Schools effectively demonstrated a clear understanding of the system approach to gifted education and its development in their school context. The collation and analysis of a range of data was used to inform and evaluate the school focus for this year.
It was great to see the schools at different stages of their journey so openly and transparently sharing their data and their learnings. This resulted in an authentic learning experience for everyone. Staff from non-GEL schools and schools joining this year who were inspired by the work attended the share-day presentations. The system and school approach to gifted education is coordinated, evidence-based and is having a positive effect on all our students.
Even following a system approach, schools customise their action research depending on their school context and strategic plan. Various action research questions were answered. Following two years of staff professional learning and data from staff surveys, Holy Name at Forster reflected on the question: “How effective are tiered teaching programs in Mathematics in maximising student growth for all learners?”
Holy Name demonstrated an extensive analysis of ACER PAT data using scaled scores from 2017-2019 on a cohort of students, and measured growth. “This action research will continue at Holy Name in 2020, to further equip teachers with the skills to differentiate and continue to build teacher confidence and increase consistency of practice across classrooms,” said Gary Pomplun, Gifted Education Mentor.
St Columba’s at Adamstown and Holy Family at Merewether Beach, reflected on the question: “To what extent has connecting mathematical concepts (through the sub strands) impacted on student engagement for all students, especially gifted learners?”
At St Joseph’s College, Lochinvar, there was a focus on “How could we combat underachievement in gifted students — specifically boys?”, and St Joseph’s, Merewether, analysed “the impact of a targeted vocabulary intervention on a group of gifted writers using ACER PAT vocabulary to pre and post-test”.
Appreciation is expressed for the hard work and commitment of everyone involved in the Gifted Education Lead Schools sharing days. The learning gained will enhance and strengthen the system-wide approach to providing the educational opportunities that our gifted students deserve.
“The sharing days displayed a wonderful understanding by schools of the need and the benefits of providing additional opportunities for our gifted learners,” said Chris Quinn, Assistant Director of Schools. “It has also enhanced teacher collaboration and partnership with regard to gifted education. Well done to all schools that presented.”