Gifted & Talented

Barrenjoey’s charter is to be truly comprehensive by providing the best possible education opportunities and outcomes for students of all abilities.  The school encourages and extends gifted and talented students by providing them with many opportunities.  Along with a wide curriculum catering for the pursuit of academic excellence, and teaching methods informed by current best practice, the school also offers many extra-curricular activities including a range of sports, music, dance, drama, visual arts, public speaking and leadership training for students gifted in these areas.

The process of identifying gifted and talented students at Barrenjoey occurs before they enrol with students in Year 6 invited to sit for an Extension Class Test, and also by seeking information from primary teachers and parents.  Students are given many opportunities throughout their school career as some gifted and talented students develop / discover their gifts/talents later.  Many stories can be told of students who have blossomed in music, sport, leadership as well as academic areas.

At Barrenjoey we cater for gifted and talented students through:

  • organisational structures, for example, extension classes.  An extension class in the core subjects is formed in Year 7 on the basis of test results in Year 6.  Extension classes for Music and Visual Arts are also available.  Extension classes are created in Years 8 –10 in English, Maths, Science, History and Geography and in Music and Visual Arts for Year 8.  In the senior school all extension courses are offered;
  • teaching methods informed by current best practice, for example Barrenjoey has a highly qualified, experienced staff who are continuously trained in quality teaching and the school quality teaching focus is intellectual quality;
  • extra-curricular programs;
  • involving community and outside expertise, for example the Tutorial Program offered to all years;
  • participating in opportunities provided by district, region, state and outside organisations such as universities;
  • providing and/or facilitating and supporting programs for individual and small groups of gifted and talented students, for example the Maths Olympiad, University of NSW and Macquarie University programs;
  • sport, for example the Rugby program, ski team and support for outstanding individuals.
  • student leadership program which is seen at state level to be exemplary;
  • continuously evaluating students to identify gifted and talented students and providing opportunities for outstanding students to be recognised and accredited by external, reputable organisations, for example external competitions in maths, science, English, computing and languages;
  • the effective transition between primary and secondary which involves close liaison whereby primary teachers pass on information about gifted and talented students;
  • regular research to inform continuous improvement by surveying the students about aspects of their education such as learning environment, school culture, teaching practice and homework;
  • Principal’s Gold and Silver Awards which are given to students whose semester reports indicate academic excellence and commitment to learning and
  • the positive school culture which promotes aspiration to excellence, respect and recognition from the whole school community for achievement in all areas.