High Potential and Gifted Education Policy

The High Potential and Gifted Education Policy promotes engagement and challenge for every student, regardless of background, in every school across intellectual, creative, social-emotional and physical domains. It supports every student to achieve their educational potential, through talent development opportunities and differentiated teaching and learning practices to ensure that their specific learning and wellbeing needs are met.

1. Policy statement

1.1

The New South Wales Department of Education is committed to supporting every student to achieve their educational potential as stated in the Education Act (NSW) 1990.

1.1.1

High expectations and effective, explicit, evidence-based teaching create optimal learning environments where all students are challenged and engaged to achieve their educational potential.

1.1.2

This commitment includes supporting the talent development of all high potential and gifted students in all schools.

1.2

Assessment and data are used in an ongoing manner to inform learning and teaching across all domains of potential: intellectual, creative, social-emotional and physical.

1.2.1

Objective, valid and reliable measures, as part of formative assessment, should be used to assess high potential and gifted students and identify their specific learning needs.

1.2.2

The department and schools should use data related to the growth and achievement of high potential and gifted students to analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of differentiated programs and provisions.

1.3

High potential and gifted students from all backgrounds have access to quality learning opportunities that meet their needs and aspirations.

1.3.1

High potential and gifted students may require tailored resourcing and support to cater for their different learning needs that is responsive to their family, socio-economic status, language and cultural background, health and wellbeing, and geographic location.

1.3.2

High potential and gifted students with disability should be provided with support, including reasonable adjustments for disability, to allow them to participate in their education on the same basis as high potential and gifted students without disability.

1.3.3

Schools should provide significant adjustments and interventions for students in the highly gifted range to meet their advanced learning needs.

1.4

High potential and gifted students across all domains require evidence-based talent development to optimise their growth and achievement.

1.4.1

Learning and teaching programs and practices must extend high potential and gifted students beyond their current level of mastery, as informed by assessment, data and evidence.

1.4.2

Grouping strategies for high potential and gifted students should be purposeful and support differentiation of curriculum and learning experiences.

1.4.3

Advanced learning pathways for high potential and gifted students should be available and supported at all levels of schooling.

1.4.4

Acceleration for gifted students should be facilitated in consultation with the student and their parents/carers when it is in their best learning interests.

1.4.5

Enrichment, extension and extra-curricular programs for high potential and gifted students should be sustained, challenging and purposeful.

1.4.6

Schools should collaborate with other schools and organisations to offer learning opportunities that address advanced learning needs.

1.4.7

Specialist settings have a particular responsibility to provide targeted talent development, extension, and advanced learning for high potential and gifted students from all backgrounds.

1.5

Learning environments which support the social-emotional development and wellbeing of high potential and gifted students enables them to connect, succeed and thrive.

1.5.1

Schools have a responsibility to create learning environments that support high potential and gifted students to experience efficacy, agency and achieve their educational potential.

1.5.2

Schools should work collaboratively with students, parents/carers and the community to support wellbeing, growth and achievement.

1.6

Engagement with quality research and ongoing professional learning builds teacher and leadership capacity to improve growth and achievement for all high potential and gifted students.

1.6.1

The department and schools are responsible for school leader and teacher professional learning to enhance planning and implementation of quality learning opportunities for high potential and gifted students.

1.6.2

Specialist programs, settings and classes for high potential and gifted students should be staffed with teachers who possess or attain additional training and skills in the education of high potential and gifted students.

1.7

The department supports differentiated and evidence-based procedures, programs and practices for growth and achievement of all students, including high potential and gifted students.

1.7.1

Schools should use rigorous self-assessment to identify the degree to which their procedures, programs and practices effectively extend and support high potential and gifted students.

2. Audience and applicability

2.1

This policy is applicable to all New South Wales Department of Education staff and schools.

3. Context

3.1

The High Potential and Gifted Education Policy 2019 demonstrates the commitment of the department to providing guidance and support for schools and teachers in meeting the learning needs and optimising the growth and achievement of high potential and gifted students from all backgrounds and across all domains of potential.

3.2

The department’s diverse settings support provisions that meet the learning needs of high potential and gifted students.

3.2.1

The department’s comprehensive preschools, primary schools and secondary schools provide quality learning opportunities for students’ talent development, which may include extension, extra-curricular and enrichment programs.

3.2.2

The department’s specialist settings include academically-selective classes in primary and secondary schools, creative and performing arts and sports high schools.

3.2.3

The department’s extra-curricular provisions include a range of extension, enrichment and representative student programs.

3.3

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.

3.4

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.

3.5

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

3.6

Talent development is the process by which a student’s potential is developed into high achievement in a specific domain or field of endeavour.

3.7

All schools serve high potential and gifted students and have a responsibility to implement five key iterative actions to support talent development across all domains of potential:

3.7.1

evaluate school procedures, programs and practices and student growth and achievement to inform school planning and policy implementation.

3.7.2

assess and identify the specific learning needs of all high potential, gifted and highly gifted students.

3.7.3

implement evidence-based procedures, programs and practices that meet the learning and wellbeing needs of all high potential and gifted students and facilitate talent development.

3.7.4

collaborate with families, school communities and the wider community to enhance growth and achievement for all high potential and gifted students.

3.7.5

build teacher and leadership capacity through engagement with quality research and ongoing professional learning on effective practices to improve growth and achievement for all high potential and gifted students.

4. Responsibilities and delegations

4.1 Principals

4.1.1

Lead the optimal talent development of high potential and gifted students across all domains of potential within supportive learning environments that develop the whole student.

4.1.2

Lead and support teachers in the assessment and identification of the specific learning needs of high potential and gifted students across all domains of potential and effective differentiation for those students.

4.1.3

Provide and support access to acceleration or advanced learning pathways and opportunities.

4.1.4

Engage in quality professional learning to enhance their understanding of research and practice of the needs of high potential and gifted students across all domains of potential.

4.1.5

Lead collaboration with families, school communities and the wider community to support the talent development of high potential and gifted students.

4.1.6

Lead support for high potential and gifted students through the work of the Learning Support Team and school counsellor/psychologist.

4.1.7

Lead the analysis and evaluation of data to enable school monitoring of procedures, programs and practices for high potential and gifted students.

4.1.8

Lead, plan and report on the implementation of the policy through specific procedures, programs and practices to meet the learning needs of high potential and gifted students.

4.1.9

Include quality and evidence-based teaching practices in school planning which identify explicit goals for high potential and gifted students across all domains of potential.

4.1.10

Manage the staffing and support of programs and classes for high potential and gifted students, including specialist classes and schools.

4.2 Preschool, Primary and Secondary Teachers

4.2.1

Use assessment and data to assess and identify the specific learning needs of high potential and gifted students across all domains of potential.

4.2.2

Apply evidence-based approaches that extend and challenge high potential and gifted students beyond their current level of mastery across all domains of potential.

4.2.3

Develop, design and teach differentiated learning programs and provide experiences that meet the advanced learning needs of students.

4.2.4

Undertake professional learning that enhances their expertise in planning and programming effective learning experiences for high potential and gifted students across all domains of potential.

4.2.5

Collaborate with families, school communities and the wider community to support the talent development of high potential and gifted students.

4.2.6

Communicate assessment and identification information about high potential and gifted students to support their transitions.

4.3 Directors, Educational Leadership

4.3.1

Monitor, support and guide the implementation of the policy in schools.

4.3.2

Support schools to analyse and evaluate the success of procedures, programs and practices for high potential and gifted students.

4.3.3

Promote educational opportunities for high potential and gifted students in their network, including the support of collaboration between schools.

4.4 Directors, Early Learning and Primary and Secondary Education

4.4.1

Monitor and evaluate policy implementation in preschool, primary and secondary schools to maintain currency and effectiveness.

4.4.2

Provide advice, support and guidance for schools in implementing the policy.

4.4.3

Develop and provide ongoing professional learning for school leaders and teachers.

4.5 Executive Directors, Operational Directorates

4.5.1

Monitor, support and guide the implementation of the policy across school networks.

4.5.2

Direct the resourcing of schools for high potential and gifted students with disability, or for whom English is an additional language or dialect by offering support, adjustments and provisions that enhance their opportunities to participate in learning on the same basis as other students.

4.6 Executive Director, Centre for Education, Statistics and Evaluation

4.6.1

Monitors and reports on systemic data related to the policy.

4.6.2

Supports the development of an evidence base for high potential and gifted education, including ongoing research.

5. Monitoring and review

5.1

The Directors, Early Learning and Primary Education and Secondary Education are responsible for monitoring the implementation of this policy and reviewing its effectiveness every three years.

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