At St Philip’s Christian College, we recognise that all students have gifts and individual learning needs, and so our college Gifted Education program has been designed to cater for students who have advanced academic learning needs.
Championing excellent outcomes for academically gifted students is the priority of our Gifted Education team. We provide a range of academic and affective programs for gifted students, K-12, because we understand that gifted students have specific needs that must be addressed in order to foster optimal talent development.
Identifying students’ giftedness is crucial. According to Gagne’s definition, giftedness is the potential to perform at a superior level when compared with age-peers, and talent is the manifestation of this gift, demonstrated through performance or product development. It is these gifted and talented students who are identified for programs lead by Gifted Education staff. At St Philip’s we practice school-wide, continuous data collection using a range of identification methods. We understand that parents and caregivers play an important role in the identification of gifted students, as they are often the first to realise that their child is developing at a different rate to other children of a similar age. Our staff are keen to develop strong home-school partnerships to ensure that students thrive, academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.
At St Philip’s, gifted and talented students are supported in a number of ways including providing:
- In-class differentiation, particularly in terms of challenge and pace;
- Grouping – students are clustered together in homerooms to enable like-minds to learn together;
- Staff who are trained in Gifted Education at post-graduate level;
- Full-time Advanced English and Mathematics classes, including accelerated Mathematics classes from Year 6;
- Full year and single-subject accelerations;
- A broad range of extra-curricular competitions and opportunities suitable for gifted learners, include activities such as Chess Club, Olympiads, Big Science Competition, Da Vinci Decathlon, Future Problem Solving, and University of Newcastle “High Performing Students Program” to name a few.
Our Gifted Education trained staff support class teachers and also provide individual and small group socio-emotional support and guidance to gifted students. They also work alongside Learning Support staff to support twice-exceptional learners.