High potential and gifted students

High potential students are those whose potential exceeds that of students of the same age in one or more domains: intellectual, creative, social-emotional and physical.

Gifted students are those whose potential significantly exceeds that of students of the same age in one or more domains: intellectual, creative, social-emotional, and physical.

Talent development is the process by which a student’s potential is developed into high achievement in a specific domain or field of endeavour. (Gagné Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent 2009.)

High potential and gifted students, in all domains, learn in ways characterised by their diverse profiles. Many characteristics cross the domains but others are more relevant to one domain than to the others.

The characteristics listed below may be found in many learners but are strongly evident in high potential and gifted learners. Conversely, not all high potential and gifted learners will display all of these characteristics due to lack of opportunity, disability or disadvantage.

High potential and gifted learners may demonstrate:

  • curiosity
  • an ease of learning that is fast paced
  • intense concentration in new learning or areas of interest
  • high levels of self-criticism
  • perfectionism
  • strong sense of moral reasoning and justice
  • intrinsic motivation and be goal driven, particularly in their area of interest
    a sophisticated sense of humour
  • creative and critical thinking skills
  • high expectations for self and others
  • an advanced level of observation
  • high levels of excitement by new ideas
  • independent thinking

Note: These learning characteristics should be used as only one source of evidence to assess and identify students

Opportunity classes and selective high schools

Opportunity classes and selective high schools form part of the Department of Education's commitment to identify and provide a range of opportunities for gifted and high potential students in NSW.

Find out more about how gifted and high potential students are catered for in NSW schools, including the updated High Potential and Gifted Education Policy.

The establishment of opportunity classes and selective high schools

Establishment of opportunity classes
1992 Schools
  Artarmon Public School
  Beecroft Public School
  Caringbah Public School
  Chatswood Public School
  Eastwood Public School (removed 2003)
  Hurstville Public School
  Neutral Bay Public School (one class removed 2012)
  Summer Hill Public School (one class removed 2016)
  Sutherland Public School
  Waitara Public School
  Woollahra Public School
1993 Schools
  Alstonville Public School
  Biraban Public School (one class removed in 2016 due to insufficient applicants)
  Blaxland East/Glenbrook Public School
  Blaxcell Street Public School
  Bradbury Public School
  Camden South Public School
  Colyton Public School
  Coonabarabran Public School
  Cudgegong Valley Public School
  Dubbo West Public School
  Dural Public School
  Georges Hall Public School
  Goonellabah Public School
  Gosford Public School
  Goulburn West Public School
  Grafton South Public School
  Greenacre Public School
  Greystanes Public School
  Harrington Public School
  Holsworthy Public School
  Jewells Public School
  Kingswood Public School
  Leumeah Public School
  Lithgow Public School
  Matthew Pearce Public School
  Mona Vale Public School
  Moree Public School
  Newbridge Heights Public School
  New Lambton South Public School
  North Rocks Public School
  Picnic Point Public School
  Port Macquarie Public School
  Rutherford Public School
  Smithfield Public School
  St Johns Park Tahmoor Public School
  Tahmoor Public School
  Tamworth Public School
  Tamworth South Public School
  Tighes Hill Public School
  Wollongong Public School
  Wyong Public School
1996 Schools
  Blacktown South Public School
  Casula Public School
  Cessnock West Public School
  Earlwood Public School
  Quakers Hill Public School
  Queanbeyan South Public School
  Richmond Public School
  Ryde Public School
  St Andrews Public School
  Sturt Public School
  Toormina Public School
  Wentworth Falls Public School
2000 Schools
  Soldiers Point Public School
2001 Schools
  Illaroo Road Public School
2002 Schools
  Balmain Public School
  Maryland Public School
  Wilkins Public School
2003 Schools
  Ermington Public School
2004 Schools
  Alexandria Park Community School
2006 Schools
  Taree Public School (removed 2011)
2008 Schools
  Bathurst West Public School
  Ironbark Ridge Public School
2012 Schools
  Balgowlah Heights Public School
2016 Schools
  Armidale Public School
  Ashfield Public School

Establishment of selective high schools
* indicates partially selective school
Prior to 1989 Schools
  Fort Street High School
  St George Girls High School
  Sydney Boys High School
  Sydney Girls High School
  Sydney Technical High School
  North Sydney Boys High School
  North Sydney Girls High School
  James Ruse Agricultural High School
  Hurlstone Agricultural High School
  Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School
  Yanco Agricultural High School
1989 Schools
  Caringbah High School
  Girraween High School
  Penrith High School
  Gosford High School
  Sefton High School*
  Macquarie Fields High School*
  Smiths Hill High School
  Merewether High School
1990 Schools
  Baulkham Hills High School
  Manly High School
1994 Schools
  Hornsby Girls High School
  Normanhurst Boys High School
2002 Schools
  Chatswood High School*
  Ryde Secondary College*
  Sydney Secondary College, Balmain campus* Years 7–10
  Sydney Secondary College, Leichhardt campus* Years 7–10
  Sydney Secondary College, Blackwattle Bay campus* Years 11–12
2004 Schools
  Alexandria Park Community School*
  Rose Bay Secondary College*
  Tempe High School*
2010 Schools
  Blacktown Girls High School*
  Blacktown Boys High School*
  Parramatta High High School*
  Bonnyrigg High School*
  Elizabeth Macarthur High School*
  Moorebank High School*
  Prairiewood High School*
  Karabar High School*
  Gorokan High School*
  Kooringal High School*
  Grafton High School*
  Armidale High School*
  Duval High School*
  Xsel* – virtual selective classes – replaced by Aurora College in 2015
2011 Schools
  Peel High School*
2013 Schools
  Auburn Girls High School*
2014 Schools
  Granville Boys High School*
2015 Schools
  Aurora College*
Return to top of page Back to top