class for English, Humanities, Science and Mathematics. It is a three year program, running from Year 7 through to the end of Year 9.
By grouping students of similar abilities together, the opportunity for specialised teachers to provide more in-depth exploration of the content is possible. Links between curriculum areas are more easily made, deepening the students' understanding of the concepts being taught. While the content being explored within the LEAF program mirrors mainstream classes, the curriculum is designed to be more academically challenging with a focus on creative thinking, inquiry-based problem solving and higher order thinking skills. This enables students to develop deeper understandings while working cooperatively to explore complex problems. More challenging texts and concepts will be used to foster this.
Our school vision is to Always Aim High, and we offer all of our students the opportunity to be excellent in the pursuit of this. Within the LEAF Program, this vision is the foundation of our approach to learning, with our four school values of respect, learning, community and creativity an integral component of our students’ development. Through our strong focus on the development of relationships between teachers and students that are based on genuine respect and acceptance, we are able to develop an environment where excellence is valued, and expected. This allows students to stretch themselves, test their boundaries and excel in a safe and nurturing space.
Students who are involved in this program have the opportunity to be involved in a range of extra-curricular activities and competitions as part of their extended curriculum. Participation in an appropriate range of these activities is mandatory for the students to maintain membership within the LEAF program. These activities provide our students with the opportunity to extend themselves outside the walls of our classrooms and apply the skills that they will develop to real-world situations.
The assessment completed within the LEAF Program is the same as mainstream classes. This is to ensure that there is aligned and consistent judgments on standards of achievement across all classes.
Student performance and results will be reviewed each term. Any student who achieves two or more Satisfactory results, or two or more Satisfactory comments in Effort and Behavior, will begin the Performance Monitoring Process. Failure to improve results to an acceptable level of achievement may result in the student returning to mainstream classes.
Students wishing to nominate for this program must be achieving at a High standard in three of the four core subjects of English, Humanities, Science and Mathematics. Please indicate your interest in the LEAF Program by ticking the relevant box on your Expression Of Interest Form, accompanied by all relevant academic records.
The school will notify you if your student is eligible to sit the entrance exam.
Students will sit an entrance exam, held each year in term two. Results from this exam, combined with school and NAPLAN results, will determine entry into the program. If necessary, students may be interviewed to determine eligibility. All offers of placement are at the discretion of the school.
Please note that applications will only be accepted in the year immediately prior to the year of entry.