Gifted and talented education

Gifted and Talented Education at Charles Weston School Coombs

At Charles Weston School Coombs we are guided by the current ACTED Gifted and Talented Students Policy (2014). If you have any questions about gifted and talented education at CWSC, whether or not about your child, please contact the school’s Gifted and Talented Liaison Officer (GaTLO), Helen Del Guzzo by email (helen.delguzzo@ed.act.edu.au) or by calling the school and leaving a message with our administration staff.

Inclusion

At Charles Weston we value inclusion. All students, especially those with additional needs, are supported to engage in high-challenge learning tasks with a cohort of peers.

Giftedness

At CWSC, giftedness is defined according to Gagne’s DMGT (as per Directorate policy) and is viewed as an additional need that must be catered for in order for students to reach their potential.

Identification

Identification of gifted students involves gathering data using objective and subjective measures of both ability and achievement in order to  build a picture of the strengths and needs of the whole child.

 

Objective

Subjective

Ability

Group- administered ability test at least twice in K-6

Teacher observations and nominations

Peer nominations

Parent nominations

Self nominations

Achievement

Various benchmarked Mathematics and reading assessments (including NAPLAN)

Classroom-based assessments and observations

Case Management approach

All identification evidence is analysed by the Student Achievement Team in order to:

  • Determine the best possible interventions to meet the needs and strengths of gifted students, and
  • Evaluate and review current measures being taken.

The Student Achievement Team consists of the Disability Education Coordinator, the GaTLO, the School Psychologist and the Deputy Principal. They periodically review schoolwide achievement data with an aim to maximise the academic, social and emotional progress of all students. Gifted students are analysed particularly closely in order to minimise underachievement.

Grouping

Where possible, gifted students are placed in cluster groups within classes, or given the opportunity to work with each other on group projects across classes.

Programming (extension, enrichment and acceleration)

Enrichment

The Australian Curriculum is taught through rich inquiry pedagogy across CWSC, which meets many of the requirements for effective differentiation for gifted students. Specific examples of differentiation of content, process, product and learning environment can be found below (from Possibilities for Learning).

Content

Abstractness

Complexity

Extracurricular topics

Lives & living

[Re-]Organization for learning value

Real-life topics

Self-selected content

Process

Complex thinking

Expert methods of inquiry

Individual pursuits

Inquiry-based learning

Open-ended experiences

Flexible pacing

Reflecting & debriefing

Self-selected process

Variety

Product

Authentic audiences

Feedback & evaluation

Self-selected products

Transformations

Variety

Learning Environment

Accepting

Complex

Flexible

High mobility

Independent

Learner-centered

Open

Flexible groupings

Extension

Throughout the year, various extension opportunities are offered to gifted students. The AMT Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians and the subsequent Enrichment are excellent extension opportunities offered at CWSC.

The APSMO Mathematics Olympiad is a great opportunity for students in years 5/6.

The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competition is something we encourage our students to enter and hope to expand our interest in in the future.

Students/families can choose to do ICAS testing.

Acceleration

There are many different forms of acceleration, and at CWSC we are open to exploring all possibilities, including early entry to preschool, Kindergarten or year 1, curriculum compacting, telescoping curriculum, single subject acceleration, and whole grade acceleration. Decisions about acceleration are ultimately made by the Principal, in consultation with the Student Achievement Team, which includes the school psychologist, the Disability Education Coordinator, and using a range of available evidence.

Planning/Assessment/Reporting

Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) will be developed for (and where appropriate, with) all students who have been whole grade or subject accelerated, students identified as twice exceptional, and students recommended through the case management approach. ILPs will be overseen and coordinated by the GaTLO and the leadership team, and will be reviewed at least annually. The reporting process for students identified as gifted is the same as for other students in their academic cohort- their summative reports will be made against achievement standards for the subject and year level that they have been taught, with reference to any specific reportable goals identified in the student’s ILP.