Friday, 23 June 2017

The GERRIC September program for Gifted students is now open. Details can be found here.

For Gifted Students

Are you a student in Years 3 – 10 at an Australian primary, middle or secondary school? Are you bright, intellectually inquisitive and looking for something more challenging, more intellectually demanding, and more fun than you may sometimes experience in school? Would you like to take part in school vacation program that will really stretch your mind?
GERRIC offers a range of programs for gifted and talented students (generally students who are capable of performing in the top 10% of their age-peers). GERRIC holiday programs will open your mind to abilities you may have not suspected you possess, and opportunities to use these abilities to the fullest. You’ll meet other kids who share your interests and you’ll also meet inspiring teachers who love working with gifted students.
Our next GERRIC Student program will run 26-28 September 2017.

For program information and registration click here.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

10 Facts You May Not Know About Gifted Children But Should

"The following is a list of facts, traits and issues many would not recognize as a part of giftedness in children. Why such a list? It’s time to banish the many widely-held inaccurate perceptions of the gifted child. The pervasive but misguided idea of the gifted child—the child who excels in school, is well-behaved, is a natural leader and is emotionally mature—is the elephant in the room and that elephant needs to leave.

We need the facts to prevail so that gifted children can have, as all children should, the education and support they need to grow up to be happy and thriving adults."

Click here for the full article.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Gifted Underachievement - A look at some of the causes

Click on the image to see the YouTube clip.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Gifted Education Parent Information Sessions

What do the terms gifted and talent mean? What does the research say about the educational and emotional needs of gifted students? What does it mean that St Mary’s is a Newman Selective school? What is a Newman Group?

If you would like to find out the answers to these questions and learn more about Gifted Education at St Mary’s please join us for an information evening on Tuesday 30th May at 7pm. This session will be presented by Amanda Tinson - Sydney Catholic Schools Leader of Learning in Gifted Education and Meghan Bassett - The Newman Facilitator at St Mary’s.
A repeat session will be offered on Thursday the 8th of June at 9am.

Please follow this link to register which session you will be attending and to indicate any particular issues or questions you would like to have addressed at these sessions.

Some great reading lists to read through

Excellence in Reading: To encourage the joy of reading, the Foundation has developed the Mensa for Kids Excellence in Reading Program. Includes Reading lists K-12.

Monday, 27 March 2017

The truth about Gifted versus High Achieving Students

This is an interesting article examining the differences between gifted learners and high achieving students. It highlights some of the joys and the challenges in parenting and teaching gifted thinkers.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Our Declaration of the Rights of Gifted Children

In recognition of Gifted Awareness Week, the Stage 3 Newman English class have developed their own Declaration of the Rights of Gifted Children.

Think Club holiday workshops

Think Club will now run twice a year, in the April and September school holidays.

The next Think Club will be held: ​19th and 20th April 2017
Experiential workshops for the inquisitive, problem-solving,
​creative and capable primary school child.
Our one day, hands-on, workshops are enjoyable, fun and interesting.

For more information about the Think Club holiday workshops -

MindQuest 2017 workshops

For more information about the MindQuest workshops for 2017 contact Shelagh on 
02) 4232 2494

Friday, 17 March 2017

The trouble with Gifted is that no one understands what it is.

"It never, ever occurred to me that my quirkiness was a part of my intelligence."

A great blog post that explores the many facets of giftedness.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Our own Declarations of the Rights of the Gifted Child

As one way of acknowledging Gifted Awareness Week (March 12 - March 18), The Stage 3 Newman English group have been writing their own Declarations of the Rights of the Gifted Child.



Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Exploring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In the Stage 3 Newman English group we are investigating how Freedom and Identity are connected. As part of this unit we have been learning about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Here are some ways we have responded to this topic.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Gagne's Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent

The Sydney Catholic School Gifted Education Policy adopts Gagné's definitions of giftedness and talent as identified in his Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent. This video provides a good introduction to this model.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

8 Reasons You Should Label Children as Gifted

This article is an interesing read. How do you feel about this issue?

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Characteristics of Gifted Children

Characteristics of Gifted Children

Every gifted/highly able child is different but some of the common characteristics are:
    •   Humour: Keen sense of the absurd; understands subtleties of humour beyond age level
    •   Great intellectual curiosity: Intense desire to know, do, feel, create or understand; sometimes described as a ‘sponge’ who absorbs knowledge easily and enthusiastically
    •   Knowledge: wide general knowledge of topics beyond peer group level
    •  Interests: passionate interests, sometimes fleeting but sometimes long-lived
    •   Communication / Expressiveness: Extraordinary ability to convey meaning or emotion through words, actions, symbols, sounds or media;
    •   Vocabulary: extraordinarily well developed oral language skills and vocabulary
    •   Inquiry: Probing exploration, observation or experimentation with events, objects, ideas, feelings, sounds, symbols or media
    •   Problem-solving: Outstanding ability to bring order to chaos through the invention and monitoring of paths to a goal; enjoyment of challenge
    •   Sensitivity: Unusually open, perceptive or responsive to experiences, feelings and to others; has a strong sense of social justice
    •   Intensity: Often feels very deeply and will be concerned about issues beyond what is usual for their years
    •   Perfectionism: can set very high standards for him/herself –this can be positive but often becomes
    • debilitating
    •   Intuition: Sudden recognition of connections or deeper meanings without conscious awareness of reasoning or thought
    •   Reasoning: Possess superior powers of reasoning, of dealing with abstractions, of generalising from specific facts, of understanding meanings, and of seeing relationships.
    •   Imagination/Creativity: Extraordinary capacity for ingenious, flexible use of ideas, processes or materials
    •   Memory/Understanding: Unusual capacity to acquire, integrate, retain and retrieve information or skills
    •   Learning: Ability to acquire sophisticated understandings with amazing speed and apparent ease. Requires very little repetition or re-enforcement of new learnings
    •   Concentration and alertness: Shows alertness and quick response to new ideas; Has a long attention spanwhich allows him/her to concentrate on and persevere in solving problems and pursuing interests (not
    • necessarily school related).
    •   Interaction with others: Can tend to dominate others or direct their activities. Can sometimes appear poorlysocialised with chronological age peers (a child’s social peers correspond more closely to mental, rather than age peers )
    •   Sometimes has a fantasy friend 

    • Please note:
    •   not all children will have all these characteristics
    •   these characteristics may not be reflected in school performance
    •   underachievement is quite common in gifted children which can make identification difficult
    •   it is possible for a child to be gifted whilst having a specific learning disability 

    • Reference:

                                            Why You Still Don’t Believe That You’re Gifted

                                            An interesting read, especially for some of the parents of our gifted students. Are you also gifted?
                                            "People tell you that you’re super smart. They’re baffled by how much you know and how you know it. You can ace a test without studying. You can talk with just about anyone about just about anything. You’re always thinking, analyzing, imagining and empathizing.
                                            But you’re sure that you’re not gifted.
                                            How is that possible?" Click here for some ideas.

                                            Wednesday, 8 February 2017

                                            Spaces are still available for some Brainwaves Clubs

                                            The G.A.T.E.WAYS Brainwaves Club program (run on weekends) is based on the philosophy that highly able and gifted children have particular needs for stimulation and challenge that match their high level of curiosity and desire to learn. In addition, children with specialised skills and talents in advance of their age peers need both affirmation of these abilities and opportunities for talent development. 
                                             The Brainwaves Club is not another day at school. It’s a club! 
                                             Programs are designed specifically with gifted and talented children in mind. 
                                             Members mix with like-minded peers and form rewarding friendships that further foster their interests, social skills and self-esteem. 
                                             Brainwaves Club provides a setting that promotes positive social interaction. 
                                             Club programs are designed to be challenging, but most of all fun!

                                            Detailed program outlines available at

                                            Find out more about our Stage 3 Newman groups here.

                                            Tuesday, 31 January 2017

                                            A very useful resource for parents and teachers alike - You Know Your Child Is Gifted When . . . eBook

                                            "You know your child is gifted when . . . your 5-year-old gives you permission to use the dictionary during Scrabble. Or your 8-year-old solves your computer problems. Parenting a gifted child can be a mixed blessing. It helps to know what to look for, what to expect, and what other parents have experienced. This lighthearted introduction to life with a gifted child is a great place to start."

                                            Sunday, 15 January 2017

                                            10 Steps for Parents and Kids to Tame the Worry Monster

                                            Do you have a child who worries or is anxious?
                                            The beginning of a new school year can be a time when some children feel worried and may be anxious about returning to (or beginning) school. This article provides some practical tips to help battle the Worry Monster.
                                            10 Steps for Parents and Kids to Tame the Worry Monster

                                            Looking for some reading suggestions? 31 great books for students, chosen by students!

                                            Are you looking for some reading inspiration? Here's a great list of suggestions to read your way through. 
                                            Feel free to share your own reviews of these books with Mrs Bassett @