It is our vision at St Kieran’s Catholic Primary School that all children who are exceptional learners or have the potential to be gifted and talented students are recognised and catered for in an understanding and supportive environment – and this is done through our ‘Wahoo Thinking’ programme.
We aim to provide students with a stimulating and challenging curriculum that increases enthusiasm for learning and improves attitudes towards school, encouraging students to gain an understanding of their own abilities whilst enhancing self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment.
The program focusses primarily on Literacy and Numeracy, but also acknowledges students with higher order and critical thinking skills.
A specialist teacher is employed part-time to provide an out-of-class curriculum in lessons ranging from 30 minutes to 1 ½ hours for students from all year levels.
The nomination process has three stages;
- Nomination by the classroom teacher, who is serviced on how to identify gifted students.
- Completion of a Parent Questionnaire and permission slip, requesting information such as ages of developmental milestones,
- Testing students in areas such as Multiple Intelligences, Reading, Writing, Numeracy, Literacy, Learning and Behavioural Skills.
Students are assessed at the beginning of their involvement, with a review carried out of the students’ performances on completion of terms 2 and 4. This is included in their report card indicating to parents their child’s participation level in the group and any results from projects, competitions, or completed units during the semester.
Each team’s curriculum is dictated by each students’ interests, community events (for example, OPTIMinds, sports carnivals) and state-wide or national competitions or projects. All work is an extension of current year level or developmental expectations. Work is always hands-on and stimulating – worksheets or boardwork are rarely used. Projects, presentations, role plays, debates, experiments, demonstrations, models and field studies are all types of concrete methods used.
Through an understanding of their own learning styles, multiple intelligences and an environment that creates situations calling for higher order thinking skills, students will hopefully reach a greater perception of their abilities, and be inspired to perform better in school.