• Gifted & Talented
  • BEST
  • VASP
  • Shedworks
  • PBL - Project-Based Learning

Gifted & Talented Program

The WA Department of Education states that: “Gifted and Talented programs are offered at 18 select public secondary schools, including a fully selective academic school, an arts college, a regional school and through an online program. Those selected will study with other gifted students and follow a curriculum designed specifically for their needs. They will enjoy a rich learning environment that is challenging and stimulating.”

GAT education at BSHS looks like:
A different, enriched and rigorous curriculum that considers the need to engage students in higher order thinking. Although GAT classes need to comply with the Western Australian Curriculum, they must also address students’ academic needs. GAT programs will be clearly distinct from programs for other students in the same year group. Teachers will sometimes compact the learning and quicken the pace (accelerate) to better meet the learning pace and style of GAT students. Our teaching staff work collaboratively to develop programs that make cross-curricular links and help students see the connections across traditional subject areas.

Exemplary teaching practice that is informed by evidence-based research of GAT education and pedagogical trends across all education.
The way we teach is informed by what we know is best practice for gifted and talented students. Our staff have participated in professional learning about gifted and talented students, as well as key elements of teaching practice such as lesson design, instructional strategies, higher order thinking, and cooperative learning. Some teachers use a flipped classroom model of learning to allow content to be delivered outside of class time, allowing class time to be used for higher order thinking activities. GAT teachers also understand the value of integrating technologies into their teaching. Many teachers utilise the MacBooks or Ipads available to students and this allows research to be engaging and global.

An engaging learning environment that encourages and supports independent learning
Learning environments at BSHS are embracing the 21st century. The spaces we create for students allow for flexibility and allow students to switch easily from individual work to pair or small group collaboration. Teachers also understand that each student learns in different ways and has different needs. These needs are considered when planning lessons and assessments. We also offer opportunities to leave the school environment and engage with a wide range of educational experiences. Our school also employs an Education Assistant specific to the GAT program. The role of this assistant is quite unique and unlike other EA’s in our school. The GAT EA provides support to all students within GAT classes. Many GAT students display characteristics that may need extra support, such as becoming overly competitive, or perfectionistic. This can sometimes lead to procrastination and issues with their self-esteem. The GAT EA is able to notice these behaviours causing concern and provide support to students as needed.

Assessments that allow students to extend their learning, such as open-ended tasks/investigations, project-based tasks
Many of our GAT teachers have engaged in workshops about project-based learning and understand how it can enrich learning, especially for students in our gifted and talented program. PBL allows students to explore topics, ideas and issues as far as they can take them. It is an open-ended, but also structured and supported, way of learning.

Detailed information provided to parents regarding students’ progress in the GAT program
Parents are kept informed at every step of their child’s education, from information evenings prior to starting Year 7 right through to course counselling and acceleration options as they enter senior school. Teachers provide up to date and detailed achievement progress through our online portal, Connect. Parents can see what their child is achieving and for what assessments. Parents and staff can easily make contact via email in Connect. Formal reports and parent nights are also held throughout the year. GAT information is also shared through Connect. Look out for notices in your email about upcoming competitions, excursions etc.

Opportunities for extra-curricular activities that enrich learning
Students will have access to a wide range of extra-curricular activities provided by our school. They will need to select from these and be careful not to overcommit to too many. For GAT students it is often difficult to say no to some things, but they must prioritise, with parent support, so that they don’t become overwhelmed. The wide range of activities includes the Robotics club, Interactive Media, Debating, Young Writers’ workshops, Tournament of Minds, Philosothon, competitions in just about every topic you can imagine, music performances, band rehearsals, Country Week, House leadership, sports teams and carnivals and the list just goes on and on.

A personalised approach to academic programs as the students move from lower school into senior school.
Each student’s learning journey is considered carefully. The Deputy Principal (Academic Performance) meets with students to discuss their interests and aspirations. The DP also looks at academic data and considers each student’s needs, particularly as they move from Year 9 into Year 10 and beyond. The DP listens to recommendations from GAT teachers and will present options to students and parents with regards to acceleration or other strategies that could provide even further extension and challenge to those students. Some students enter the GAT program as twice-exceptional. This means that they may have additional needs as well as that of being gifted and talented. These needs are considered carefully and individual plans are created for any student who has had some intervention or strategies put in place to support them.


Fees for classes are normally the same as those for mainstream students. A wide range of extracurricular activities, including camps, are utilised within the program to support learning, extension and enrichment. Some of these are subsidised. Full details of anticipated program costs for parents are outlined in the Financial Information for Parents document.

Selective entry testing is conducted by the Department of Education. Registrations for testing can be accessed through our school website. Note: Applications close a full 12 months in advance of the student's entry year.

Parents can find out how to apply for the program Here


The Bunbury Elite Sports Training (BEST) Program is an endorsed Department of Education Specialist Program only available at Bunbury Senior High School. The program has been developed to help maximise the potential of talented students in the areas of sport and sport science.

BEST students participate in a 6 year program based on contemporary sport science training principles for talented junior athletes. Our commitment is to support your child to be a self-managing athlete with outstanding age-related levels of fitness and sport science knowledge.

Community sport provides excellent opportunities for children to develop their individual skills, particularly as they move into representative squads and teams. The BEST Program value-adds to this by focusing strongly on student's conditioning. Specifically, this includes development of the following aspects of performance:
  • Cardio-respiratory endurance
  • Speed (including skill and power aspects)
  • Power
  • Strength
  • Agility
  • Flexibility
  • Core Stability

In addition to this, students will develop their understanding of recovery procedures, nutrition planning, specific injury management, generic tactics and strategies, sport psychology, coaching and officiating.

The BEST Program won't develop students' skills in one particular sport exclusively; students will have the opportunity to work in a range of sporting contexts while in the program to develop their physical literacy. BEST involves demanding activity programs, sport and classroom lessons. While sports-minded students will find many aspects fun, the program is not designed to be fun! Our aim is ensure each student maximises their athletic potential, thereby providing them with the BEST opportunity to succeed in their sport of choice.

In addition to any sport-related outcomes, BEST students have the opportunity to participate in Senior School courses leading to University programs or to TAFE. Our cutting edge Physical Education Studies program, the availability of in-house Certificate II courses and our established links with TAFE ensure all students are given the best opportunity to succeed, whatever their chosen vocation.

Bunbury SHS is a registered Coaching and Officiating Agency through the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Australian Sports Commission, enabling us to train and accredit students in umpiring and coaching. In each year BEST students will have the opportunity to participate in camps and/or excursions designed to support their learning, performance and awareness of future sport-related opportunities.

Students will spend four hours per week of curriculum time in the program in Years 7-10. Currently this results in the completion of one less Arts and Technologies subject in Years 7-9. Students involved in BEST will not be able to participate in the school's Specialist Visual Arts Program. In Years 11-12, the course will be up to 4 hours per week which is dependant on each student's course selections.

There is a cost associated with participating in this program. Upon enrolment, students are also required to purchase specialised clothing and replace them as necessary thereafter. Year 10 students will be offered the opportunity to travel Interstate for a high-performance camp. The camp aims to challenge students physically and cognitively, exposing them to number of professional sporting organisations. This is non-compulsory (but highly recommended). Please see the current Contributions & Charges handbook for more information on costs for the BEST Program.

Most students will enter the program in Year 7. A small number of vacancies may occur in other year groups. A selection process will be used to identify suitable students. Consideration will be given to each student's history of sports achievement, perceived athletic ability, focus on learning and potential for positive role-modelling. Additionally, each student's current school will be asked to provide a reference. All students moving from primary school will be invited to a fitness evaluation. Upon completion of the application process a class of 25 students will be selected.

Please do not hesitate to contact the school to clarify any aspects of the program. Direct your inquiries to Program Coordinator of Health & Physical Education, on 9797 8900 or by email at: bunbury.shs@education.wa.edu.au

Applications Open: (Year 7-12 in 2025) Monday 18 March 2024
Applications Close: Friday 24 May 2024
Fitness Evaluation Session: Monday, 10 June 2024

Applications have now closed for the BEST Program for the 2024 intake.


The Bunbury Senior High School Visual Arts Specialist Program (VASP) has been developed to help maximise the potential of talented students in Visual Arts.

Students will have access to a unique, specialist program delivered by highly qualified staff throughout Years 7 - 12. In the Visual Arts Specialist Program students will learn through engagement in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and four-dimensional art and design practice, concept, theory, history and technique based on traditional, contemporary and commercial Visual Arts practice. The program will facilitate four weekly contact hours. There will be a focus on foundation skills in Year 7, expanding commitment and specialisation in Years 8, 9 and 10. Students will also be provided opportunity to attend Bunbury Regional Art Galleries for exhibitions and workshops. They will also be expected to participate in other scheduled excursions.

The Visual Arts have direct relationships with other subjects and these relationships are a key aspect of this program: Visual Literacy and critical literacy skills will enable students to access knowledge, make meaning, express thoughts, emotions and ideas, interact with others and participate in a range of communication activities, using a range of printed, audio, visual and digital materials. Numeracy will be an implicit component of the program as students are asked to learn, design, make, create, evaluate and complete activities that require significant numeracy skills.
Throughout the program students will develop and use advanced information communication technology (ICT) skills through forming ideas, processes and solutions to challenges or tasks. In addition to this, students will:
  • recognise the shaping role of arts in their immediate family and environment,
  • understand how different cultures and groups use arts, and how arts reinforces social diversity,
  • understand how arts confirm and change values,
  • recognise the economic significance of arts, and the environmental impact that some arts forms can have,
  • use the process of 'design, make, appraise' in the development of arts works and documentation of art making process,
  • design web sites and art works using desktop publishing and computers,
  • use language comprehensively to engage with arts experiences.

Students will spend four hours each week of curriculum time in the program in Years 7-10. In Years 11-12, the allocation will be a minimum 4 hours depending on student's course selections.

There is a cost associated with participating in this program. In Year 10 VASP students will have the opportunity to participate in a week-long excursion to Melbourne designed to support learning and awareness of future educational and vocational arts-related activities. Participation is non-compulsory (but highly recommended). Please see current Contributions & Charges handbook for more information on costs for the VASP Program.

Most students will enter the Program in Year 7. A small number of vacancies may occur in other year groups. A selection process will be used to identify suitable students. Consideration will be given to each student’s focus on learning, perceived artistic ability and potential for role-modelling. The student’s current school may be asked to provide a reference. All students moving from primary school will be invited to a testing session held at Bunbury Senior High School.

Please do not hesitate to contact the school to clarify any aspects of the program. Direct your enquiries to Melissa Spencer, Teacher in Charge - VASP on 9797 8900 or by email at: bunbury.shs@education.wa.edu.au

Applications Open: (Year 7-12 in 2025) Monday 18 March 2024
Applications Close: Friday 24 May 2024
VASP Testing Day: Tuesday, 11 June 2024

Applications have now closed for the VASP Program for the 2024 intake.


Shedworks is a school program that is highly practical and targeted to suit students who are challenged by the traditional academic setting. It is essentially a school for students for whom "normal school is not making sense anymore"

The program commenced in 2009 and was a success story since its inception. While the curriculum has always varied to meet the needs of individual students, in recent years staff have added to the complexity of the program, bringing entrepreneurial aspects that have increased the relevance of the student's work and linked the outcomes more explicitly to the world of work outside the Shedworks setting. The products of that work, furniture, decorator and other items - are all around the school and in many peoples' homes and gardens throughout the South West.

The Shedworks Program focuses on employability skills and making students future ready. It provides students with life skills beyond the traditional curriculum content, including developing collaboration, problem solving and analytical skills, all underpinned by literacy and numeracy development. The program is a 'living version' of both curriculum innovation and differentiation in education.

Selection to the Shedworks Program is limited and is by application.

Apply for the 2024 Shedworks Program via the link below:
Shedworks Program Application Form 2024

Parent Information Night for the 2024 program

Tuesday 24 October 2023 - 6pm-7pm

To RSVP for the above information night, please use the link below

Shedworks Program 2024 Information Night

PBL - Project-Based Learning

PBL (Project-Based Learning) is a class set up for a limited number of Year 10 students, who must go through an application process to be accepted. The purpose of the program is to provide an alternative education program for students who may need a different approach to achieve success. Students participate in Literacy and Numeracy programs, created using the Australian Core Skills Framework, with an emphasis on developing their skills in order to pass their OLNA – a graduation requirement.

The PBL class has one teacher who delivers the majority of the curriculum for all learning areas, except for Physical Education and some elective courses. There is also an Education Assistant assigned to this class to provide extra support. The limited number of staff involved means that the teacher and EA can develop meaningful and productive relationships with the class and support each student more effectively.

Students are assigned specific projects throughout the year. These can include:
• Finance and budgeting – Real world financial situations
• Bamboo Construction – Design and construction process
• Bunbury Tourism Video – Promotion and video techniques
• Sustainability – Research and awareness techniques
• Building a realistic house – focusing on area, surface area and real-world cost price.
• Travel project - Planning and budgeting a holiday
• Canteen Specials – Designing, purchasing and cooking a special of the week to sell at Lunch

The students’ main focus throughout the year is a personal project. The personal projects are usually linked to the students’ personal and future career interests. Some past projects have been:
• Exercise and nutrition plan for a boxer
• Designing and constructing a wood and metal shield
• Brochure on Equine nutrition
• Portfolio on different hair styles/cuts/colours
• Research article on the responsibilities of an aged care worker
• Music compilation tracks
• Manual of car problems and how to fix them
• Researching and comparing different mafia groups/bosses

In Term 2 students volunteer three days of their time in either the Home Economics area, Library or Canteen. This helps to prepare them for work experience placements throughout Semester 2. Students undertake placements in a range of local industries to help them clarify their career goals and to determine their senior schooling pathway.

Selection to the Project-Based Learning Program is limited and is by application.

Parent Information Night for the 2024 program

Tuesday 31 October 2023 - 6pm-7pm

To RSVP for the above information night, please use the link below

Project Based Learning Program 2024 Information Night

Apply for the program in 2024 via the link below.
Project Based Learning Program Application Form 2024

© All Rights Reserved ~ mediaworx web design