Header photograph: 2015 da Vinci Art and Poetry entry – First Prize for Year 10

At Loreto Kirribilli, the concept of Verity underpins the high impact learning experiences provided for gifted and talented girls. Students are challenged in their gifted domain to transfer their high ability to achievement, and to embrace the spirit of Mary Ward in the classroom and during extra-curricular activities. Our teaching staff are committed to facilitating this process of talent development for gifted learners: empowering young women to “do what [they] have to do well”, recognising that every gifted and talented learner is different, possessing unique and diverse qualities.

Identification of gifted and talented students here at Loreto Kirribilli is a multi-faceted and on-going process, whereby we use multiple criteria to ensure gifted students of all domains are recognised. The foundation of our identification process is Gagné’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent. Gagné categorises:

  • Gifted students as ones who possess superior potential or natural ability which places students in the upper 10 percent of age peers in at least one of the following horizontal domains: intellectual, creative, social, perceptual, muscular and motor control.
  • Talented students as ones where factors have combined favourably so ability has transferred to noticeably superior achievement to place students in the upper 10 percent of age peers in at least one field, including: academic, science and technology, arts, social services, sports and athletics.

High potential, or giftedness, must be nurtured to develop into talent, and many opportunities are offered to our gifted students to facilitate this developmental process. This results in a range of pathways by which talent can be developed and gifted learners can achieve excellence.

We acknowledge gifted learners can require modification to regular learning programs in order to develop students’ gifts as they progress towards full potential. Consequently, a range of programming strategies are used to develop the talent of gifted learners, including in-class extension or enrichment to suit strengths or interests, and flexible grouping to ensure gifted and talented students work with their peers. Throughout the school, mentoring and pull-out programs aimed at gifted and talented learners are used, and accelerative strategies such as curriculum compacting and telescoping are implemented to provide appropriate challenge. The social and emotional needs of gifted and talented learners are attended to through our pastoral program which focuses on self-knowledge and personal growth, as well as through the many affective elements of our subject programs.

A wide variety of extra-curricular provisions are offered to gifted and talented learners, including the Da Vinci Decathlon and the Philosothon, all of which seek to connect the girls with like-minded students in rich learning situations to inspire and develop talent further.

Key specialists in gifted and talented education, including our Gifted and Talented Coordinator, work closely with our students to offer more personalised learning opportunities. These specialists also collaborate with teachers to aid the talent development of our gifted learners, ensuring a holistic approach.