GAT education at BSHS looks like:
A different, enriched and rigorous curriculum that considers the need to engage students in higher order thinking.
Although GAT classes need to comply with the Western Australian Curriculum, they must also address students’ academic needs. GAT programs will be clearly distinct from programs for other students in the same year group. Teachers will sometimes compact the learning and quicken the pace (accelerate) to better meet the learning pace and style of GAT students. Our teaching staff work collaboratively to develop programs that make cross-curricular links and help students see the connections across traditional subject areas.
Exemplary teaching practice that is informed by evidence-based research of GAT education and pedagogical trends across all education.
The way we teach is informed by what we know is best practice for gifted and talented students. Our staff have participated in professional learning about gifted and talented students, as well as key elements of teaching practice such as lesson design, instructional strategies, higher order thinking, and cooperative learning. Some teachers use a flipped classroom model of learning to allow content to be delivered outside of class time, allowing class time to be used for higher order thinking activities. GAT teachers also understand the value of integrating technologies into their teaching. Many teachers utilise the MacBooks or Ipads available to students and this allows research to be engaging and global.
An engaging learning environment that encourages and supports independent learning
Learning environments at BSHS are embracing the 21st century. The spaces we create for students allow for flexibility and allow students to switch easily from individual work to pair or small group collaboration. Teachers also understand that each student learns in different ways and has different needs. These needs are considered when planning lessons and assessments. We also offer opportunities to leave the school environment and engage with a wide range of educational experiences. Our school also employs an Education Assistant specific to the GAT program. The role of this assistant is quite unique and unlike other EA’s in our school. The GAT EA provides support to all students within GAT classes. Many GAT students display characteristics that may need extra support, such as becoming overly competitive, or perfectionistic. This can sometimes lead to procrastination and issues with their self-esteem. The GAT EA is able to notice these behaviours causing concern and provide support to students as needed.
Assessments that allow students to extend their learning, such as open-ended tasks/investigations, project-based tasks
Many of our GAT teachers have engaged in workshops about project-based learning and understand how it can enrich learning, especially for students in our gifted and talented program. PBL allows students to explore topics, ideas and issues as far as they can take them. It is an open-ended, but also structured and supported, way of learning.
Detailed information provided to parents regarding students’ progress in the GAT program
Parents are kept informed at every step of their child’s education, from information evenings prior to starting Year 7 right through to course counselling and acceleration options as they enter senior school. Teachers provide up to date and detailed achievement progress through our online portal, Connect. Parents can see what their child is achieving and for what assessments. Parents and staff can easily make contact via email in Connect. Formal reports and parent nights are also held throughout the year. GAT information is also shared through Connect. Look out for notices in your email about upcoming competitions, excursions etc.
Opportunities for extra-curricular activities that enrich learning
Students will have access to a wide range of extra-curricular activities provided by our school. They will need to select from these and be careful not to overcommit to too many. For GAT students it is often difficult to say no to some things, but they must prioritise, with parent support, so that they don’t become overwhelmed.
The wide range of activities includes the Robotics club, Interactive Media, Debating, Young Writers’ workshops, Tournament of Minds, Philosothon, competitions in just about every topic you can imagine, music performances, band rehearsals, Country Week, House leadership, sports teams and carnivals and the list just goes on and on.
A personalised approach to academic programs as the students move from lower school into senior school.
Each student’s learning journey is considered carefully. The Deputy Principal (Academic Performance) meets with students to discuss their interests and aspirations. The DP also looks at academic data and considers each student’s needs, particularly as they move from Year 9 into Year 10 and beyond. The DP listens to recommendations from GAT teachers and will present options to students and parents with regards to acceleration or other strategies that could provide even further extension and challenge to those students.
Some students enter the GAT program as twice-exceptional. This means that they may have additional needs as well as that of being gifted and talented. These needs are considered carefully and individual plans are created for any student who has had some intervention or strategies put in place to support them.
Fees for classes are normally the same as those for mainstream students. A wide range of extracurricular activities, including camps, are utilised within the program to
support learning, extension and enrichment. Some of these are subsidised. Full details of anticipated program costs for parents are outlined in the Financial Information for Parents document.
Selective entry testing is conducted by the Department of Education. Note: Applications close a full 12 months in advance of the student's entry year.
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