Students speak about talent development

Covered in this illustration of practice

  • talent development
  • enrichment and extra-curricular
  • 4 domains of potential
  • mentoring
  • differentiation

The High Potential and Gifted Education Policy recognises that all high potential and gifted students require evidence-based talent development to optimise their growth and achievement.

This illustration of practice highlights key messages from students about what they believe supports talent development. Hear from a range of students across all 4 domains of potential: creative, physical, intellectual and social-emotional.

Watch Students speak about talent development (5:11)

Students speak about talent development – film

NSW Public Schools, Past and present students speak about talent develoment across 4 domains of potential.


Tammy, Former student - North Sydney Girls HS.

I think at first, I was hindered in my talent development. Basically, because I didn't fully believe in myself. I think when you first are challenged, it can bring around a lot of different feelings so you can feel intimidated by the challenge. You can feel pressurised that teachers have such high expectations of you, but I think that as I went through my high school journey, I realised that there was a different way of thinking about challenges and the way that I thought about them was that it was kind of like a privilege. It meant that teachers were giving me these challenges because they thought I could step up to them.

Sam, Student – Vacy PS

We filmed a movie called ‘Baby shark’ – ‘Don't sing baby shark’.


Riley, Student - Vacy PS

So, everyone got a go at different jobs. We all found one that we pretty much enjoyed the most.


Come on guys, the rock can't squash us all.


Jessie, Student - Vacy PS.

I felt like I was learning in ways I hadn't before like doing very hands-on learning by actually going out and making a film. I know a lot of my friends found acting talents as well.

Millie, Student - Endeavour Sports High School.

Race walking and soccer, my two favourite sports. Training with the boys helps me because it pushes me more and I'm able to challenge myself because the boys are better, at a better standard, and I can push myself to try keep up with them.


Hello, we're the Rions. Take it away Tom.

[music playing]

Tom, Student - Barrenjoey HS.

The school staff and mentors have been a really big help in our development as a band and with creativity. We had a teacher, a music teacher. He brought us, you know, into the industry, gave us gigs around locally, even took us on a band tour up the coast all the way up to Byron Bay. It was a really good experience that kind of gave us the tools to kind of grow and get more into the industry.

Harley, Student - Barrenjoey HS.

If I had to give advice to all the teachers in New South Wales on how to nurture creative students, I would say be patient with them. Gifted students aren't always the easiest.

Noah, Student - Barrenjoey HS.

Give people free reign and you know trust to do the music that they want to do.

Beau, Student - Mullumbimby HS.

I've recently been working on neural networks, so it's a form of AI that is involved in deep learning, so training AI to take in complex data and produce valuable outputs. From a teacher's perspective, if they want a student to succeed, especially if they're showing signs of being gifted, that you support the student both emotionally and academically. It can be quite overwhelming sometimes with the workload that school puts on to students so being there to support them on a personal basis is extremely valuable and definitely think when students give that, get that individual attention, they're able to succeed to a much greater extent, and they're definitely suffer a lot less from burnout.

Nazali, Former student - Prairiewood HS.

If there's one message that I could give to teachers at NSW, it would be to remember that every student that you have is an individual, and that there is no blanket syllabus that we'll be able to cater to everyone who's in your class. My public speaking and debating teacher was, I think, an integral part of my entire high school career because she actively went out of her way to give me extra resources to really feed my brain with things that I genuinely cared about.

Rami, Student - Armidale Secondary College.

I think one of the ways that the teachers can help the student is to, to ask them what they are interested in and to see how what they can do. So in that way they can give them some challenges and they can. They can work with them to improve their skills and to develop new skills.


It's very important that teachers have many different methods of teaching students and giving students an opportunity to learn because it means that students have a choice to actually gauge which learning methods work better for them and when you get that. When you get that feeling that learning is something that's independent, something that's our responsibility. It means that that love of learning can continue for a very long time, and I think that's the best gift any teacher can give.

[End of transcript]

Professional learning questions

Tammy initially found that learning at a challenging level was intimidating. However, she later came to think positively about being challenged.

  • Are there any processes for systematic development of growth mindset for high potential and gifted students at your school?
  • How are these processes monitored and assessed for impact in an ongoing way?

The Rions were inspired in their music making through authentic accelerated pathways beyond the classroom. Millie talked about flexible learning opportunities that enabled her to develop talent in the physical domain.

  • What professional learning would assist in building teacher capability in acceleration and advanced learning pathway processes at your school?

Nazli and Beau spoke about how important it was to be supported as an individual. Mentors are one way to facilitate individualised talent development for high potential and gifted students. Mentoring can be facilitated through student-teacher, student-student and student-expert.

  • Brainstorm possible mentors and mentoring opportunities in your school context for all 4 domains of potential: creative, social-emotional, intellectual and physical.

The students at Vacy PS were challenged to learn new skills across the curriculum through film making.

  • In what ways can technology be used to facilitate engaging and challenging learning experiences for high potential and gifted students in your classroom?

Rami was motivated to learn new skills through current interests and experiences.

  • How can teachers discover and use students’ personal interests to challenge thinking and learning in and across the 4 domains: creative, social-emotional, intellectual and physical. How might you use the Differentiated Adjustment Tool to facilitate this?


  • Teaching and learning


  • Implementation

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
Return to top of page Back to top