Teachers experience high-quality professional learning in gifted education that allows them to engage in best practices to enhance the teaching and learning in their schools.
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.