A unique Sydney Catholic Schools support structure is in place to optimise learning for all students. High-quality inclusive education is provided for students with diverse learning profiles relating to: giftedness, speech, language, communication, vision, hearing, literacy acquisition and post-school pathways. Central office diverse learning teams work with our classroom teachers to enhance their capacity to maximise learning outcomes for students. Specialists in these teams collaborate widely to consolidate an inclusive approach to learning. Each school also has dedicated learning support staff.
Sydney Catholic Schools provides reasonable adjustments to assist and support students with disability to successfully engage in learning. All Sydney Catholic Schools engage in the annual Nationally Consistent Collection of Data for School Students with Disability. Students with moderate intellectual disabilities and complex developmental needs may benefit from the educational program at Eileen O’Connor Catholic College Lewisham or our Specialist Support Classes located onsite at Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School, Hoxton Park and Good Samaritan Catholic College, Hinchinbrook.
Newman Selective Gifted Education Program
Exclusive to Sydney Catholic schools, the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program provides a clear educational pathway, underpinned by contemporary research, for identified gifted and talented students from Kindergarten to Year 12.
The Newman Selective Gifted Education Program provides gifted learners with an authentically rigorous program of learning within the nurturing environment of their Catholic school. It caters to a variety of gifted learners by offering a range of opportunities that support students’ growth as a whole person, including their social and emotional learning and wellbeing.
At St Ursula’s our selective program is called the Newman selective after John Henry Newman who was a theologian and scholar within the Catholic church during the 19th Century.
Entry into our Selective programme is very competitive and is determined through a combination of the following :
- Higher Ability Selection Test (HAST) conducted by ACER
- Allwell Testing which is an academic placement test
In both of these externally administered assessments, students are assessed in a series of tasks:
- Abstract Reasoning and Problem Solving
- Reading Comprehension
- Written Expression
As well as these assessments student may present
- Previous psychometric assessments
- Primary School performance including reports and teacher recommendations
as part of their application.
Our Newman Classes are all staffed by teachers who have specific post graduate qualifications in Gifted Education. This ensures that each girl not only achieves her “potential” but that she surpasses it.
Using Robert Gagne’s Differentiated model of giftedness and talent theories, teachers craft learning opportunities for their classes. Some will be offered curriculum compaction, others acceleration , others passion projects, others extension. Each one designed to foster natural curiosity and stretch each girl’s capacities.
Currently the school offers acceleration in Mathematics and Hospitality enabling successful students the opportunity to complete HSC units prior to their Year 12 studies.
Teachers experience high-quality professional learning in gifted education that allows them to engage in best practices to enhance the teaching and learning in their schools.