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Academic Excellence

Program Summary

Our Academic Excellence program challenges students to reach their highest academic potential through an innovative curriculum creating a unique transition from high school to university. The individual talents of each student in the program are nurtured by our specialist trained teachers, providing support to a high level curriculum that encourages students to become leaders in their field.

Head to the bottom of this page to see our Academic Excellence Promotional Video.


The Academic Excellence program, beginning in Year 7, focuses on developing, extending and accelerating knowledge acquisition and thinking in the core academic subjects of Maths, English, Science and Humanities.

Year 7 students are able to apply for entrance into one or both of the following programs:

      A: English/Humanities
      B: Maths/Science

A team of dedicated, experienced teachers deliver the program and one of the key features is the high level of contact they are able to maintain with the students and parents throughout each, and across many years.

The Academic Excellence program strives to develop each student as a life-long learner so that they become:

  • A knowledgeable person with deep understanding
  • A complete thinker
  • A creative person
  • An active investigator
  • An effective communicator
  • An independent participant
  • A reflective and self-directed learner

The program includes special projects and participation in extension activities at both a local and national level.

Thinking Skills

The teaching of thinking skills is fundamental to providing students with opportunities to develop the higher order thinking that is necessary for them to attain their optimum potential.

Research shows that student performance in complex reasoning processes and decision-making results in higher achievement in both the QCS test and QSA subjects.

Skilful thinking is neither natural nor as common as we would like, and because it is not likely to develop automatically in every student, we have made it an integral part of the Academic Excellence curriculum by incorporating the development of thinking skills into our core subjects.

Staff Professional Development

Teachers within the Academic Excellence Program are committed to further, on-going professional development. Each holds a formal qualification in catering for highly able learners. At PBC we will continue to focus on:

  • Enhancement of teacher knowledge and skills
  • Educational provision for highly able students
  • Fostering attitudes which contribute to improved learning culture in the classroom
  • Updating and improving information and communication technology skills

Teachers are selected to be part of the Academic Excellence Program. Many are leading practitioners in their subject area. Senior teachers, Heads of Department, and Deputy Principals and Heads of School are actively involved in encouraging and supporting constant improvement amongst teachers through professional development programs. Academic Selective Entrstaff commit to on-going formal training in teaching highly capable students.

Additional tutoring

Academic Excellence students are invited to participate in additional tuition each weekday morning. All core subjects are catered for in each year level. Sessions are directed by teachers from the program.

Selection Procedure

Year 7

Academic ​Excellence entry is competitive. For entry into Year 7, students sit the ACER Higher Ability Selection Test, made up of four subtests:

  • Abstract Reasoning
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Writing 
  • Reading Comprehension

Further information regarding HAST:​.
Sample HAST questions by downloading a booklet ($25 cost): HAST Sample Questions
Other help: Reading comprehension, mathematical reasoning, and creative writing test examples can be found on many online sites. 

For abstract reasoning, try the following links to find online tests for practise.
(difficult but provides good explanations of common patterns) 
(scroll down for common questions and strategies)

Years 8 - 12

Entry into all year levels is by application at any time throughout the year, subject to places being available.

Maintenance of Position in Program

Student performance is monitored regularly. Students must maintain high academic achievement as well as display suitable behaviour and effort across all subjects, whilst in the program. The school reserves the right to withdraw students from the Academic Excellence program at any time.

Special Provisions

Where necessary, measures will be undertaken to accommodate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students from non-English speaking backgrounds, and economically disadvantaged students. Please contact the school if you believe that your child identifies with any of these categories. Where such students satisfy entrance requirements, we will endeavour to assist their pathway if required.

Program Costs

A fee, additional to the textbook and equipment hire charge, is payable upon acceptance into the program and in each subsequent year that the student is part of the program. These funds are used to provide additional resources and enhancement exclusively for students within the program. Such funds provide greater curriculum resources and specialised training for teachers, master classes and entry fees to competitions.


For further information please contact the Excellence Enrolments Officer​​ or phone 07 5525 9418.​​​

Download (right click "Save as…") MP4 format