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Course Content and Curriculum Links

THE EDUCATIONAL NEEDS OF GIFTED CHILDREN

University of New South Wales’ Karen B Rogers’ exhaustive synthesis of the research on educational practice for gifted students (Rogers, 2007) reveals that the research (Rogers studies over 400 academic articles, including more than 200 research studies) on gifted education can be condensed to five key elements essential to the education and development of the gifted child. Extension Education Programs for Gifted Children was set up to help to provide these key elements for the children we teach.

  1. Gifted and talented children need daily challenge in their specific areas of talent.

Obviously we only operate one day a week and so cannot provide daily challenge. Nevertheless, we judge that challenging our students for a full day each week is a good step towards meeting this need.

  1. Opportunities should be provided on a regular basis for gifted learners to be unique and to work independently in their areas of passion and talent

Our students are given time and support to pursue a Personal Passion Project each week.

  1. Provide various forms of subject-based and grade-based acceleration to gifted learners as their educational needs require

Our program offers content that students would not encounter until a later year level. This is planned using the Australian Curriculum, with content and skills being used from further up the curriculum, using a knowledge of the students’ prior knowledge and abilities to scaffold the learning for success.

  1. Provide opportunities for gifted learners to socialise and to learn with like-ability peers

This is a cornerstone of our program and is an element that most primary schools are, despite the best will in the world, unable to provide. While it is difficult (and quite resource-hungry) for primary schools to provide the other four key elements of gifted education, to provide a group of like-ability peers is often simply impossible. This element is key, not only to the students’ academic development, but also to their psychological well-being. For one full day a week, our students are able to talk to, work with and play with other students who are interested in the same sorts of things and think like they do. They feel accepted and understood.

  1. For specific curriculum areas, instruction delivery must be differentiated in pace, amount of review and practice, and organisation of content presentation

Our classes are fast paced, with few repetitions for review and practice, simply because these students do not need the same number of repetitions in order to learn a new skill or concept.

 

PLANNING PROCEDURES FOR PROGRAMS

The first stage of our planning process is the identification of a broad high interest topic for the term. This topic must be broad in order to cater for different strengths and interests of the students. For Term One 2017, our Monday and Friday programs are Social Sciences based, whereas our Wednesday and Thursday programs are STEM based.

Once the topic has been chosen, we use the Australian Curriculum to guide the planning of the sequence of lessons for the term. Please note, though, that one of the requirements for the design of a defensible curriculum for gifted students is that the activities chosen should be ones that would NOT be suitable for their chronological peers. Therefore, content and activities chosen must be challenging enough to extend even the most able of our students, yet able to be adapted to suit our younger or less able (but still gifted!) students.

The main content and curriculum links for our Programs are given below. In addition, students have lessons and discussions around the social and emotional aspects of giftedness – Coping with frustration, Perfectionism, Making others feel comfortable without dumbing myself down etc.

We also provide art and creativity lessons as we judge creativity and innovation to be essential in encouraging these very precious individuals to meet their full potential.

During the afternoons, students are also given time, support and guidance to pursue passions and areas of talent.

I hope this assists you in understanding our program. If you would like to come and observe our program, please get in contact – we would be delighted to share what we do with you.

Kind regards

Adrienne Alexander

(Principal)

COURSES

Topic: Mysteries (NEW!!!)

In this multi-disciplinary program, students explore the concept of MYSTERIES in a variety of ways.

  1. Students study the Mystery genre, exploring its characteristics, reading well-known mysteries  and creating their own mystery stories. (ACELT1605, ACELT1614 )
  2. Students study the fascinating subject of forensic science (ACSHE120, ACSHE121, ACSIS124, ACSIS125, ACSIS130). Topics will include fingerprinting, DNA, hair and fibre analysis, forensic entomology, toxicology, face recognition and more.
  3. Students study a well known mystery of history or science of their choosing, and examine modern methods being used to resolve these mysteries, (ACDSEH030)
  4. Students will also be involved in problem solving activities to solve a number of “whodunnits,” puzzles and challenges. These activities are also designed to develop the students’ observational skills.

 

Topic: My Fantastic World

In this multi-disciplinary program, students create their own planet and is also designed to develop the General Capabilities of Literacy, Numeracy, ICT Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, as well as Personal and Social Capabilities.

Content Objectives

Astronomy

Biology

Humanities and Social Sciences, the Arts and LOTE

Topic: Entrepreneurship

This Program guides the students through the process of setting up their own min=cro-business. It is mapped to the Australian National Curriculum across multiple subject areas and is also designed to develop the General Capabilities of Literacy, Numeracy, ICT Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, as well as Personal and Social Capabilities.

Content Objectives

Characteristics of entrepreneurs and successful businesses

Why and how individuals and businesses plan to achieve short-term and long-term personal, organisational and financial objectives

(ACHEK018)

Create simple financial plans

(ACMNA106)

Practise the skills and attributes underpinning entrepreneurial behaviours

identifying the need for sound financial management, both personal and business

Topic: Cryptography

This course is centred around the Mathematical Proficiency strands of Problem Solving and Reasoning combined with exploration of the developments of secret codes in key events and by key individuals in history.

Among other achievements, students will:

Learn about codes used in history – their methods and applications

Learn to create codes and ciphers using well known ciphers such as Caesar Shift, Morse Code, Freemason’s Cipher, Polybius Cipher, as models.

Learn to perform code cracking strategies such as Frequency Analyses on monoalphabetic substitution codes

Topic: Mini United Nations

Geography 

The students will understand:

Differences in the economic, demographic and social characteristics of countries across the world (ACHASSK139)

The world’s cultural diversity, including that of its indigenous peoples (ACHASSK140)

Australia’s connections with other countries and how these change people and places

(ACHASSK141)

They will then build on that understanding to investigate a country using the following inquiry questions: (Year 7, Knowledge and Understanding)

Civics and Citizenship

Students will then use their understanding of their country to debate issues and offer policy recommendations.

Appreciate multiple perspectives and use strategies to mediate differences (ACHCS057)

Use democratic processes to reach consensus on a course of action relating to a civics or citizenship issue and plan for that action (ACHCS058)

 

Topic: Maths Alive

Date Topics covered Links to Australian Curriculum
Week One Intro

Ancient number systems

Significant beliefs, values and practices of the ancient Egyptians, with a particular emphasis on: everyday life (ACDSEH033)

Significant beliefs, values and practices of the ancient Romans, with a particular emphasis on: everyday life, (ACDSEH039)

Week Two Measuring the world The role of a significant individual in ancient Greek history (Eratosthenes, Pythagoras, Archimedes) (ACDSEH130)

Estimate, measure and compare angles using degrees. Construct angles using a protractor(ACMMG112)

Investigate Pythagoras’ Theorem and its application to solving simple problems involving right angled triangles (ACMMG222)

Week Three Fibonacci and Phi Describe, continue and create patterns with fractions, decimals and whole numbers resulting from addition and subtraction (ACMNA107)
Week Four Pi and circles, mystic roses The role of a significant individual in ancient Greek history (Eratosthenes, Pythagoras, Archimedes) (ACDSEH130)
Week Five Pascal, number patterns and probability Identify and describe properties of prime, composite, square and triangular numbers(ACMNA122)

Describe, continue and create patterns with fractions, decimals and whole numbers resulting from addition and subtraction (ACMNA107)

Week Six Fractals Describe, continue and create patterns with fractions, decimals and whole numbers resulting from addition and subtraction (ACMNA107)

Estimate, measure and compare angles using degrees. Construct angles using a protractor(ACMMG112)

Week Seven The platonic solids

Mathematical origami

Estimate, measure and compare angles using degrees. Construct angles using a protractor(ACMMG112)

Construct simple prisms and pyramids(ACMMG140)

Week Eight Escher Describe translations, reflections and rotations of two-dimensional shapes. Identify line and rotational symmetries (ACMMG114)

 

While the students show good understanding of the topics covered, it is not intended that they be assessed as having completed these topics to the same degree as they would over a full course of study. They show good understanding of the topics, but often younger students might need to use a calculator to perform calculations, while older students may perform such calculations on paper or mentally. In addition, older or more advanced students may be given additional teaching over and above what is listed in the tables. For example, when covering Pascal’s triangle, some of our more advanced students are taught how to use it to solve binomial expansion problems.