Student Enrichment Biretta Program


At Salesian College we believe that academically able students benefit from programs that are designed to meet their special needs.  Our approach has been influenced by the research of leading French theorist Francois Gagne who believes that programs should focus, not just on students’ current performance, but on developing their outstanding potential.


Our ‘Biretta Class’ concept is further based on the belief that academically talented boys will more readily work towards achieving their potential if they are able to access a dynamic, relevant and challenging curriculum in a supportive environment with their intellectual peers.  Recent studies have established that homogenous groupings improves not only the achievement of very able students, but also their aspirations and wellbeing.  In accordance with this research, boys participating in the Biretta Class are grouped together in their own self-contained Year 7 Homeroom.  The Program continues, in similar vein, into Years 8 and 9.


Why the name, ‘Biretta’?


The term ‘Biretta’ is an Italian word referring to a square cap with three ridges or peaks, sometimes surmounted by a tuft, traditionally worn by Catholic clergy

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Key Aspects of the Biretta Program


In Year 7 in 2013, there will be seven mixed ability classes and one ‘Biretta Class’ for a select group of highly academically able boys.  Each of the eight classes will contain approximately 25-26 boys.  In many respects, the Biretta Class will operate in very similar fashion to the other Year 7 classes.  Boys in the Biretta Class will study all their core subjects together as a Homeroom (ie Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Italian) in similar fashion to the boys in the five mixed ability Homerooms.  The Year 8 Biretta Program operates in identical fashion.  The Year 9 Biretta Program differs slightly in that some boys from mainstream classes may gain admission to the Advanced English and Mathematics classes which are also available to Biretta student

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Selection Process for the Year 7 Biretta Class in 2013

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The Biretta Program and Year 10.


The Biretta Program does not extend to Year 10.  However, very capable Year 10 students are able to select Advanced Mathematics as well as a number of Units 1 / 2 VCE subjects.