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Gifted students

Fresh minds gate

Rationale

At Freshwater State School this policy serves students who have demonstrated capacity to have a higher intellectual potential or have been identified as having a higher intellectual potential. This policy serves as a guide for teachers and parents with knowledge and understanding of our school processes.

Our vision for these students is that:

  • They feel valued in a learning community.
  • We provide opportunities for them to pursue excellence and develop a passion for lifelong learning.

Objectives:

  • To optimise the development of the potential of each gifted student regardless of ethnicity, location, (dis)ability, gender or economic status.
  • To promote, in the school community, the awareness and understanding of giftedness.
  • To provide access to differentiated curriculum inclusive of their learning styles and pace of learning.
  • To develop effective partnerships with parents/carers, students, teachers, education administrators and the community in supporting quality educational outcomes for gifted students.

Understanding giftedness

An understanding of the nature of giftedness is fundamental in driving identification and provision for the gifted. Our definition of giftedness and talent is based on gagne's (2003) differential model of giftedness and talent.

Gifted students are those whose potential is distinctly above average (in the top 10%) in one or more of the following domains of human ability: intellectual, creative, social and physical.

Talented students are those whose skills are distinctly above average (in the top 10%) in one or more areas of human performance.

The key to gagne's view of giftedness lies in the fact that it defines outstanding potential rather than outstanding performance. Gagne suggests that these two terms should be used selectively to distinguish two different stages in a highly able student's journey from high potential to high performance.

Fresh minds enrichment program

The Fresh Minds Enrichment Program aims to support teachers in classrooms to effectively cater for their most talented students. A variety of competitions and workshops to cater for talented students in various curriculum areas is offered each year, including the following: Leadership Development Programs to give students the self-confidence to succeed; Reader’s Cup where students are asked to read eight books and answer questions about them in a regional competition; the Rotary Speaking Competition in which students represent the school to compete against other schools across the region; Show Camp where one of our students is chosen to go to the Brisbane Exhibition and in their role as a journalist, reports on the daily happenings at this major event, Coding Club where students learn about coding through the use of Scratch and Robotics; access to the Academicus/Quest Program offered through JCU and finally national competitions in Maths and English where many students from Years 3 to 6 challenge themselves to solve complicated problems and critically analyse a range of texts with many distinctions and credits usually being received by our students.
Support for teachers in preparation for Naplan in Years 3 and 5 is always a major focus in Terms 1 and 2, with the Learning Support and Master Teachers providing extension activities in reading, writing and Maths. The focus then shifts to Years 2, 4 and 6 in Terms 3 and 4. Identified student clusters across year levels will also continue to be a priority and programs implemented for their specific needs.
Over the last few years, FSS has been involved in an Enrichment Program which caters for talented students in Science Sustainability. Run by Holloways Beach Environmental Education Centre, the project demands that selected students each undertake a research project where solutions are found to environmental issues impacting on the Barron River catchment. Students choose their own project and produce an action plan in providing solutions to real world problems. Students then present their action plans to their parents and Industry Representatives from throughout the region in an evening at the Council Chambers. Many of these ideas have resulted in environmental changes to practice being enacted by Council and other interest groups.
Freshwater State School is committed to providing opportunities for talented students across a range of curriculum offerings. Our school looks forward to working with parents to achieve the best outcomes for our students.