PLC is a non-selective school that creates opportunities for all girls to be challenged, extended and inspired.
We recognise that gifted and talented students have specific educational needs and seek opportunities to be challenged, extended and inspired, and that all students benefit when given the opportunity to extend their knowledge.
Generally, high achievers are always looking for something more. We, therefore, offer extension throughout the course of daily lessons as well as through our co-curricular programmes and external partnerships. Each student is unique and so our approach is to offer many individual pathways rather than a single programme in order to accommodate specific needs. In this way, our gifted students are not limited by what is available for the whole group.
Our dedicated teachers bring specialist knowledge and training, as well as a professional commitment, to meeting the needs of their students. They work in collaboration with the girls themselves, teachers, parents and other specialists to develop individual profiles and to map progress across their years at PLC.
Students may be considered for curriculum compacting, where an identified student is encouraged to compact the curriculum content within a particular learning area whilst remaining in her regular classroom, thus freeing up time for further extension opportunities or projects. Alternatively, teachers may differentiate content, processes and/or tasks to challenge gifted and talented students.
Acceleration options within a particular subject, or sometimes across Year levels may also be considered. Decisions such as these are always made with considered consultation with families.
Competitions and clubs such as Tournament of Minds, da Vinci Decathlon, Ethics Olympiad and the Australian History Competition, and specialised events like the Australian Maths Olympiad and Bond University High School Mooting Competition are some of a wide variety of extension and challenge opportunities outside of the curriculum that are offered to our talented students.
We also offer students access to university courses through the Curtin University Rising Scholars, the University of Western Australia Pilot and the University of Notre Dame Elevate programs. These allow our students to extend their learning beyond the high school syllabus.
Identifying Giftedness and Talent
A combination of subjective and objective data are used to identify giftedness and talents. These include:
- Standardised assessments such as Australia Academic Services (AAS), ACER General Ability Tests (AGAT), ACER Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) etc
- The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)
- Independent psychologists’ reports
- Formative and summative assessments
- Pre-testing on new topics
- Teacher identification
- Parent information
Pathways for Gifted and Talented Students at PLC
At PLC, we seek to personalise the learning for our gifted and talented students. Each student is unique and so our approach is to offer many individual pathways that accommodate specific needs rather than a single programme. In this way, our gifted girls are not limited by what is available for the whole group. If they have a talent in a specific domain this can be developed while pursuing mainstream in other subject areas, or if they have an interest in a particular area we can seek to support this particular passion. These pathways will be developed in collaboration with the Academic Extension Co-ordinator, class teacher/s, students and parents.
Examples of personalised options:
- Students may be considered for curriculum compacting. In this case, an identified student is encouraged to compact the curriculum content within a particular learning area whilst remaining in their regular classroom freeing up time for further extension opportunities or projects.
- Teachers may differentiate content, processes and/or tasks to challenge gifted and talented students. We are committed to providing skills training, strategies and support for teachers to successfully differentiate to meet the needs of their students.
- Sometimes acceleration into a higher Year group may be required to provide an appropriately challenging curriculum. The decisions to accerate within subjects or across year levels will be based on consideration of all aspects of the student’s well-being and development.
Subject acceleration would typically see the gifted student remain with peers in the same academic year for most of the school day, but study one or more subjects in a higher academic year level. Being a Pre-K -12 school means we can offer acceleration and extension opportunities for all students within the campus. For example, our Junior Primary students have the opportunity to work with Learning Area specialists from the Senior School.
- Alternative curriculum and pathways, for example external courses or on-line courses such as university extension.
- Competitions such as Tournament of Minds, da Vinci Decathlon of Thinking, Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad (OzCLO), Australian History Competition, various writing competitions and ICAS Maths.
Our diverse co-curricular options provide further opportunities for gifted and talented students to be challenged, for example through Music, Drama, Philosothon, Mock Trials, Debating as well as Sport and Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths + Arts (STEM + A) activities; Tech Link and Coderdojo.
The ideal to which we aspire is to provide opportunities for all girls to discover their uniqueness and have the courage to strive to live by their convictions and realise their potential.