Central West Leadership Academy students expand education

BRIGHT FUTURES: NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell, Academy Principal Mandi Randell and MP Dugald Saunders. Photo: CONTRIBUTED.
BRIGHT FUTURES: NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell, Academy Principal Mandi Randell and MP Dugald Saunders. Photo: CONTRIBUTED.

Students from across western NSW are continuing to expand their education thanks to a new school that opened its doors to gifted youngsters.

The Central West Leadership Academy started in 2018 with 16 students enrolled across years three to six.

Within a year it has not only moved to a larger location in Dubbo but expanded student numbers to 34 and offered year 7 in 2019.

The school received its 2018 NAPLAN results which found that the Year 5 students averages were higher than almost all Year nine central west schools averages.

Each students has their own in individual learning plan, meaning they are taught at their ability level, not their age level.

Ms Randell said the students who are enrolled are there because they've got that "bright spark".

"We've got kids that come in from Gilgandra, Wellington, Narromine.. pretty much anybody that can take the bus in to Dubbo," Principal Mandi Randell said.

"Some of them, maybe about 30 per cent of them, are the high IQ academic all-rounders, some of them achieve in one area, some are here because they excel in art, music or dance.. or while they might be average academically they've done things like raised $500 for the Pink Ribbon."

"They've all got something that exceeds the expectation of their age."

In May, students from the Academy's year seven grade competed in the da Vinci Decathlon 2019 competition state finals.

The decathlon, held at Knox Grammar school in Sydney is an academic competition designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of school students.

Students competed in teams of eight across 10 disciplines: engineering, mathematics and chess, code-breaking, art and poetry, science, English, ideation, creative producers, cartography and general knowledge.

The year seven Academy students brought home fantastic placings to lead them to the overall eighth placement, including second in ideation, second in general knowledge and sixth in engineering, and eighth in code breaking.

The Academy's year six team also placed seventh in ideation out of 80 teams.

"In my my mind on very traditional measures like NAPLAN, or diverse measures like the da Vinci Decathlon, we're actually getting very high and state-wide competitive results," Ms Randell said.