Domains of potential (Anhaar) - film

Covered in this illustration of practice:

This illustration of practice outlines some of the adjustments that can be made to learning environments to support students with high potential in the intellectual and social-emotional domains.

Meet Anhaar and become familiar with her story as a high potential and gifted student in a primary setting. Learn about how Anhaar's teachers looked beyond her quiet nature and recognised her high potential by observing her rapid mastery of new concepts. The film also provides an insight into how students like Anhaar can be assessed for their high potential in the social-emotional domain, as well as the types of programs, practices and procedures that can promote their talent development.

Domains of potential - Anhaar

Transcript of Anhaar’s Story video (5 minutes 27 seconds)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this video may contain the images, voices and names of people who have passed away.

Anhaar’s Story High potential and gifted education


Anhaar Year 6 student, Greenacre Public School

Anhaar – I really enjoy speaking in the Arts area, things like law, writing, journalism, even, politics.

Catherine Stilwell Year 6 OC Teacher Greenacre Public School

Catherine - Well my first contact with Anhaar’s family was before they’d even accepted the place in the OC class. They rang and asked if they could meet with me and they were quite unhappy with how she’d been at her other school. They felt she was hiding her light under a bushel and when they heard how I teach, that it’s not competitive in my room, that we collaborate, that we celebrate success. You can fail safely in my room. We talked about all that sort of thing and they were happy to accept the place.

Anhaar - We had a lot of not just extended work but also really different ways of learning. We used to do SOLE, so that is like student based learning and I remember that we used to choose our own groups and do a lot of group work and then brainstorm really big philosophical questions, mathematical questions. It was never really too competitive of an environment. If people got really high scores they’d always share. We’d applaud them, we’d support them.

Catherine – Anhaar presents as very polite and quiet but she’s actually very strong and confident, extremely well-mannered, lovely interpersonal skills. So, once we did start the next year, her first year in OC, she just fitted in really well with the Year 5’s and the Year 6’s and as it turned out, with the greater school as well. She was voted a prefect in her Year 6 year. Everyone knew her, they all seem to know her, even though she only came to the school in Year 5. And it wasn’t from putting herself forward, it’s just her quiet demeanour, her ability just to be very fair and get on well with people and help people.

Anhaar – The things we were doing were more extended work itself, so we were doing Year 7 and 8 things; at first definitely challenging but Ms Stilwell was there to support me through that, and also the people around me. We did a lot of group work and it was a very supporting environment.

Catherine – She’s quite a perfectionist, as a lot of gifted kids are, and she was very upset with probably her weakest subject at the time, if I can say weak when she was also very high, was maths. And I think the very first Maths Olympiad practise we did she only got 1 out of 5 and she cried. But she really took it to heart, so having such a growth mindset, which is a really strong characteristic of hers, she persevered, she did extra work at home, she collaborated with other people in the class and she improved and improved. And by Year 6 she was getting 4 and 5 in Maths Olympiad.

Anhaar – There were a lot of public speaking opportunities here as well, and debating opportunities and I really enjoyed that.

Catherine – In her strong subjects – literacy, speech writing, public speaking - she was a state champion two years in a row with public speaking – she just blossomed, more and more with the things she was good at. Her ability to think critically and philosophically was encouraged in our class. We do a bit of philosophy, we talk critically about current affairs, we examine things, we don’t just take things at face value and she blossomed.

Anhaar – I participated in the What Matters writing competition. Fortunately, I won the 5 and 6 category and the overall winner as well. So, I talked about things like sexism in my poem and regarding Julia Gillard as well, and so I was fortunate enough to get a photo signed by her. So, she signed it with ‘dream big’. It was definitely inspiring.

Catherine – Well, her goal is to be Australia’s first Muslim woman prime minister and I think that’s a very real thing because I think she’s someone who could go on to do that. Understanding other people, not pushing herself forward but making her, making her presence felt all the same. A very strong champion of people’s rights.


Find the potential

Develop the talent

Make the difference

Copyright 2020 NSW Department of Education

We acknowledge NSW Primary Principals’ Association, NSW Secondary Principals’ Council, The NSW Teachers Federation, The NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, The Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations of NSW, The Isolated Children’s Parents Association, Gifted Learners with Disability Australia, Gifted Families Support Group, Academics and consultants from across NSW, Australia and internationally, Departmental staff, Principals, School leaders and teachers.

End of transcript

Questions for professional learning

For school leaders:

  • What key action from the High Potential and Gifted Education Policy do you consider most integral to Anhaar’s learning needs? How can this key action be used to benefit other students who show high potential in other domains?
  • Multiple theories exist about how high potential and gifted students develop their high potential into high levels of achievement. It is likely that a combination of factors influence the development of talent including deliberate practice, mindset or beliefs, and opportunities to learn. If you had a student like Anhaar at your school, what programs, practices and procedures are currently in place to support such a student? What talent development factors do these programs, practices and procedures cover?
  • Anhaar talks favourably about the enrichment opportunities she was given at her school. List the examples she mentions. How does your school actively enrich the learning of your students who have high potential in the intellectual and social-emotional domains?

For teachers:

  • Anhaar talks specifically about the rigour of her learning and overcoming challenges through the support of her teacher. What kind of support structures do you think would assist Anhaar to further develop her talent?
  • Julia Gillard is mentioned as a figure of positive influence for Anhaar. What part do role models play in the development of high potential and gifted students? How could you promote the use of role models in your classroom?


  • Teaching and learning


  • Assess and identify

Business Unit:

  • Teaching, Learning and Student Wellbeing
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