A unique Sydney Catholic Schools support structure is in place to optimise learning for all students. High-quality inclusive education is provided for students with diverse learning profiles relating to: giftedness, speech, language, communication, vision, hearing, literacy acquisition and post-school pathways. Central and regional office diverse learning teams work with our classroom teachers to enhance their capacity to maximise learning outcomes for students. Specialists in these teams collaborate widely to consolidate an inclusive approach to learning. Each school also has dedicated learning support staff.
Sydney Catholic schools provide reasonable adjustments to assist and support students with disability to successfully engage in learning. All Sydney Catholic schools engage in the annual Nationally Consistent Collection for School Students with Disability. Students with moderate intellectual disabilities and complex developmental needs may benefit from the educational program at Eileen O’Connor Catholic College Lewisham.
Newman Selective Gifted Education Program
Exclusive to Sydney Catholic schools, the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program provides a clear educational pathway, underpinned by contemporary research, for identified gifted and talented students from Kindergarten to Year 12. Responding to the pace, depth and curriculum complexity required by gifted learners, students take part in a rigorous program with like-minded peers for a significant amount of time each week.
This not only assists with their academic growth but also their social and emotional wellbeing. To sustain a high-quality educational program, teachers undergo training in identifying gifted students and developing curriculum differentiation strategies. All ‘Newman Selective schools’ undergo a comprehensive accreditation process every three to four years.
At OLMC Burraneer we offer an enriched education for all students, providing encouragement and opportunities for girls to pursue talents, interests, and passions. Our staff takes pride in our commitment, mandate and mission to encourage each child in our care to be all that she can be.
As an accredited Newman School, this College has demonstrated that it meets Sydney Catholic Schools’ specific Newman Selective Gifted Education Program requirements of excellence in provision for the needs of students of high ability.
Accreditation as a Newman School requires significant ongoing commitment from school communities. No single approach is appropriate for all. Co-ordinated by our Newman Team, OLMC offers a multilayered approach to gifted education, based on our understanding that provision for girls of high ability in a range of domains requires more than academic challenge – it requires understanding of social and emotional needs, too. We seek to support the individual, in partnership with families, to develop her gifts (potential significantly above average) into demonstrated talents (skills significantly above average). Targeted responses to identified individual student needs are based on communication and collaboration between teachers, the students themselves, and their parents. Some examples of structures in place for gifted students at OLMC are:
- Ongoing whole staff teacher professional development
- A differentiated curriculum, encompassing a range of gifted domains (including intellectual, creative, social, perceptual, and physical)
- Skilled use of data to identify individual needs
- The provision of a Newman Stream of like-minded students in each year group (an academically streamed class for students of high ability in several domains), taught by teachers who have undertaken professional learning in meeting the academic and social needs of these students.
- Pre-selection processes for inclusion in our Newman Stream, including a higher ability selection test, for students prior to Year 7 entry to the College. (This preselection process is based on parent nomination: information is available for parents upon enrolment)
Our guiding principle for the concept of a Newman Stream is that
‘Gifted learners are best placed academically, socially, and emotionally when they are with like-ability peers for a significant proportion of their time at school.’
To sustain a high-quality educational program, teachers undergo training in identifying gifted students and developing curriculum differentiation strategies. All ‘Newman Selective schools’ undergo a comprehensive accreditation process within four years.