Our Lady of Good Counsel School’s Enrichment Program aims to assist gifted or talented students in Years 3-6 by providing academic extension through the application of creative and critical thinking skills and higher order thinking skills.
“All students regardless of race, age or gender, by virtue of their dignity as human persons,
have a right to an education that is suited to their particular needs and adapted to this ability.”
Gravissimum Educationis.nl 1965
Declaration on Christian Education Pope Paul V1.
Testing, using a variety of assessments, has shown that all students benefit from additional support to further develop their academic potential. Children with exceptional abilities need access to appropriate programs to meet their learning needs. Students can then be supported and challenged to develop their gifts and to become talents within our school system.
Gifted and Talented students’ abilities should be accepted, valued and fostered by all.
Gagne’s (2008) definition differentiates between natural abilities (gifts or aptitudes) and systematically developed skills (talents).
Giftedness can be defined as “the potential to perform at a level significantly beyond what might be expected from one’s age peers in any area of human ability.“
Talent is “an achievement at a level significantly beyond what might be expected from age- peers”. It should be noted that children can be gifted but may not have had the opportunity to be talented. Students eligible for selection in the withdrawal extension program are those who excel or have the potential to excel in general or specific ability areas such as English, Mathematics or Science (see ‘Identification’ below). Students may, or may not, be deeply motivated, highly able or show their abilities in a variety of ways that may not be readily apparent without the use of diagnostic testing.
Prof. Françoys Gagne (2012) notes that talent development is formally defined as the systematic pursuit by students, over a significant period of time, of a structured program of activities leading to a specific excellence goal, in short, attaining talent (competency) in a field. The Developmental Model of Giftedness and Talent shows factors that allow this to occur.
Gagné, F. (2009). Building gifts into talents: Detailed overview of the DMGT 2.0. In B. MacFarlane, & T. Stambaugh, (Eds.), Leading change in gifted education: The festschrift of Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.
Enrichment at Our Lady of Good Counsel School
Our Lady of Good Counsel School’s Enrichment Program will endeavour to provide units or work that allow for the development and understanding of how gifts grow into talents.
Students eligible for selection into the Enrichment Program are those who excel or have the potential to excel in general academic or specific ability areas such as English, mathematics or science (see ‘Identification’ below). Enrichment will assist in the journey from ‘Gifted’ (natural abilities) to ‘Talented’ (competencies) by providing the appropriate environmental catalyst, developmental process and assistance with intrapersonal development. Students may, or may not, be deeply motivated, highly able or show their abilities in a variety of ways that may not be readily apparent without the use of diagnostic testing.
Ongoing inclusion in the program is not guaranteed. Rather, it will be dependent on a student’s ability to maintain the standard of work in his/her regular classes as well as the Enrichment Program. Review will occur each term with the classroom teacher and the enrichment teacher. The Enrichment Program is in addition to standard classroom programs, all Enrichment activities should be undertaken and completed in class time. It should be noted that it is possible that the regular classroom teacher may not have sufficient evidence to allocate a grade on the class they are forfeiting to attend the Enrichment Program.
The Enrichment Program aims to:
Provide more positive educational outcomes for gifted students through:
- appropriate identification using diagnostic testing
- provision of well-planned extension (class withdrawal) programs
- provision for early identification
- provision of external opportunities when possible and appropriate
- individual support where appropriate
- inclusion of students in relevant competitions and experiences external to St Peter’s Primary School
- ongoing professional development of the Gift and Talented Teacher, all staff and others as appropriate, in the area of gifted education
- network meetings in schools and relevant organisations including Catholic Education WA (CEWA) and other Independent and Department of Education schools.
IDENTIFICATION (Years 4 – 6)
Inclusion in the program in Years 3-6 will be considered according to:
- diagnostic testing (e.g. AGATand other relevant testing)
- standardised testing such as NAPLAN and On Entry Assessment
- student and parent commitment to learning
- external psychometric testing by a practicing psychologist (i.e. WISC or Stanford Binet)
- teacher support
- Principal approval
PROVISION (Years 3 – 6) Appropriate provision could include a combination of the following:
- inclusion in a weekly withdrawal extension program
- inclusion of students in relevant competitions and experiences external to Our Lady of Good Counsel School.
Enrichment PROGRAM FORMAT (Years 4 – 6)
Identified students in Years 4-6 will be withdrawn.
The activities undertaken in these classes will involve the further development of a variety of skills including:
- independent working skills
- higher order thinking skills
- research skills
- problem solving skills
- self confidence
- intrinsic motivation
ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION (Years 4 – 6)
Students will be assessed using:
- anecdotal records
- teacher feedback
Australian Council for Educational Research
ACER General Ability Tests (AGAT). The ACER General Ability Tests (AGAT) is a series of tests designed to assist teachers of students aged seven to sixteen years (approximately Year 2 to Year 10) in their assessment of students’ general reasoning ability. There are nine AGAT tests that have been developed especially for use in schools. Each of the tests assesses students’ reasoning skills in three areas:
- Abstract (visual )
COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF GIFTED INDIVIDUALS
Because gifted children are so diverse, not all exhibit all characteristics all of the time. However, there are common characteristics that many gifted individuals share:
- unusual alertness, even in infancy
- rapid learner; puts thoughts together quickly
- excellent memory
- unusually large vocabulary and complex sentence structure for age
- advanced comprehension of word nuances, metaphors and abstract ideas
- enjoys solving problems, especially with numbers and puzzles
- often self-taught reading and writing skills as pre-schooler
- deep, intense feelings and reactions
- highly sensitive
- thinking is abstract, complex, logical and insightful
- idealism and sense of justice at early age
- concern with social and political issues and injustices
- longer attention span and intense concentration
- preoccupied with own thoughts—daydreamer
- learn basic skills quickly and with little practice
- ask probing questions
- wide range of interests (or extreme focus in one area)
- highly developed curiosity
- interest in experimenting and doing things differently
- puts ideas or things together that are not typical
- keen and/or unusual sense of humour
- desire to organise people/things through games or complex schemas
- vivid imagination (and imaginary playmates when in preschool)
Webb, J., Gore, J., Amend, E., DeVries, A. (2007). A parent’s guide to gifted children. Tuscon, AZ: Great Potential Press
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