Aquinas Catholic College Menai

Gifted Students Policy


The Gifted Education Program at Aquinas College, Menai focuses on a student centred approach to education and learning. The College’s Mission Statement challenges us as teachers, to recognise that students are at different stages of development and therefore have individual needs which must be catered for.



The Gifted Education Program at aims to provide quality learning which is: 

  • Open
  • Flexible
  • Accepting
  • Highly mobile
  • Complex
  • Independent
  • Student centred



Gagne defines giftedness as the possession of natural abilities or aptitudes at levels significantly beyond what might be expected for one’s age, in any domain of human ability. The key to Gagne’s view of giftedness is that it defines outstanding potential rather than outstanding performance.



Aquinas College is continually striving to help develop a learning environment which provides not only for our students’ intellectual and academic needs but also for their social and emotional needs. The College recognises the need for thoughtful planning and sensitive accommodation of their differences.



  • Intellectual Needs
    • The need for intellectual challenge and stimulation – the provision of programs that are engaging and make the student want to learn more.
    • The need to develop potential as a learner to the fullest regardless of the level of ability.
  • Academic Needs
    • The need to be presented with tasks which are neither too difficult nor too easy but which are set at a level slightly beyond the level a student has reached.
  • Social Needs
    • The need for companionship of students of similar abilities and interests – at similar developmental stages.
    • The need for social acceptance by the groups in which a student is placed for the purposes of learning.
  • Emotional Needs
    • The need to feel secure; this allows for intellectual risks.
    • The need to express, rather than conceal, abilities, feelings and interests.
    • The need for self-acceptance.



Gifted students have different learning needs from those of their age peers of average ability and therefore need special educational planning to support them in developing their potential. In order to provide appropriate learning experiences for the students the College is committed to implementing a comprehensive identification program.

  • Identification is not intended to label a student; rather it is an ongoing process with a diagnostic purpose. The College endeavours to identify gifted students effectively and confidently by –
  • Using tools and strategies that are prescribed by, or in harmony with the definitions of giftedness, eg. Gagne’s.
  • Using multiple criteria so that we identify as many of our gifted students as possible, using both subjective and objective measures.
  • Ensuring that the tools and strategies are reliable and valid.
  • Establishing equity of procedures to ensure that no one is overlooked.
  • Beginning the identification process early to help prevent chronic underachievement.




Aquinas College uses a variety of means to identify it’s gifted students, both subjective and objective. 

  • Subjective – teacher, parent, peer and self nomination, student reports.
  • Objective – individual IQ tests, group aptitude tests, standards of achievement tests, State wide literacy tests, competition papers and off level tests.



The College tracks all students in Years 7-12 through a database. Each semester student information is updated to include the results of all objective testing.



The College is committed to the development of a differentiated curriculum within the school environment. This addresses the different learning styles and rates of learning of students in both mixed ability and self contained gifted classrooms. Curriculum differentiation provides a framework that is better able to address the needs of all learners in the classroom. It provides gifted students with:

  • Challenging curriculum that addresses their needs for pace and complexity
  • Instruction and scaffolding for their learning, without repetition.



At Aquinas College a variety of strategies are used/may be used to implement curriculum differentiation. These include: 

  • Pre testing
  • Compacting
  • Tiered instruction
  • Negotiated contracts
  • Independent studies/research projects
  • Small group work
  • Future studies/problem solving
  • Negotiated curriculum.



The Gifted Program provides both formative and summative assessment.


This includes: 

  • Semester reports
  • Presentations at Celebration Nights
  • Informal interaction
  • Formal assessment in individual learning projects
  • Observations of the student



 As a result of this, we at Aquinas College are committed to: 

  • Identifying the gifted students
  • Providing a differentiated curriculum, using a range of teaching and learning strategies
  • Targeting specific groups and provide enrichment opportunities
  • Keeping students challenged and interested in learning
  • Fostering the desire and the means for students to become lifelong learners
  • Encouraging the use of The Independent Learning Centre by all KLAs
  • Providing ongoing training and development in Gifted Education.
In 2018 Aquinas Catholic College is undertaking a new student information system called Compass.
The Principal News

2018 New Student Information System - COMPASS

In 2018 Aquinas Catholic College is undertaking a new student information system called Compass.  It is a cloud-based program that will be implemented in all Sydney Catholic Schools, over the next 3 years.  At the beginning of this year we will be opening the Student and Parent Portals and you will have access to parts of Compass. Throughout 2018 you will be sent instructional guides and information about Compass via the College newsletter.  


The Compass Parent Portal is an integrated, online portal that allows you to access up-to-date and meaningful information about our school and your child's progress. Compass includes many different features, including the ability to:

  • ​Monitor your child's attendance, and enter an explanation for absence or lateness

  • Communicate with your child's teachers

  • Update your family contact information

  • View your child's timetable and the school calendar

  • Monitor your child's homework and assessment tasks

  • Download and view your child's Semester Reports and Progress Reports

  • Book Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences

For more information please read the brochure, "Welcome to Compass - a guide for Parents and Families" found here:

For instructions on how to download the Compass School Manager App, open this document.

Parent Instructions - Compass School Manager app

For instructions on how to record an approval for your childs absences & lateness this 4 minute film:

Approval for absences & lateness



Congratulations to the HSC Class of 2017

First Place in Systemic Sydney Catholic Schools (Archdiocese of Sydney) 

Gia Di Pietro: Ancient History and Biology

Natasha Krois: Hospitality and PD/H/PE


Congratulations to the HSC Class of 2017 … 87% of subjects above state average


Congratulations to the HSC Class of 2017 … 61% of subjects more than 5% above state average


Congratulations to the HSC Class of 2017 … 72 Band 6s / E4s


Congratulations to the HSC Class of 2017 … 253 Band 5s / E3s


Congratulations to the HSC Class of 2017 … 325 Band 5s / 6s or E3s / E4s

College Dux Gia Di Pietro

HSC Results  99.30



Aquinas Catholic College Menai is a co-educational, Years 7-12, Catholic High school, established in 1993. The present accommodation includes the Administration Building, College library, general classrooms and the full range of specialist rooms.



Aquinas Silver Jubilee Celebrated in 2017






College Dux Gia Di Pietro


HSC subjects above state average


Band 6's / E4's


Band 5's / E3's



Aquinas - Year 7 School Camping

Photo Gallery - 2

Ph: (02) 9543 0188 | Fax: (02) 9541 0398 | Anzac Rd, Menai NSW
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