Trinity Year 9 Newman students Wesley Truong and Olivia Galic take part in an extension maths lesson. Photo: KITTY BEALE
THE sky is still the limit for gifted students at Auburn's Trinity Catholic College.
The school has offered the Sydney Catholic Schools' Newman Selective Gifted Education Program for the first time in 2017, and students are already learning coding skills, setting Mathematics world records and re-thinking the classics in specialised gifted classes.
Two students, challenged by their Year 7 Maths teacher to improve their speed and accuracy in mathematics, have even set new world records on the interactive website Maths Builder.
"Students in Year 7 Newman English are currently studying Shakespeare's King Lear and are relating the themes of Shakespeare's text to contemporary living," Trinity Catholic College's Deborah Scollard said.
"In Religious Education, students have had the opportunity to work on independent research projects allowing them to explore areas of personal interest."
The program has a strong focus on the spirit as well as the mind, and Trinity's wellbeing strategies include keeping the Year 7 Newman class together throughout the day, to allow friendships to form.
"We feel it is important to allow the Year 7 students time to settle into high school, and keeping them together provides a stable learning environment," Ms Scollard added.
The next phase of the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program includes a pilot to strengthen the Kindergarten to Year 12 gifted education pathway at Sydney Catholic schools that offer it.
The pilot introduces the Higher Ability Selective Test (HAST) developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) for Year 6 students and a portfolio as criteria to streamline their entry into the program in Year 7 at select schools in 2018.
For the first time this year, parents of children in Years 5 and 6 from the pilot schools, can also nominate their child for placement in the program at high school level. Students from nine primary schools will sit the HAST today.