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Academic Extension

SOAR – Accelerated Learning and Enrichment Program

St John’s has established a tradition of forward and innovative thinking in creating the optimum learning environment to support exceptional student achievement. The SOAR program, an initiative of St John’s Personal Learning and Success Enterprise, aims to empower motivated, highly able, gifted and talented students, through opportunities to access curriculum engagement in advance of their allocated year level. Through subject timeline customisation, students will be challenged and extended academically, enriching their St John’s educational journey through a targeted pedagogical experience.

SOAR Students accelerate through the Australian Curriculum and the Senior Phase English/Mathematics Curriculum one year ahead of their cohort and will then have the opportunity in Year 12 to complete English & Literature Extension, a university subject or a bespoke personalised development opportunity that is responsive and progresses them toward their chosen pathway.

Students can apply for one or both of the following programs:

  • SOAR English
  • SOAR Mathematics

Benefits of the SOAR Program

  • Accelerated progression through the curriculum with fewer repetitions of course content.
  • Opportunities to engage in comprehensive pedagogical experiences with like-minded scholars.
  • Fostering collaborative skills in problem-solving, critical and creative thinking, and self-reflection.
  • Cultivation of a rigorous enquiry and investigation framework, stimulating independent curiosity, interest and thought.

Students will have the opportunity to engage in bespoke personalised programs that are aligned with their future ambitions and are responsive to their individual needs and interests. This may include:

  • Opportunity to enrol in a variety of extension subjects such as English & Literature Extension and/or Chinese Extension.
  • Completion of Tertiary Study modules affiliated with specific areas of interest with university mentorship.
  • Personalised study experiences targeted towards preparation for programs including UCAT.
  • Opportunities for engagement in internships, research projects and ‘Master Class’ scenarios.

Selection Process

Students entering Years 7, 8, 9 or 10 can apply for a place in SOAR English and/or Mathematics based on the following factors:

  • Students latest academic results.
  • Recommendations and observations by specialist St John’s staff.
  • Qualities such as intrinsic motivation, ability to engage in abstract, complex, logical and insightful thought as well as their demonstrated commitment to academic success.
  • Testing results from NAPLAN, PAT and ICAS.
  • Provide supporting documents as required.
  • Students may be required to attend an interview.

All other applicants (including external applicants) will be offered a place in SOAR English and/or Mathematics based on the following factors:

  • All students applying for this program must undertake an entrance test held at the College (more information is on the application form).
  • A completed SOAR application form.
  • Student’s latest school reports including their latest NAPLAN results.
  • A written endorsement from their current teacher or referee.
  • Provide supporting documents as required.
  • External applicants must submit an enrolment application form.
  • Students will be required to attend an interview.

The results from the entrance test, academic results, NAPLAN, endorsement and interview will all be considered when assessing applications.

Requirements of the SOAR Program

  • Students are required to maintain a high academic standard of an A or B in all SOAR subjects to retain their place in the SOAR program
  • It is expected that students will continue in SOAR English and/or Mathematics through to Year 12.
  • Students that are successful in SOAR programs may have some subject/elective restrictions.


Contact St John’s SOAR Program

Learning Enhancement and Support Teacher |Fiona Gunthorpe