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High Potential and

High Performing Students

Opportunities for our Gifted & Talented students


Our Gifted & Talented Program is comprised of a range of initiatives across all year groups from Kindergarten to Year 12, designed to provide pathways for our gifted and talented students.

The concept of Verity underpins the high impact learning experiences provided for gifted and talented students. The spirit of Mary Ward is embraced as students are challenged in their gifted domain to transfer their high ability to achievement in the classroom and during extra-curricular activities. This process of talent development for gifted learners, so they can “do what [they] have to do well”, is one to which teachers are committed to facilitating as they recognise every gifted and talented learner is unique.

Our school goal is to respond to the needs of students within the mild to profoundly gifted range through effective student identification, tracking of student data, and differentiated learning strategies to ensure learning growth.

Desilee Tait, Gifted & Talented Coordinator Kindergarten - Year 12

To develop the talents of our gifted and talented students at Loreto Kirribilli, we employ a range of teaching and learning strategies. These strategies include flexible grouping, to ensure gifted and talented students often work with like-minded peers, coupled with differentiated curriculum using gifted instructional techniques.

Accelerative strategies such as curriculum compacting, mentoring and telescoping supplement extension or enrichment of classroom learning encourage and nurture excellence. Subject specific acceleration is offered in Mathematics, and as per the individual needs of the gifted and talented learner.

Our Program

Now in its 12th year, our Loreto Academic Mentor Program (L.A.M.P.) is an invaluable way to offer our highly and profoundly gifted students experiences that go above and beyond the curriculum. The program connects students with mentors who are experts in their fields. Mentors become authentic role models for our students and offer a real world perspective.

The teaching of Philosophy encourages deep thinking and reasoning skills. The girls are encouraged to articulate their ideas, while listening respectfully to the ideas of others. In this way, our young gifted and talented students are learning the '4Cs' of our Learning Lens - critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.

What does a Philosophy lesson look like?
  • Is it ever OK to lie?
  • If you had a different name, would you be a different person?
  • What would you do if you had a ring of invisibility?
  • Is it possible to think of nothing?
  • Can computers think?
  • Is there anything we cannot know?
  • Would you eat a pig if it could talk?

Philosophy in Action is a forum for students to learn about philosophical ideas and how to work with others to reason, justify, collaborate, discuss, question, draw out and make connections about some of the key ideas in life.

Students learn about some key philosophical issues. They also learn how to engage in the collaborative inquiry process, employ justification and reasoning, tackle areas of difficulty through questioning and develop their own ideas and the ideas of others.

CREST stands for Creativity in Engineering, Science and Technology and is a program available to Gifted and Talented Year 4 – 6 Science students. CREST students meet weekly in the Senior School Science Labs with Mrs Tait and Dr Allbutt.

The Da Vinci Decathlon is an academic competition designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of school students.

Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), widely believed to be one of the world’s greatest thinkers and scholars, the Decathlon places a particular emphasis on higher order thinking skills, problem solving and creativity.

In teams of eight, students compete across ten disciplines including Engineering, Mathematics and Chess, Code Breaking, Art and Poetry, Science, English, Ideation, Creative Producers, Cartography and Legacy.

The Ethics Olympiad is a competitive yet collaborative event in which students analyse and discuss real-life, and timely, ethical issues. In teams of five, students learn to think rigorously for themselves, defend their position as a team and consider reasons and cogent arguments.

Students develop a broad range of skills which, together with logic and sequential thought, are highly transferable, powerful aids to success in many professions.

This global competition also provides students with valuable feedback and mentoring from the judges, who are university lecturers from all around the world.

A Year 9 elective subject, Thinking and Advocacy is a particularly effective course for students who need to be highly challenged. It is an opportunity for students to learn about a range of global issues and develop skills in advocating for change.

Working singly or in groups, this course helps build leadership skills, encourages initiative and develops students' ability to engage an audience.

Thinking and Advocacy is definitely out of the ordinary! When speaking about electives to my friends and family, I tell them it is almost like a global studies class where we find an issue and attempt to fix it, because that is what it is to me. Essentially we find things wrong and try our best and do what we can to make them better.

Charlotte, Year 9

A number of notable Sydney writers teach a Creative Writing course for Years 7 and 8. The girls share ideas and strategies for engaging with words and stories in a collaborative forum.

EVATT is a simulation of the United Nations Security Council, where teams of two students from Year 9, 10, 11 or 12 represent member states of the Council. Students independently research their assigned country, before representing their nation's foreign policy in debate session, which are run almost entirely by the real Security Council's rules of procedure. Students compete after school or on weekends.

I was very fortunate to have Phil (Dr Phil McManus, Professor of Urban and Environmental Geography, University of Sydney) as my designated mentor given his aptitude in the field of urban planning, which happens to be the topic we are currently studying as part of the Year 12 Geography HSC course. His practical advice and ideas during these fortnightly sessions have bolstered my interest and motivation in the subject. Phil’s patience and willingness to engage in thoughtful dialogue about things I am finding confusing or intriguing in the course has made for a comfortable learning environment; one that I can appreciate is unique and highly beneficial for my learning.
Sophie, Year 12

Professional Development
Mini Certificate of Gifted Education

The Mini Certificate of Gifted Education (Mini-COGE) offered by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) provides useful and practical professional development to educators in supporting gifted and high potential students. The course focuses on how to engage and support students to reach their high potential. This professional development is offered on a continuous basis to all new members of staff, and builds on the extensive work that Loreto Kirribilli already undertakes in this area.

This UNSW certification is a significant achievement and a testament to the dedication of our teachers, and their drive to cater for the particular needs of all our students.

Daniel Mahon, Deputy Principal

The Mini COGE gave me the chance to reflect on how we meet our high achievers, where they are on their musical journey, and how we promote rich advancement opportunities for the girls.

Amelia Granturco, Music Teacher Kindergarten–Year 6