Gifted & Talented Education

Primary Extension and Challenge (PEAC) Program

Primary Extension and Challenge (PEAC) is a part-time program for public school children in Years 5 and 6. Children are tested in Year 4 and are selected to participate in a range of innovative and challenging programs offered in a variety of ways. Children are withdrawn from regular class to attend PEAC programs.

PEAC programs offer children:

  • the opportunity to socially interact with other gifted and talented children
  • an intellectually rigorous and challenging program
  • opportunities to interact with practising experts
  • the opportunity to develop higher order process skills and in-depth investigation skills
  • the opportunity to work on open-ended activities which encourage choice and negotiation
  • self/peer evaluation and reflection of performance.

Process of Selection

Children are tested in Year 4 with results determining entry. 

If you have any further queries about this program, please visit:

http://www.det.wa.edu.au/

or contact the school on 08 9330 2255

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School of Instrumental Music (SIM) Program

The Department of Education's instrumental music school services over 400 primary and secondary Western Australian public schools.

Melville Primary School has an allocation for Flute, Guitar, Clarinet and Brass (trumpet and trombone). Lessons are weekly for 30 minutes in Year 5 and Year 6. There are 5 places per instrument, 20 in total.

Process for Selection

Children complete an Aptitude test in Year 4.  At this test, children list – in order of preference – what offered instrument they would like to learn if they had the choice. The test is then marked and students are ranked from highest to lowest. The coordinator then meets with the students’ classroom teachers and music teachers to attain an idea of the student’s overall effort and suitability.

Once they have been shortlisted, the students have an Expression of Interest sent home (this does not mean they have a place in the program). They then also meet with the Flute, Clarinet and Brass teachers to assess whether the embouchure will impede success.

The final process sees the coordinator making any last minute alterations and placements/offers are made.

If you have any further queries about this program, please visit:

http://www.det.wa.edu.au/

or contact the school on 08 9330 2255

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Embedded Differentiation for Gifted Students 

Melville Primary school has gained an excellent reputation for its gifted and talented educational provisions, including those for the twice exceptional student.

Students have access to a wide variety of programming options. These include:

Flexible grouping practices

Research has shown that gifted learners need to be grouped with other gifted learners at times (Rogers, 2007, p.388) and so grouping practices are varied and flexible to cater for these needs.

  • The school implements the Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model (Winebrenner & Brulles, 2012) when practicable and so some classes have a gifted cluster and are taught by a teacher who has a special interest and expertise in gifted education. When this is not feasible, classes have gifted students spread through mixed-ability classrooms. These grouping configurations depend on student numbers, school resources, funding opportunities and other factors.
  • Other forms of groupings include ability and interest groupings within classes, cross-setting, cross grading and multi-age groupings.

Instructional strategies

Research demonstrates that gifted learners require modifications to pace, task complexity, task abstraction and opportunities for independent study (Rogers, 2007; Hockett, 2009; Tomlinson, 2005). Accordingly, staff plan differentiated units of work and employ a wide variety of instructional strategies that cater for these needs:

  • pre-testing to determine current level and guide planning for enrichment and extension opportunities
  • enrichment and extension opportunities
  • teaching and learning adjustments in the classroom such as modifications to pace, increased complexity and abstraction of tasks
  • withdrawal programmes for identified students
  • provision to enter programmes and competitions
  • Philosophy for Children
  • chess club
  • various excursions and incursions

Acceleration

Acceleration is one of the options offered for gifted learners at Melville Primary School. It is “an intervention that moves students through an educational program at a faster than usual rate or younger than typical age” (Colangelo, Assouline & Gross, 2004, p.5) and its benefits for gifted learners are well researched (Bailey, 2004; Farrall & Henderson, 2015; Gross, Urquhart, Doyle, Juratowitch & Matheson, 2011; Kulik, 2004; Mayer & Geeves, 2014; Hargrove, 2012).

The school has a formal acceleration policy which aligns with principles outlined in Guidelines for Developing an Academic Acceleration Policy (Colangelo, Assouline, Marron, Castellano, Clinkenbeard, Rogers, et al. 2010). Any decision relating to whole year skipping (fulltime acceleration) are made after discussions with the student, parent/s or carer/s, current classroom teacher, receiving classroom teacher, Principal and GATE coordinator. The final decision rests with the Principal. Forms of acceleration at Melville Primary School are:

  • grouping according to ability within the regular classroom
  • cross-setting amongst several classrooms to teach a particular subject
  • subject acceleration, either within the regular classroom or in another classroom
  • fulltime class placement in a higher year level (whole year level acceleration)
  • early entry to kindergarten

We are a School cooperating with Australian Mensa. For more information about this, please see https://www.mensa.org.au/

References

Bailey, S. (2004). Gifted and Talented Education Professional Development Package for Teachers: Module 6. Primary. Sydney: GERRIC, UNSW, Department of Education, Science and Training. Retrieved from https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/pdf/gifted_talented_education_module6_primary.pdf.

Colangelo, N., Assouline, S., Marron, M., Castellano, J., Clinkenbeard, P., & Rogers, K. et al. (2010). Guidelines for Developing an Academic Acceleration Policy. National Work Group on Acceleration. Journal of Advanced Academics, 21(2), 180-203. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1932202x1002100202

Colangelo, N., Assouline, S. and Gross, M. (2004) A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students. Iowa City, Iowa: Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, University of Iowa.

Farrall, J. & Henderson, L. (2015). Supporting your gifted and talented child’s achievement and well-being: A resource for parents. Malvern, South Australia: Association of Independent Schools of South Australia. Retrieved from http://www.ais.sa.edu.au/__files/f/207598/Parent%20Book%20Last%20updated%2019_10_2015.pdf.

Gross, M., Urquhart, R., Doyle, J., Juratowitch, M., & Matheson, G. (2011). Releasing the Brakes for High-Ability Learners: Administrator, Teacher and Parent Attitudes and Beliefs That Block or Assist the Implementation of School Policies on Academic Acceleration. Overview. Sydney: Gifted Education Research, Resource and Information Centre. School of Education, The University of New South Wales. Retrieved from https://education.arts.unsw.edu.au/media/EDUCFile/Releasing_the_Brakes_Overview_A4__Nov2011.pdf.

Hargrove, K. (2012). From the Classroom: Advocating Acceleration. Gifted Child Today, 35(1), 72-73. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1076217511428309

Hockett, J. A. (2009). Curriculum for highly able learners that conforms to general education and gifted education quality indicators. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 32(3), 394-440

Kulik, J. (2004). Meta-analytic studies of acceleration. In N. Colangelo, S. Assouline & M. Gross, A Nation Deceived; how schools hold back America’s brightest students: The Templeton National Report on Acceleration. Volume 2 (pp. 13-22). Iowa City: Belin Blank International Centre for Gifted Education and Talent Development.

Mayer, L. & Geeves, J. (2014). Acceleration: Dispelling the myths with research and reality. Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 23(1), 39-48.

Rogers, K. (2007). Lessons learned about educating the gifted and talented: A synthesis of the research on educational practice. Gifted Child Quarterly, 51(4), 382-396.

Tomlinson, C. A. (2005). Quality curriculum and instruction for highly able students. Theory Into Practice, 44(2), 160–166.

Winebrenner, S. and Brulles, D. (2012). Implementing the schoolwide cluster grouping model (SCGM). In S. Winebrenner and D. Brulles, D (Eds.), The Cluster Grouping Handbook (pp.11-24). Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing Inc.