The best way to predict the future is to create it.
~ Abraham Lincoln
And Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC) Sydney is providing all the tools to create promising futures for boys and girls with a dedicated Futures Extension Program and tutoring services.
The PLC Sydney Futures Centre provides a holistic approach to nurturing a child’s budding interests, through weekly Saturday afternoon sessions focused on extension activities for gifted students, as well as one-on-one tutoring and mentoring services.
The Futures Centre really does walk the talk when they say they have extensive experience in providing additional learning opportunities for students. Established in 1989, PLC Sydney offers one of the longest running extension and enrichment programs in Australia.
Love. As cliche as it might sound, their genuine compassion and care for each student, and an unwavering drive from all staff to help their students achieve, is unparalleled.
Director of PLC Sydney Futures Centre, Rowena Barnett, says the bespoke way in which they approach each child’s learning, is what consistently produces the best outcomes for students.
“Most of our tutoring sessions are one-to-one, which means we are wholly student-centred, and curate their learning based on their individual needs and goals. Then we work out a personalised plan to work towards those specific goals,” says Ms Barnett.
“There is no one-size-fits-all learning in our tutoring services. We often have parents tell us how impressed they’ve been with our attention to detail and individual learning style.
“We cater for students who might have some gaps in their knowledge and need more foundational tutoring. And then we also cater for students who are excelling in class, but want to do more.”
Currently PLC Sydney Futures Centre primarily offers one-to-one tutoring, but they can cater for small groups, when students are at the same learning level and all parties consent. They are also looking into specialised weekend classes, where they tackle a particular theme or subject in a small group setting.
Open to boys and girls from any school, PLC Sydney Future’s Centre tutoring has been virtual during the pandemic lockdown, but is planning to return to face-to-face tutoring in 2022.
“Feedback from both our families and our tutors is that everybody prefers in-person care. However, if a student needs to isolate, we will be adopting a hybrid model and providing virtual sessions as well, so that they can continue to learn, if required.
“And because we are student-centred, we can be flexible in our approach to scheduling. For example, if school camp is on in week three, we can add in a replacement session in week two or four, so the student doesn’t fall behind.”
Enrichment program for gifted students
Students who are really looking to be challenged might also be suited to PLC Sydney’s Enrichment Program for Gifted Students.
Open to primary school boys and girls who have been assessed and identified as gifted, this weekly extension program allows students to interact with other like-minded students who think like they do, in a stimulating and fun environment.
Ms Barnett says parents often tell her the three hours their child spends in Saturday’s Enrichment Program can translate to improved mood, engagement and performance throughout the rest of the week.
“Very often gifted students can have social challenges, so providing an environment where they feel they belong, can have a knock on positive effect in other areas of their lives.”
Ms Barnett says each term the teaching staff choose different topics based on the students’ interests and needs. She says mysteries are always popular, with the Bermuda Triangle a favourite research topic among the children.
“Our differentiated learning approach means we assess, identify strengths and adapt learning based on individual needs. For example, if a child isn’t interested in writing, then we might get them to draw instead. But underpinning all the learning, is that we want the children to have fun.”
Outcomes of attending PLC Sydney Futures Centre
Whether your child attends the Enrichment Program for Gifted Students, or engages in tutoring, they are bound to receive more than just the tools to answer a specific question. They are taught problem solving skills that they can apply to the rest of their life.
“Our aim isn’t just to ‘get them through school’, rather, we want to instil in them a love for life-long learning.”