Years 1-12

International Applications

We do not accept international students at this time. If the student is not an Australian citizen, they will need a residential visa, not a student visa (500). For more information, please contact enquiry@daraschool.sa.edu.au.

Entry Criteria

As a school for gifted learners, there are a range of criteria we look at to ensure the applicant will thrive in our learning environment.

The first document we require is a psychologist’s report with cognitive ability test results.

We encourage families to seek a psychological assessment of cognitive ability after or as close as possible to the age of 5, so that test results are more accurate. Please note that many psychologists have lengthy waitlists. In Australia, psychologists are registered with the Psychology Board of Australia.

In the Cognitive Ability category, our criteria include,

  • a General Ability Index, Full Scale score OR Nonverbal Index in the 97th percentile or higher
  • OR at least two of the following:
    • Verbal Comprehension in the 97th percentile or higher.
    • Visual Spatial in the 97th percentile or higher.
    • Fluid Reasoning in the 97th percentile or higher.

We ask for the psychologist’s report in full as it contains relevant contextual information and the psychologist’s recommendations.

If you are unable to undertake a full psychoeducational assessment, then alternatively, if the applicant is 10 years old or above, you may choose to access IQ testing through Mensa, which is facilitated four times a year. Please note that the results from this testing will not include any contextual statement and therefore may be less fully reflective of the applicant’s potential if they happen to underperform on the day.

The remaining documents we require are the following, and can be attached to an application as part of the submission of the application webform.

  • Achievement tests, if applicable, such as WIAT, UNSW, PAT Reading Comprehension, PAT Mathematics, ICAS competitions, Olympiad competitions, etc.
  • Current school report, if applicable.
  • NAPLAN results, if applicable.
  • Characteristics Questionnaire
  • Teacher Questionnaire – please send this form to your child’s current teacher to return to us.
  • Authority to Exchange Information – if you would like to authorise us to contact the psychologist, kindergarten teacher, or another service provider for a reference or contextual information in support of the application, please fill out this form authorising us to contact them.

Every child is unique and we consider the whole student before making our final decision. The more information you can give us, the better an understanding we will have.

Applicants who meet all the criteria may be interviewed and will be considered for an offer of place. Places are limited, so meeting the criteria does not guarantee an offer of place.

If your child

  • is motivated to learn,
  • asks complex questions,
  • digs deeper than expected,
  • is very curious, and
  • expresses a strong sense of social justice,

we encourage you to apply.

Enrolment Intake Application Timeline

31st January 2023 – Applications open

30th June 2023 – Applications close

Term 3 2023 – Interviews & Offers of Enrolment

Term 4 2023 – Welcome Packs & Transition Program

30th January 2024 – First day at Dara

The Application Journey

All applications must go through the same Application Journey. Please apply for the intake for which you wish to be considered, as there is no waitlist and enrolment is not deferred except in exceptional circumstances. Siblings will also need to go through the ordinary application process and will not be prioritised.

Application Form

Please be advised, you will not be able to save the form mid-entry.

The form consists of the following sections:

Short Answer Section

This section consists of the following four questions:

  • Describe the advanced abilities of your child.
  • What interests does your child enjoy exploring?
  • What challenges your child and how do they respond?
  • Why do you think Dara School may be a good fit for your child?

Supporting Evidence

Please provide all supporting documentation by close of applications (see Application Timelines above).

  • Psychologist’s report, in full, with cognitive ability test results.
  • Achievement tests, if applicable, such as WIAT, UNSW, PAT Reading Comprehension, PAT Mathematics, ICAS competitions, Olympiad competitions, etc.
  • Current school report, if applicable.
  • NAPLAN results, if applicable.
  • Characteristics Questionnaire.
  • Authority to Exchange Information – if you would like to authorise us to contact the psychologist, kindergarten teacher, or another service provider for a reference or contextual information in support of the application, please fill out this form authorising us to contact them.
  • Teacher Questionnaire – please send this form to your child’s current teacher to return to us.

Student Information and Parent/Caregiver Information

The last two sections of the form ask for information such as the student’s name and date of birth.

In this section, we request a photo of the student and ask whether the prospective student has any special educational needs. If the student has special educational needs, you may choose to provide documentation at this point which will help us to plan accordingly if an offer of enrolment is made.

Interviews

Interviews will be offered to select applicants.

What should I bring?

If you have been invited to an interview, please bring the student and any questions either of you have. If you have examples of student work, our teachers would love to see it, but this is not essential. The interview will be held by a panel comprised of the School Principal and another Dara School teacher, or two Dara School teachers if the Principal is unavailable. The interview will take approximately one hour. We look forward to meeting you.

Offers of Enrolment

After the panel has considered the application, an offer of enrolment may be made.

The enrolment form, any supporting documents as listed on the enrolment form, and the enrolment fee will be sent to you and are due two weeks from the date the offer is made. If you have any questions about this in advance, please contact us at enquiry@daraschool.sa.edu.au or on 08 8317 6020.

Welcome Packs

Welcome Packs will be sent out when the enrolments have been processed and will include information about the Transition Program. If you have any questions about this in advance, please contact us at enquiry@daraschool.sa.edu.au or on 08 8317 6020.

Transition Program

Transition visits are offered for newly enrolled students. More information will be provided closer to the date as part of the Welcome Pack for new families. If you have any questions about this in advance, please contact us at enquiry@daraschool.sa.edu.au or on 08 8317 6020.

Apply Now

Additional Questions

When are school tours?

A limited number of information evenings are scheduled for 2024. Otherwise, for a “feel” of the school, please view our Video Tour. If you have any questions, please contact us at 8317 6020 or enquiry@daraschool.sa.edu.au.

Can I make a time to see the Principal?

Unfortunately, Dr McInnes is unable to see every family who enquires about the school. You are welcome to contact us at 8317 6020 or enquiry@daraschool.sa.edu.au.

Is there a particular school you would recommend if we don’t receive an offer of enrolment from Dara?

We are the only R-12 Gifted Education school in Australia, and we are structured at every level around a student-driven model and subject-based ability grouping. Because of this, we are quite unique. Comparisons to other schools will vary depending on the aspects of the learning environment which are most important to your child and your family. We do not have a special relationship with any pre-schools or other schools locally.