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.
Students and parents can connect with our school Learning Management System run by SEQTA Software. Students and Parents can use the links below to access the portal that is relevant to your needs. Students access SEQTA Learn and Parents/Carers access SEQTA Engage
The Principal News
Term 2 Week 1 Event
2017 College Enrolment Information


Enrolments open 9th March 2017



Closing date for applications:


  • Year 7, 2018 Friday 28th April 2017
  • Year 7, 2019 Friday 21st July 2017


Due to a change in Sydney Catholic Schools Enrolment procedures from now on students must apply in Year 5 for enrolment into Aquinas Catholic College Year 7.




eLe@rning: Bring your Own Device Specification for 2017 (Click on this link)



Congratulations to the HSC Class of 2016


Congratulations to the HSC Class of 2016 … 76% of subjects above state average


Congratulations to the HSC Class of 2016 … 50 Band 6s / E4s


Congratulations to the HSC Class of 2016 … 248 Band 5s / E3s


Congratulations to the HSC Class of 2015298 Band 5s / 6s or E3s / E4s




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.


A new Administration Building is complete, and the students have moved into additional new classrooms and the outstanding MacKillop Common. 






College Dux Jushua Swan


HSC Courses above state average


50 Band 6's / E4's


Band 5's / E3's


A very big CONGRATULATIONS to all students in 8 Maths.

Peer Support

At Aquinas Catholic College, a group of selected Year 10 Leaders meet with a Year 7 group, once a week, during Term 1 to work through a series of discussions and activities.

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