Page 3501 - Week 11 - Thursday, 19 September 2013
complex learning than their peers. If we fail these students, we are at risk of losing a chance to develop their great potential into something that will benefit their lives and those of our community.
Our new policy will help schools identify gifted and talented children and give them the best education that we can provide.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.
MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, can you tell the Assembly about some of the gifted and talented programs that are currently operating in ACT public schools?
MS BURCH: I thank Mr Gentleman for his interest. It is important to remember that, when we are talking about gifted and talented students, they are not a single, homogenous group. As such, one size does not fit all. Schools, therefore, offer a wide range of options for meeting the needs of gifted and talented students. Strategies employed by schools to cater for gifted and talented students centre around enrichment and extension of the curriculum, specific gifted and talented programs, and classroom structures that group gifted and talented students together.
For example, several colleges, such as Narrabundah College, provide the International Baccalaureate diploma, and this is recognised as an effective program for meeting the needs of gifted students who are self-directed learners.
Gungahlin College has a SMART program, which is a year 10 selective program designed for students who show interest and aptitude or potential in science, maths, and related technologies. Students have the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive preparation program which includes commencing year 11 subjects while they are still in year 10.
Alfred Deakin High School has the unicorn program, and this is a dedicated gifted class to provide extended learning opportunities for some core subjects.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.
MR DOSZPOT: Minister, can you tell us, at the other end of the spectrum, what plans are afoot to address the issues faced by students who are falling further behind in successive NAPLAN tests?
Ms Burch: I do not know what NAPLAN tests have got to do with gifted students.
MADAM SPEAKER: It is not so much that it relates to the NAPLAN tests. I am actually considering that this was a question about gifted and talented students. It did not talk about children who are failing to achieve. I think I have to rule the question out of order.
Mr Doszpot: It is a matter of education that this refers to.
MADAM SPEAKER: I understand that, Mr Doszpot, and I understand that you may be interested in it. The standing orders require that supplementary questions be