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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Topic: Rocket Science (NEW!!!)
This course is an absolute MUST for all students who love astronomy and physics in general. In this programme students will learn about the development of space flight as well as gaining an understanding of the laws of motion, gravity and the solar system. The course will involve hands on activities as well as research.
Curriculum content covered will include the following:
- Predictable phenomena on Earth, including seasons and eclipses, are caused by the relative positions of the sun, Earth and the moon
- Energy appears in different forms, including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and energy transformations and transfers cause change within systems
- Scientific knowledge has changed peoples’ understanding of the world and is refined as new evidence becomes available
- Science knowledge can develop through collaboration across the disciplines of science and the contributions of people from a range of cultures
- Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations
- Energy conservation in a system can be explained by describing energy transfers and transformations
- The motion of objects can be described and predicted using the laws of physics
Topic: Snapshots in Time (NEW!!!)
In this course, students will explore a different period each week, beginning with the Stone Age in Week One and finishing with the 1960s. In Week 5 of the Term, there will be an incursion from the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology. This will include a demonstration of Stone Age tools, a mummification workshop, medieval weaponry and then children’s archery.
Students will develop historical understanding through key concepts, including evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability. These concepts will be investigated within a series of historical contexts to facilitate an understanding of the past and to provide a focus for historical inquiries.
Topic: Budding Biologists (NEW!!!)
Budding Biologists will LOVE this hands-on science course exploring DNA, anatomy, microscopy, bacteria, moulds, fungi and much, much more!
Students will understand that:
- Transmission of heritable characteristics from one generation to the next involves DNA and genes (ACCSU184)
- Multi-cellular organisms rely on coordinated and interdependent internal systems to respond to changes to their environment (ACCSU175)
Topic: Rube Goldberg Challenge (NEW!!!)
In this course, students will focus on studying the physics of forces and simple machines, culminating in creating a “Rube Goldberg Machine” being a compound chain reaction machine, over-engineered to complete a simple task.
This too shall pass – OK Go
World record Rube Goldberg machine
This unit explores all three science strands of the Australian National Curriculum with a strong focus on Science Inquiry Skills by encouraging:
• Questioning and predicting
• Planning and conducting
• Processing and analysing data and
This course links to Physical sciences units in the Science Understanding Strand.
In this unit students will:
Investigate simple machines as well as balanced and unbalanced forces.
Understand that change to an object’s motion is caused by unbalanced, including Earth’s gravitational attraction, forces acting on
the object (ACSSU117)
The motion of objects can be described and predicted using the laws of physics (ACSSU229)
In this multi-disciplinary program, students explore the concept of MYSTERIES in a variety of ways.
- Students study the Mystery genre, exploring its characteristics, reading well-known mysteries and creating their own mystery stories. (ACELT1605, ACELT1614 )
- 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.
- Students study a well known mystery of history or science of their choosing, and examine modern methods being used to resolve these mysteries, (ACDSEH030)
- 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.
- Students study our Solar System and learn about the characteristics of each planet, (ACSSU078)
- Students learn about “the Goldilocks Zone” and what makes a planet habitable.
- Students learn about other solar systems and their characteristics; binary systems and exoplanets
- Students create alien life forms, which have physical and behavioural adaptations that allow them to live on the planet the student has created. (ACSSU094)
- Students create food chains, habitats and ecosystems on their planets. (ACSSU176)
Humanities and Social Sciences, the Arts and LOTE
- Students create alien civilizations for their planets, possibly including social groupings, political systems, economic systems, gender roles and customs. Alien art, music and languages may be developed. Individual students will be able to focus on particular areas depending on individual strengths and talents. Learning Objectives will vary between students as individual programs are mapped out.
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.
Characteristics of entrepreneurs and successful businesses
- investigating successful entrepreneurs and identifying the behaviours and skills that they bring to their business (for example, seeing and taking advantage of an opportunity, establishing a shared vision; demonstrating initiative, innovation and enterprise)
- observing local businesses to identify factors that contribute to their success (for example, location, quality of service, a high-quality product, sound management practices (ACHEK019)
Why and how individuals and businesses plan to achieve short-term and long-term personal, organisational and financial objectives
- identifying ways short- and long-term personal financial objectives can be achieved, for example through developing a budget and having a savings plan
- explaining the need for setting short- and long-term personal financial objectives and prioritising personal financial responsibilities and needs over wants
- explaining how financial records such as income statements, balance sheets, budgets and cash flow statements inform business decision-making
- exploring ways that businesses manage finances and plan in the short- and long-term to achieve organisational and financial objectives (for example, by developing a business plan or borrowing to invest in the business)
Create simple financial plans
- creating a simple budget for a class fundraising event
- identifying the GST component of invoices and receipts
Practise the skills and attributes underpinning entrepreneurial behaviours
- exploring various project management skills such as problem-solving techniques, generating and evaluating ideas and organising activities and resources including people and finances
- identifying risk management strategies to maximise success
identifying the need for sound financial management, both personal and business
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
- The role of a significant individual in ancient history (ACDSEH129 – ACDSEH 131)
- Understand the role indigenous peoples played in WWI and WWII as Codetalkers
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
- Find percentages of quantities and express one quantity as a percentage of another, with and without digital technologies. (ACMNA158)
- Assign probabilities to the outcomes of events and determine probabilities for events (ACMSP168)
- Learn to create codes using algebraic methods.
Topic: Mini United Nations
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
They will then build on that understanding to investigate a country using the following inquiry questions: (Year 7, Knowledge and Understanding)
- How does people’s reliance on places and environments influence their perception of them?
- What effect does the uneven distribution of resources and services have on the lives of people?
- What approaches can be used to improve the availability of resources and access to services?
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|
Ancient number systems
|Significant beliefs, values and practices of the ancient Egyptians, with a particular emphasis on: everyday life (ACDSEH033)|
|Week Two||Measuring the world||The role of a significant individual in ancient Greek history (Eratosthenes, Pythagoras, Archimedes) (ACDSEH130)
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)|
|Week Seven||The platonic solids
|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.