Gifted and Talented Program
This policy is to be used in conjunction with the document Policy and implementation strategies for the education of gifted and talented students (NSW DET, 2004)
Engadine High School is a comprehensive High School in Sydney catering for the learning needs of students with differing abilities. We have a culture based on learning in a stimulating, respectful and safe environment. The staff is experienced and dedicated to providing the best possible learning opportunities for all students as well as continually engaging in their own professional development.
In recognising the diverse abilities of our students we acknowledge and accept our responsibility to select and implement a variety of teaching strategies for inclusion in programs for the range of gifted and talented students in our classes. We seek to identify the gifted and talented students in our school community and promote their abilities. Gifted and talented students have many possibilities to enhance their learning in academic, leadership, performing arts and sporting avenues.
Across the school, outcomes and standards have been implemented in all academic areas to provide a basis for Stages 4, 5 and 6 in the learning continuum and in assessment for learning. Our gifted and talented policy recognises the benefits of the comprehensive nature of our school whilst reinforcing the underlying value we place on learning for all, with differentiated programming and specific targeting for enrichment and extension of gifted and talented students.
Gifted students are those who possess or display outstanding potential and ability in one or more of the following domains: intellectual, creative, social and physical.
Talented students are those whose skills are distinctly above average in one or more areas of human activity. Talent emerges from ability as a consequence of the student’s learning experience.
Underachievement is defined as a discrepancy between a student’s school performance and some index of the student’s natural ability.
A gifted and talented committee will co-ordinate gifted educational outcomes and provisions. The chair of the committee should be a member of the Learning Support team whose role will be to track the progress of individual students.
The role of this committee is to access and disperse resources and strategies to: organise identification programs;
- develop and evaluate gifted and talented educational programs;
- contribute to the professional learning of staff;
- monitor and track school and faculty programs;
- mentor, monitor and track student development;
- facilitate the identification of students to be accelerated through the curriculum;
- participate in professional development and share the information with staff at staff meetings.
The gifted and talented committee will assist faculties to provide opportunity for gifted and talented students to:
- complete extra, more challenging learning experiences;
- enter externally based competitions;
- communicate and develop links with gifted and talented students from other local high schools and participate in faculty gifted and talented workshops.
- participate in co-curricular opportunities including performing arts, leadership, environment, values education, technology and sport.
Participation in extra-curricular gifted and talented events will be via self nomination, peer nomination, teacher nomination and Head Teacher invitation. All student places will be judged and approved by the faculty Head Teacher.
Implementation of the Gifted and Talented Policy in School Structures
Engadine High School has established two selective classes for better performing students in Years 7 -10, predominantly in core subjects.
In order to secure a position in one of the selective classes, Year 6 students will sit a test in literacy, numeracy and writing. The results from this test AND information from primary schools is used to form the two selective classes and also identify students in need of learning support. Primary schools and parents also provide us with information about any welfare issues to assist us to place students in classes where they will flourish. Every effort is made to ensure appropriate class placement to suit the needs and talents of students. This policy is widely publicised in writing to parents and primary schools.
Faculties will develop and implement appropriate learning tasks to further nurture the talent of the gifted and/or talented student of their subject area in these selective classes. Faculties are also encouraged to manipulate existing teaching programs so the student’s needs are being met without withdrawing them from the classroom. Students are expected to complete their class tasks to an outstanding level of achievement and where appropriate, complete extension tasks to the best of their ability. The purpose of extension and enrichment tasks is to provide the appropriate level of academic challenge to cater for the intellectual and socio-economical needs of the gifted and talented student. This will be evident through a variety of open-ended and/or student centred tasks.
Parents are invited to inform the school of their child’s gifted and talented abilities upon enrolment. They are also invited to nominate their child for participation in any of our performing arts, sport, leadership and/or other co-curricular programs.
Faculties and members of staff will identify and nominate students who possess talents and ability beyond their current stage of development. Staff will identify the student’s strengths and weaknesses in the above domains. Parents and students will also be encouraged to nominate for enrichment and extension activities.
The correct process for nominating a student as gifted is by completing a referral to the learning Support team. This will be discussed at a meeting and appropriate steps implemented through the School Counsellor and parents. (See policy for detailed approaches to be adopted) Should a student be nominated for acceleration by parents and/or teaching staff an interview will occur. This interview will involve the School Principal, parent and student and on occasions the school counsellor. The accelerated student should be performing above average of the stage of development they would enter. The student’s progress, welfare and place in the nominated Year group will be monitored and evaluated periodically by the welfare support staff (Year advisor, school counsellor and Deputy Principal) based on academic achievement, academic progress, welfare and social development.