The Gifted and Talented programme aims to provide an intellectually stimulating learning environment which challenges and inspires students and fosters their love of learning. Academically gifted students are specifically catered for with a range of rigorous extension programmes. Identifying students who would benefit from these programmes is a continuous process throughout the students' time at school.
JUNIOR SCHOOL - ACADEMIC CENTRE FOR ENRICHMENT
Addressing Individual Student Needs -
ACE Programmes are available to a select group of students whilst enrichment opportunities are available to all students within the classroom. St Mary’s prides itself on delivering a differentiated curriculum in all year levels. The programmes offered by ACE take place on a withdrawal basis. Students from each cohort (Kindy – Year 6) are selected to participate in the various programmes. The selection process we adopt is both transparent and thorough in its approach. All students in the Early Years are exposed to additional opportunities for enrichment beyond the classroom curriculum. Students are selected for a specialised programme when they have demonstrated a particular interest or talent in the area being explored. Students in the Early Years may be given the opportunity to work with older like-minded peers where appropriate on an area of interest.
The Gagne Model of Gifted Education was selected as the underlying theory behind our programme structure. We believe all students have personal strengths, while those who are gifted are placed in the top 10%. Gagne (2009) defines giftedness as the possession of natural abilities or aptitudes at levels significantly beyond what might be expected for one’s age, in any domain of human ability. ‘Giftedness’ defines outstanding potential rather than outstanding performance, usually in multiple areas. ‘Talent’ is defined as achievement or performance at a level significantly beyond what might be expected at a given age.
Aims of ACE Programmes -
Girls are encouraged to participate in a broad range of extracurricular activities to develop their talents further. In recent years these have included collaborative programmes with universities, specialised workshops, subject specific camps, research projects and competitions.