skip to Main Content

Learning Extension and Acceleration Programme (LEAP)

Our focus is Learning Extension and Acceleration.  This is the heart of our response to learners who have learning and teaching needs that are different from their age level peers.


Students for EXTENSION are selected through a rigorous process of school testing (including the Canterbury University entrance test, parent and feeder school feedback and other informal measures.  These programmes offer access to a faster pace of learning and wider content areas.

Where appropriate we offer multi-level courses (including flexible NCEA levels of study), early entrance to University through the study of distance papers, a broad range of challenge extra-curricular activities (for example Model United Nations and Environment Group) and access to national and international competitions.


Students who are supported through our ACCELERATION programme need support in single or multiple areas to achieve to their maximum.  We seek to accelerate their pace of learning to help them catch up, meet and exceed age-appropriate targets.

In 2015, Rutherford College moved away from a streaming model where our most vulnerable students were in two classes traditionally seen as “learning support”.

We now use the “clustering” model where we group students according to their need and support with smaller numbers, teacher aides, achievement tracking and outside agency support where most appropriate.

In many occasions students do not struggle with all aspects of the curriculum at the same time and we believe they have the right to have access to a rich, quality curriculum in a supported environment.

In Years 11 to 13, students with learning challenges that impact their progress with NCEA are also supported through special assessment conditions.  These are applied for through the LEAP department.

Back To Top