‘I have come that they may have life and have it to the full’ John 10:10
The Gifted Education Policy for systemic Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney is set within the context of the Church’s mission to evangelise, and is founded upon the Vision and Mission Statements and the Archbishop’s Charter for Catholic Schools.
Pope Francis in his book ‘Education for Choosing Life’ refers to education as ‘an act of hope’. Faith and the Christian vision of humanity fuel that hope. As partners in Catholic Education, Sydney Catholic Schools are committed to supporting this challenge by Pope Francis to fuel hope in all our students through fostering the attainment of their full human potential.
Our Archbishop’s Charter amplifies this challenge in item 2, where our schools are called to:
“Nurture students’ love of learning through a Catholic pedagogy that fosters the development of the intellect, moral knowledge, understanding and reasoning in a relational, social and cultural context.”
(The Archbishop’s Charter for Catholic Schools, Archdiocese of Sydney, Item 2, July 2011)
According to Gagne’s definitions and model (2009) gifted students represent about ten per cent of the student population in Sydney Catholic Schools. This calls for a differentiated response in every school to the educational needs of these students. At St Mary’s we believe that all learners have the right to receive an education that is responsive to their needs and the provision of an appropriate educational program for the gifted is an issue of equity.
What does gifted mean?
Our Gifted Education policy adopts Gagne’s definitions of giftedness and talent as identified in his Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (2010, DMGT 2.0).
Giftedness designates the possession and use of untrained and spontaneously expressed outstanding natural abilities or aptitudes (called gifts), in at least one ability domain, to a degree that places an individual at least among the top 10% of age peers.
Talent designates the outstanding mastery of systematically developed competencies (knowledge and skills) in at least one field of human activity to a degree that places an individual at least among the top 10% of ‘learning peers’ (those who have accumulated a similar amount of learning time from either current or past training)(Gagne, 2010, p. 82).
Underachievers are defined as students who show a discrepancy between their school performance and some index of his or her actual ability. (Davis & Rimm 2004)