At Blackwood High School teachers strive to provide teaching and learning programs that offer choice and challenge for all students. Those students who have been identified as ‘gifted’ are invited to take up the opportunities offered by differentiated programs at a faster rate than others.
What do we mean be demonstrating gifts and talents?
‘Giftedness’ is an outstanding ability in a range of areas which shows up with little or no systematic development. Students can be gifted in areas such as:
- Cognitive ability such as problem solving and analysis
- Creative strengths in the visual arts
- Interpersonal skills such as leadership
- Intrapersonal strengths evident in motivation and perseverance
- Skills in movement such as dance and physical sport
What do we mean by talented?
Talented refers to outstanding performance as a result of assistance, support and systematic development over time. Which can be provided through:
- A differentiated curriculum at school (extension, enrichment and acceleration)
- Support from home
- Special tuition and appropriate mentoring
- Appropriate skills and learning strategies
- Teaching or Coaching
How do we identify such students?
We select students for inclusion in our program in a variety of ways, namely:
- Standardised testing and interview
- Referral by primary school, subject teachers, parents and self-referral
We are aware that such students may not appear to be gifted in the narrower, cognitive sense of the word. They may well be high achieving and engaged students, but they may also be among those with learning and behavior difficulties. Identification of gifted students is an on-going process.
What do we offer these students?
Our program for gifted and talented students has three components: extension, enrichment and acceleration.
- Extension involves the provision of more advanced work within the existing subject frameworks.
Examples include mathematics workshops offered to selected mathematics students; activities offered in conjunction with TAFE; writing scripts, composing original music and other activities associated with our highly acclaimed Music/Drama productions or involvement in the various Science, Maths, Language and English competitions. Teachers differentiate their everyday teaching and learning programs to better serve the needs of our students.
- Enrichment – In 2013, identified Year 9 students will pursue an innovative enrichment course which encourages creative productivity by exposing them to a range of topics and fields of study. Students will be involved in real world problem solving through advanced content and higher order thinking skills.
- Acceleration (sometimes called “grade-skipping”) is undertaken when a student shows particular talent in a given school subject and moves up a year level in one or more subject. Such acceleration is not undertaken lightly and requires evidence of superior attainment at the previous level as well as a strong commitment to the challenge.
In addition our students are encouraged to participate in activities with other schools. We cooperate with other sites in the district, both state and private, to provide enrichment activities, for example Interschool debating, state-wide competitions and Tournament of Minds.
How can Parents/Caregivers support their children?
- Notify the school of any relevant previous psychological assessments of your children and young people
- Ask for a nomination form if you think that your student fits any of the gifted and talented categories
- Consult the Coordinator for the Gifted and Talented Program
- Contribute to our enrichment programme if you think that you have a special interest or skill that you can share with an individual or small group of students