Special Programs


Cultural Integrity and the Indigenous Program

Peer Support

Pinnacle Enrichment Program

Learning Support

Leadership Program

Road Ready (Yr 10)

Work Experience

Cultural Integrity Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students at Belconnen High School

Cultural Integrity and the Indigenous program are to improve the educational outcomes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at Belconnen High School.

During 2020 we formed the Cultural Integrity Team led by Anne O’Neill and the team members are Janet Cooke, Tessa Barbour, Kasie Ryan, Nat Ikin, Tricia Copas and Andrew Wright. We are working to implement a strong Cultural Integrity Program that is aligned with the ACT Public Schools Cultural Integrity Framework. We strive for continual improvement in the following areas:

  • Teaching with Cultural Integrity
  • Engaging with students, families, and community
  • Creating a school culture of respect
Success of the Cultural Integrity is regularly reported in the Belconnen High School Newsletter and measured in the following ways:
  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander coordinator meets with the students regularly and is the contact point for any academic and well-being issues. The coordinator is the negotiator between the student, teacher, parents, and community members. The emphasis is for the student to set high academic expectations for their success.
  • At Belconnen High School we are improving our Teaching with Cultural Integrity where we are supporting staff to be confident and capable to meet the learning needs of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students can see themselves, their cultures, histories, and languages in the curriculum. There are opportunities across all learning areas and year levels for all students to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, languages, knowledge, and ways of knowing.
  • We are developing and maintaining genuine, collaborative, and respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents, families, local community members service providers and agencies to meet the needs and aspirations of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities’ members is widely recognised and is a significant part of the school’s culture.
  • At Belconnen High School we are continually building a culture of respect this is especially around significant events e.g. Sorry Day Assembly, Reconciliation Week, Indigenous Literacy Day, and NAIDOC week.
  • Involvement in the ACT Department of Education's Aspiration Program – the program promotes participation in leadership and career opportunities with a focus on pathways and transitions between schools. Ways this is achieved is through the Mura Awards, the Aspiration Scholarship and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student forums
  • At Belconnen High School we are involved in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Indigenous Sports Buroinjin Gala Day early in term 2 where the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have the opportunity to lead Belconnen High School teams against the ACT Public High School.

Please contact members of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Support Team on Ph. 6142 1690 or by email on info_blch@ed.act.edu.au

The Pinnacle Enrichment Program

What is the vision for the Pinnacle Enrichment Program?

The Pinnacle Enrichment Program (PEP) provides a challenging and engaging learning experience for students with an exceptional capacity to learn. The aim is to encourage students to challenge themselves academically and take considered risks in their pursuit of deeper knowledge.

Our goal is to prepare students for the future, by developing key skills for the 21st Century: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, media and digital literacy and technology skills.

How is the Pinnacle Enrichment Program special?

Students in PEP work with others of similar ability and commitment. The work ethos expected permits teachers to expedite progress,  offering a greater range of learning experiences and allowing students to study topics both more broadly and in greater depth.

PEP classes run in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10. These classes are conducted in English, Mathematics, Science and SoSE depending on the needs of the student.

PEP students will be expected to take up extension opportunities such as:

- Academic competitions eg Australian Geography Competition, ICAS Science and English and the Australian Chemistry Quiz, Rio Tinto Big Science Competition and Australian Mathematics Competition.

- Academic challenges eg: Da Vinci Decathlon, Maths Challenges and debating and Chief Minister's Reading Challenge.

Suitability for the Pinnacle Enrichment Program

The students accepted into the Pinnacle Enrichment Program will have demonstrated:

  • a high standard of academic achievement in primary school or previous high school years;
  • evidence of being an independent learner;
  • the ability to organise time;
  • pride in work,

and be prepared to contribute to the corporate life of the school and community.

What Qualities do Pinnacle Enrichment Students typically display?

PEP students usually have the following qualities:

  • they complete all class work and assignments on time and to a high standard;
  • there is evidence of the students being independent learners;
  • there is an expectation that the students are organised for all lessons and maintains a study schedule;
  • be outstanding advocate for Belconnen High School;
  • take up leadership opportunities in the school, and
  • participate in academic competitions.

How does a student gain entry to PEP?

Entry to the PEP program will be offered at the time of enrolment.

Enrolment in PEP classes will be reviewed each semester by each Faculty Executive Teacher in consultation with the Coordinator.

Contact the Pinnacle Enrichment Program Coordinator, Deputy Principal Rebecca Cowan on 6142 1690 or via email at: rebecca.cowan@ed.act.edu.au

Learning Support

Belconnen High has a well-developed Learning Support Team which addresses the academic, social, behavioural and emotional needs of students, supporting them to participate meaningfully in all aspects of school life with as much independence as possible.

Belconnen High School has a Learning Support Unit (LSU) and a Learning Support Unit Autism specific (LSUA) and a number of students accessing the Inclusion Support Program (ISP).  Eligibility into the program is determined by the school psychologist and allocations of placements is determined by a central Education Directorate panel.

The Learning Support program is staffed by an Executive Teacher, Disability Education Coordinator (DECO), Case Managers, Learning Support classroom teachers and Learning Support Assistants (LSA’s).

Our Learning Support staff offer strategies, resources and practices to enable all students to achieve their full potential. This is achieved by helping to remove barriers whether physical, social, emotional or intellectual, allowing all students to access the curriculum. The primary focus is on Numeracy and Literacy, however, students also participate in Integrated studies, Life Skills and Tutorial classes to shape and model social skills.  Students are integrated into the mainstream setting through Physical Education and Elective classes.

Learning Support staff work with the students on developing individualised learning programs, implementing adjustments and making modifications to ensure progression and success for all.  Standardised tests are used to provide diagnostic information which is used to cater for the strengths, weaknesses and learning styles of the individual. Continued communication between parents, class and Learning Support staff is vital in developing a holistic approach for each student.

The support that a student receives is primarily based on the level of adjustments provided to enable access to participation in learning and school events.  Students needs are identified through the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) as requiring the following levels of adjustment:

  • Quality Differentiated Teaching
  • Supplementary
  • Substantial
  • Extensive

The adjustments being made must be based on a disability as defined under the ACT Student Disability Criteria Disability.

Other relevant links for further information:

https://www.education.act.gov.au/support-for-our-students/students-with-disability