In 2025 Port Melbourne Secondary College will provide a High Ability Learning Extension (HALE) program for Year 7–9 students who demonstrate strong academic abilities and/or academic potential. The program has a particular focus on extending and enriching learning for students who require additional challenge in the classroom and builds upon the Department of Education’s commitment to actively support the needs of high ability students. 

High ability, high challenge 

The HALE program provides an opportunity for students to engage with challenging, stimulating learning that is tailored to meet the needs of students capable of outstanding academic achievement. It places a greater emphasis on higher order thinking skills, complex problem-solving, independent learning and research. Enrichment is provided by broadening and deepening content and context, and through nurturing skills and capabilities appropriate to the students’ stage of development. Students are extended through in-depth study and the integration and application of knowledge at a higher level. 

HALE classes 

Students who wish to enter the HALE Program will be required to participate in a selection process. Those who are accepted into the program will participate in the same subjects as other students in their year level; however, the complexity of the work, the way that content is approached and the pace at which the students work will differ. HALE students will take the following subjects; English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, French, SMaRT, PHaSE, Core and two electives. 

Process for 2025 enrolment into HALE 

The testing used to determine entry into the HALE program is managed by Edutest, an external organisation engaged to undertake the process at Port. The testing program is skills based rather than curriculum based, and is designed to identify student ability rather than acquired knowledge. 

Families who are interested in the HALE program should register their interest via the Edutest website. Completed application forms, along with payment, must be submitted to Edutest by Thursday, 1st August in order for a student to be considered. The Edutest testing program is scheduled for Wednesday, 7th August onsite at the college; dates and details about the day will be sent to registered families closer to the testing date. Following the test, students who perform well may be invited to discuss their suitability for the program. Where further information is required in relation to a student’s performance, referrals from primary school teachers may be requested. Students may sit the test to enter the program at Year 7, 8 or 9. Places for entry at years 8 and 9 are limited and we recommend speaking to the college prior to registering for the test.

Click here to register via Edutest