Biretta Student Enrichment Program

The potential benefit of group enrichment for the highly academic learner is clear. Strong, consistent results support the idea that ability grouping promotes and enriches learning.

The Research

The potential benefit of group enrichment for the highly academic learner is clear. Strong, consistent results support the idea that ability grouping promotes and enriches learning acceleration (Rogers, 2007).

The Salesian College Chadstone Biretta Program recognises educational research and appropriately engages and promotes excellence in secondary school students. Achieving potential is made possible when studying a dynamic, relevant and changing curriculum in a supportive environment with peers of a similar ability.


 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. Read more


How the Biretta Program Works

Similar to students in mixed ability Homerooms, students in the Biretta Class study their core subjects together as a Homeroom (i.e. Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Italian). The Biretta Program environment fosters the opportunity for academically talented students to:
•Learn new material at a rapid rate
•Handle abstract and complex ideas;and
•Simultaneously focus on a number of tasks.
The speed and depth at which material is undertaken by the Biretta Class is tailored to the capabilities of particularly able students. The curriculum is compacted to allow for a range of enrichment and extension activities. Students in the Biretta Program have the opportunity to learn in a stimulating, fast-moving environment.Whilst the Biretta Program will not suit all boys, it is a valuable opportunity for enrichment of highly academic learners.

Key aspects of the Biretta program read more.


 The Criteria:

All families are encouraged to apply for the Year 7 Biretta Class intake.

Selection will be based on performances in:

• The General Ability Test completed at the College at our Pre-Entry Test Day

• Any further test conducted at the College

• Year 5 NAPLAN test results during September



Key Dates:

September: Application forms sent to all parents of enrolled Year 7 students

October: Test and Group Task

November: Families notified of application outcome.



Year 7 Biretta Program

Boys in the Biretta Class will study all their core subjects together as an Oratory (i.e. Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Italian) in a similar fashion to the boys in mixed ability Oratory classes.



Year 8 Biretta Class

The Year 8 Biretta Program operates in identical fashion.



Year 9 Biretta Class

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 students.



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.




“The Biretta Program is a positive experience that provides a perfect environment for learning and a friendly challenge with extremely helpful teachers who are readily equipped to push students to achieve a higher academic potential. In hindsight, I believe that the Biretta Program has provided me with the skills to study and has prepared me to cope with VCE, whilst also forming life-long friendships.”

- Mark Linden, Year 11 2017


” I accepted my invitation to become a member of the Biretta Program because I wanted to extend myself academically and strive to achieve my best. My new teachers have guided me with enthusiasm and kindness, they are interested in my goals and want to help me excel. All of my classes this year have been engaging, challenging and stimulating to the mind; I have really enjoyed the fast-moving environment with peers of similar academic ability. Best of all, I am in an environment that fosters curiosity and makes me want to keep learning. I am certain that in the Biretta Program I will continue to love learning as I endeavour to achieve my potential.”

- Ashley Curry, Year 7B