THE NEWMAN SELECTIVE GIFTED EDUCATION PROGRAM

Sydney Catholic Schools initiated the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program in 2011 as a response to ensuring educational equity was achieved for gifted learners in both Catholic primary and secondary schools.

Newman schools provide high-quality professional learning for staff and an authentically rigorous program for gifted learners within a nurturing Catholic environment, providing holistic support for these students.

Newman Selective Gifted Education Program schools offer a wide range of opportunities that cater for a variety of gifted learners and support students’ social and emotional needs. By focusing on gifted students’ strengths, the program supports all gifted students, including twice exceptional, Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and underachievers.

Gifted Education is the provision of a range of developmentally appropriate curriculum strategies for students who demonstrate high ability in one or more domains. These domains may include intellectual, creative, social and physical.

Sydney Catholic Schools adopts Gagné’s definition of gifted and talented and the Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (2019).

  • Gifted: refers to a students’ natural ability in one or more domains, placing that student in the top 10 percent of age peers;
  • Talent: refers to the performance in one or more domains that places a student in the top 10 percent of age peers.

These research-based definitions are significant in the teaching and learning of high ability students, and are at the core of Sydney Catholic Schools’ Gifted Education Policy.

  • There are 80 Newman schools across the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, supporting a pathway for students from Kindergarten to Year 12;
  • The program is run by staff who have dedicated training in the field of gifted education;
  • Academics and psychologists specialising in gifted education contribute to the development and delivery of the program;
  • Students are assessed across a range of gifted domains in order to access the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program, and their progress is comprehensively evaluated;
  • Based on the identification of student needs, rigorous differentiated learning is delivered in the classroom to provide appropriate challenges through greater depth, breadth, and complexity;
  • Newman students are identified by triangulating information from multiple objective and subjective measures, such as parent and teacher nomination, the Higher Ability Selective Test (HAST), standardised testing and other data collated by teachers;
  • In addition to students being extended in class, students are provided opportunities to participate in various enrichment activities, such as creative and performing arts, coding and computational skills, rich literature experiences, Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) initiatives and robotics;
  • Newman Selective Gifted Education Program Symposiums are held annually to celebrate student learning;
  • To ensure a high quality educational program, all Newman Selective Gifted Education Program schools undergo a comprehensive accreditation process and also must undergo re-accreditation every four years.