Gold Creek School

An ACT Public School


Gifted & Talented

Gifted and Talented Procedures

Gold Creek School recognises gifted and talented students as having unique educational needs. Our commitment is to meet the needs of gifted and talented students so as to maximise their potential and achievement.  This involves identifying and fostering their innate abilities (gifts) and creating the conditions for achievement (talent) to thrive.

Gold Creek School follows the ACT Department of Education and Training ‘Gifted and Talented Students’ policy. As outlined in the Department’s policy.

Catering for Gifted and Talented Students

Students identified as gifted and talented will be flexibly grouped with like-minded peers. This may include clustering of students in a class, regrouping across classes or targeted groupings, according to their abilities and talents in the PYP, and MYP curriculum.

Gold Creek School caters for the needs of gifted and talented students and provides enrichment and extension opportunities for all students. This includes:

  • Engaging students in appropriately challenging learning experiences
  • Building teachers’ capacities to understand, engage and extend gifted and talented students in their learning
  • Attending to students’ social-emotional and intellectual capacities.

ACT Directorate Gifted and Talented Policy uses the following definitions:

Giftedness refers to a student’s outstanding, innate ability in one or more of the following domains: intellectual, creative, socioaffective or sensorimotor (Gagné, 2007). Feldhusen (1993) identifies five levels of giftedness: mild, moderate, high, exceptional and profound. A student may display particular abilities at any stage or point in their schooling.’

Talent refers to outstanding performance in one or more of the following fields: academic, the arts, business, leisure, social action, sports and technology (Gagné, 2003). Talent emerges from giftedness as a consequence of the student’s learning experiences.

Overseeing Gifted and Talented Students at Gold Creek School

The Gifted and Talented team are responsible for overseeing school wide practice and for informing staff of relevant issues.

The school recognises that some students may actively disguise their abilities to avoid appearing different, or to avoid the negative attitudes of others. The school makes a concerted effort to avoid labelling and stereotyping these students and to build a positive culture of achievement through recognition of merit and effort.

We take advantage of our school structure with a shared primary campus, a senior school and strong relationships with local colleges, to include opportunities such as vertical extension, the use of special facilities and cross age tutoring. The PYP and MYP curriculum provides for the needs of gifted and talented students and is academically rigorous and intellectually stimulating. The enrichment programmes offered at Gold Creek School include, for example: competitions; leadership programs; musical bands, ensembles and choirs; GATEWAYS workshops; Tournament of Minds, Da Vinci Decathlon, UNSW Competitions, Philosophy, Debating, Dance competitions, Musical Productions and sporting teams.

Together, the IB PYP and MYP Curriculum and enrichment programmes offered at Gold Creek School are sufficiently flexible to meet the individual educational, social and emotional needs of our gifted and talented students.

Professional development and induction of staff is essential for catering to the needs of gifted and talented students. The school strives to build the capacity of all teachers to differentiate according to the needs and talents of all students.

Identification

Common Characteristics of Gifted Students

Features which can distinguish gifted and talented students may become apparent from an early age. Silverman (1993) provides a useful generalisation of some of the intellectual and associated personality characteristics of gifted students. Not all of these features are exclusive to gifted and talented students, but gifted and talented students possess them to a greater degree.

Intellectual Traits

  • Exceptional reasoning ability
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Learns rapidly
  • Facility for abstraction
  • Complex thoughts processes
  • Vivid imagination
  • Early moral concern
  • Passion for learning
  • Powers of concentration
  • Analytical thinking
  • Divergent thinking and/or creativity
  • Keen sense of justice
  • Capacity for reflection

Personality Traits

  • Insightful
  • Needs to understand
  • Need for mental stimulation
  • Perfectionism
  • Need for precision and logic
  • Excellent sense of humour
  • Sensitivity and/or empathy
  • Intensity
  • Perseverance
  • Acute self-awareness
  • Non conformity
  • Questioning rules and authority
  • Tendency to introversion

Some negative traits may include:

  • Stubbornness
  • Non participation in class activities
  • Uncooperativeness
  • Cynicism
  • Sloppiness and disorganisation
  • Emotional frustration
  • Absent mindedness
  • Low interest in detail

Gold Creek School recognises that sometimes gifts and talents may not be readily apparent.  Gifted and talented students may:

  • be from non-English speaking backgrounds
  • be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • be socio-economically disadvantaged
  • have physical and/or sensory disabilities
  • have specific learning difficulties
  • have social, emotional or behavioural difficulties
  • be underachievers.

Parents and teachers can nominate students for further differentiation, according to their gifts and talents, using a combination of the following measures. Students can also request a discussion with the Gifted and Talented Coordinators around further support to challenge them in areas they have identified as their strengths.

Nomination Procedures

Applications can be made to the Gifted and Talented Coordinator on both the Junior and Senior sites.

Parents

Parents need to complete the application form, provide a nomination letter describing the areas of giftedness or talent and complete the behaviour rubric. This should be supported by either an IQ test (WIPS II, WISC IV, Stanford Binet 5) or three pieces of evidence from the list below:

Academic: achievement in the top 5% of statewide and national competitions e.g. UNSW, AMC

Academic: NAPLAN achievement in the top 5% of students in Australia for the year level

Academic: Achievement in top 5% of students in schoolwide ACER testing.

Sport: IAS entry, ACT representative level or above

Music and Dance: performance in exams or competitions e.g. top 5% in advanced for age levels.

Leadership: Demonstrated high levels of initiative, confidence, ability to motivate and influence others e.g debating, ACT Rostrum finalist, conference organiser, school captain etc.

Other: Demonstrated performance or ability in other academic or creative fields in the top 5% in advanced for age levels.

Teachers

Teachers need to complete the Teacher Nomination Form and provide evidence to support their recommendation.  This can include Above Year Level Testing, competition results such as Assessment for Schools (ICAS), Australian Mathematics Competition, NAPLAN, reading benchmarks, PIPS, work samples and classroom observations.

Students

Students can self nominate through conversations with their teachers.

Role of G&T Coordinators

The Gifted and Talented (G&T) Coordinators will oversee and implement procedures for identifying students with academic and creative giftedness. The Purdue Academic Rating Scales (PARS) will be used to get feedback from the student’s teachers. The application is reviewed by a panel (including G & T coordinator, Associate Principal, Year Executive and school psychologist) and parents are notified following the panel review. The G&T coordinator may also use the Otis Lennon School Ability test (OLSAT 8) or request IQ testing to

determine students’ giftedness in verbal and nonverbal abilities to provide further evidence as needed (eg when considering subject acceleration, grade skipping etc.).

The G&T Coordinators will collaborate with and provide coaching for classroom teachers on strategies for meeting students’ special needs relative to their

individual gifted and talented abilities. An Individual Learning Plan (ILP) may be developed for identified students.

The criteria for identification is made available to parents on the school’s website, in enrolment packs and at information evenings. Criteria are reviewed each year to ensure our processes are transparent and rigorous.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Mildly gifted students represent the top 4-10% of the population and Moderate to Profoundly Gifted students represents the top 3% of the population.  It is important to acknowledge the difference in levels of giftedness when differentiating and working with our students.

Curriculum differentiation for gifted and talented students may include modified learning tasks and groupings and individual learning plans as appropriate to the needs of the student as outlined below.

  • Individual Learning Plans. These are developed, implemented and reviewed in conjunction with teachers, parents and carers, the Gifted and Talented Coordinator, and the student, generally in Terms 1 and 3.  The Individual Learning Plan details the specific needs and measures which will be taken to extend and support the student.
  • Early entry to school or preschool. Parents may discuss this option with the principal and/or gifted and talented team who will facilitate an application to the Department of Education. An IQ test and other evidence is required. Early entry requirements can be found at http://www.det.act.gov.au/publications_and_policies/policy_a-z
  • Curriculum compacting.  By using diagnostic and class based pre and summative testing, the teacher can work out what the student knows and plan the program to miss or compact the areas the student has already mastered.
  • Individual Research. This may include the posing of open-ended questions, activities, projects and individual research assignments.
  • Establishing mentors for the student within the school and outside, for example students working with specialist teachers above their year levels or working with university coaches who come into the school.
  • Subject Acceleration. Students may work with an older or more advanced class in particular areas.
  • Grade skipping. Where a student is working significantly above their age cohort in all areas, is confident, resilient and shows sufficient maturity, this option may be considered in consultation with the principal.

Students who are gifted or talented in a non-academic area only, will have differentiation and extension arrangements made as part of their mainstream placement at Gold Creek School.

Development of social and emotional skills and team work remains a central focus of any program for gifted and talented students. Learning is monitored through the ILP process and/or formative assessment data collected by the classroom teacher.

Supporting documentation:

ACT Directorate Gifted and Talented Policy

Application form

Teacher nomination form

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