Newman Selective Gifted Education Program
“All students regardless of race, age or gender, by virtue of their dignity as human persons, have a right to an education
that is suited to their particular needs and adapted to their ability.” St Pope Paul VI
Commencing with Year 7 in 2019, LaSalle Catholic College Bankstown is part of Sydney Catholic Schools’ Newman Selective Gifted Education
Program. This is an exciting step which consolidates LaSalle’s Solomon Opportunity Class Program which has been focused on meeting the
needs of academically gifted students since 2011.
Initially there will be a Year 7 Newman Class, with Years 8-10 continuing with the Solomon Class title. By 2022, all Stage 4 & 5 classes for gifted
students will have been rebranded in line with the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program.
At LaSalle, we believe that students with natural abilities identified in the Intellectual, Creative, Socio-Effective and Sensor-Motor Domains
benefit from program that are designed to meet their needs. Newman Selective schools provide high-quality professional learning for staff and
authentically rigorous programs for gifted learners within a nurturing Catholic environment, thus enhancing the whole person.
Why is it called the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program?
Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) embraced academic rigour and diversity through truth, intellect and creativity. At Oxford University in England, Cardinal Newman challenged mediocrity and paved the way for students who felt they need not fit into mainstream classrooms. Based on academic research for academically gifted students.
Key Program Elements:
¬ The program is facilitated by LaSalle teaching staff who have dedicated training in the field of gifted education
¬ Academics and psychologists specialising in gifted education contribute to the development and the delivery of the program
¬ Students are assessed across a range of gifted domains in order to access the program and their progress is comprehensively evaluated
¬ Students can participate in various programs such as creative arts, coding and computational skills, rich literature experiences, STEM initiatives and robotics
¬ Newman Selective Symposiums are held annually to celebrate student achievement
¬ To sustain a high-quality educational program, all Newman Selective schools undergo a comprehensive accreditation process every three years.
The Newman Selective Gifted Education Program is designed to challenge and engage a student’s learning through compacting the curriculum and designing authentic enrichment programs.
Teachers at LaSalle understand that learning efficacy is best achieved when teachers know students in their classrooms through data mapping and listening to student voice, in this manner we are best able to cater for each student’s individual learning needs. The teachers of Newman classes have engaged in professional development through Gifted Education courses offered by Sydney Catholic Schools and/or post graduate qualifications in Education. Pedagogical support and development is also provided through regular meetings of the professional learning community at LaSalle Catholic College.
Students selected in the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program will follow the same curriculum outlined by NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) as their peers. Gifted Students require appropriate pace, complexity, depth and breadth in their curriculum. Gifted students tend to move through the curriculum more quickly than their age peers and repetition of content or a slower pace may hinder their academic potential. Based on student mastery, they may finish the teaching program earlier than other classes, allowing time to delve deeper into topics. These enrichment activities are designed using gifted pedagogy models and are catered to the interests and passions of students with the aim to engage and challenge their learning.
The College works on a case-by-case basis to offer accelerative options to our most gifted students. Telescoping curriculum and accelerating students in particular subjects or even grade levels helps feed the flame of curiosity and interest within these students that may otherwise be snuffed out in a slower progression based on chronological age alone. Some students may also be offered a Pathways opportunity so that they might combine academic studies with their need to participate in competitive events (such as sport or music) outside of school.
Identification and Selection Process
A position in the LaSalle Newman Selective Gifted Education Class will be offered to students according to a clear selection process with transparent selection criteria including:
• Year 5 Enrolment Interview Form
• Parent Nomination Form
• Year 6 School Report (and recommendations from Primary School)
• Year 5 NAPLAN results
• Newman Selective Higher Ability Assessment results (all Year 6 students who elect to join the Newman Selective Class will be required to sit for this entrance examination)
• Results of AGAT, ART, PAT Maths and Writing, RAVENS testing
• Allwell Testing (all Year 6 students are required to sit for these tests as part of the Orientation process)
• Psychometric data (parent provided, if applicable)
• Other information requested by the College
Please note that re-entry into the Newman Selective Gifted Education Class the following year is not an automatic process. Student performance and teacher recommendation will be taken into consideration. Students not in the Newman Selective Class who perform particularly well throughout the year will be warmly encouraged to apply for entry into the Newman Selective Class for the next year.