Gifted and Talented Report
Newman Selective Gifted Education Program Assessment
Consistent with our commitment to promote excellence for all students, we acknowledge those students whose learning needs reflect particular gifts or talents and an ability to achieve beyond stage syllabus outcomes. As such, these students require differentiated learning activities and assessment which enables them to be challenged to achieve their potential.
Therefore, students who are part of the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program Years 7 to 10 Newman classes 1 and 2, must complete extension assessment tasks for both formative and summative assessment. Any student, who is not part of the Newman class, always has the option to access extension assessment. This opportunity to complete extension tasks can be initiated by the student or the teacher at any time.
The deep learning that occurs in the Newman classroom is complemented by the differentiated assessment tasks. Through the extension assessment tasks, students are able to demonstrate the higher order thinking and critical analysis that occurs in the classroom. This approach ensures students have an opportunity to extend their thinking and learning in order to meet their potential.
Newman Selective Gifted Education Program
It was wonderful to see many of the Year 7 parents with daughters in the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program onsite for a parent information evening. For those who missed it or for those parents who may not be familiar with the Newman Program, I have included key information in this newsletter.
The guiding principle of the Newman Gifted Education Program is based on contemporary research, which shows that gifted students are best placed academically, socially and emotionally with peers of similar ability for a significant proportion of their time at school
Goals of the Newman Program:
- Implement a program that addresses the academic, social and emotional needs of gifted students
- Establish a dedicated G&T Team to lead best practices across the school
- Enhance the capability of teachers and schools in the provision of high-quality gifted education
- Establish a program that is recognised as best practice in the provision of education for gifted students
School-wide we are committed to:
- Broad identification measures
- Differentiated instruction/classwork and extension formative and summative tasks
- Systematic tracking, reporting and celebration of student achievement
- A comprehensive G&T student register
- Opportunities for enrichment and extension outside of the classroom
- Celebrating the achievements of our G&T learners
Collection of Data in forming Newman Classes
At MSCW we use the following data for class placement”
- HAST Selective Test
- Allwell (all incoming students sit this test in Year 6)
- Psychometric testing (e.g. WISC IV)
- School reports
- PAT Reading Comprehension and Maths (off-level testing for those students achieving above their age peers)
- AGAT and CoGat
- Parent and teacher nominations
- Competition results including ICAS
From this process, Newman Class 1 and Newman Class 2 are created.
Please note: Core Newman classes and Maths Newman classes are different. A student may be in Core Newman Class 1 for English, Science, RE, HSIE/GEO but in Newman Class 2 for Maths.
Students who have been identified as gifted are added to our Gifted Register. Individual learning profiles are created for identified students. In addition to relevant data, students complete surveys about their learning preferences and interests to assist in developing these profiles.
- When grouping our students within the flexible groups we consider many factors and place the students in the most appropriate group based on their learning needs at that particular point in time.
- Students who are identified as being gifted will be provided appropriate opportunities across a range of curriculum areas or extracurricular activities to best meet their learning needs and learning styles.
- The delivery of this content is differentiated to ensure that the pace and complexity required by high potential learners are met.
Will Newman students be required to complete more work?
No. Newman students access higher-order thinking and concepts through differentiated assessment and learning opportunities.
Often we meet students who we see as underachieving. The best definition of underachievement is the disparity between the expected performance level (ability or potential) of a student, and the demonstrated performance level (achievement).
A whole-school approach to identifying and tracking the progress of Gifted Underachievers is in place.
Twice-exceptional (2e) students
Twice-exceptional (2e) students are gifted students who have one or more physical, social-emotional, behavioural or learning disabilities for example ASD, ADHD and hearing impairment.
To meet the specific social and emotional needs of gifted students, we have ongoing communication between House Coordinators, teachers, parents and the G&T Team. In addition, students are placed in the Newman classes for our unique Wellbeing Program, which addresses common affective characteristics of G&T learners including perfectionism, catastrophising and building resilience.
Achievement is celebrated regularly at MSCW through:
- Award Ceremonies
- Creative Arts Showcase Nights
- Newman Symposium (Every December)
“The unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates
Philosophy and iSTEM
AT MSCW we aim to give students the opportunity to pursue higher-order thinking. This year, we have offered new elective courses in Philosophy and iSTEM to meet the needs of these inquisitive minds.
The Year 9 Philosophy course has enabled MSCW students to ask searching questions and long for the ‘bigger picture’ of how that knowledge is justified and what it all means. Gifted students are naturally thoughtful – and this course, therefore, is designed to give such students the tools and skills they need to ‘think well’. That is, clearly, critically and creatively. It seeks to develop a capacity for sound and informed judgement, by training students in the techniques of argumentation and critical reasoning. It confronts students with authentic ethical, social and political dilemmas and challenges them to formulate consistent and rational solutions. It asks them to experiment with ideas and to express themselves in innovative and unconventional ways.
By teaching students to think more flexibly and analytically, the Philosophy course encourages a more tolerant and open-minded disposition. By immersing students in a culture of respectful debate and collective inquiry, it instils a capacity for collaboration and communication around complex conceptual problems.
In their study of Philosophy, students take up the challenge set by Socrates of leading an ‘examined life’. As such, this course will help them take responsibility for the ethical and practical commitments that will shape their decisions as citizens, decision-makers and leaders of the future.
iSTEM is an elective STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subject offered to Years 9 and 10 and is running for the first time in 2022 at MSCW. The elective iSTEM is based around teaching students STEM principles, which are often taught in schools as separate entities. Throughout the iSTEM course, students are taught how interrelated the principles of each of those key STEM subjects are and how to use principles from each subject area to solve problems. The elective course aims to challenge students to take risks and build important skills, such as problem-solving and critical thinking.
During the first week of the iSTEM course, students were presented with a challenge where they had to create a water tower with the brief that it must be able to hold 100 ml of water. Students used their prior knowledge and critical thinking skills to build a tower structure and were all successful in meeting the brief. As no other instructions were provided it was great to see the variety in the end design.
Best wishes to the following students who will represent MSCW in the CSDA Public Speaking Competition with Round One commencing on 25 February:
Jacinta da Silva
Mrs Rachael Colreavy, Gifted and Talented Coordinator
This article on College life meets The Archbishop’s Charter for Catholic Schools – Charter #2 & #6