Gifted Education – Newman
The information we gather comes from parent interviews, a variety of testing tools, conversations between teachers and parents, past reports and other relevant sources.
Our Newman classes are for students who identify as having a strong ability in specific areas of the curriculum. This means they require pace, complexity, depth and breadth to enhance their abilities to reach their academic potential. Newman teachers are trained in gifted education and target their classroom practice to suit the needs of these diverse and gifted learners.
See more on Gifted Education: Clancy University
Why is it called the Newman Program?
The Newman Program is named after Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801 – 1890), who embraced rigour and diversity. He followed truth, intellect, creativity and was not deterred by the status quo. He challenged mediocrity and paved the way for those who felt forgotten, although at the time, he was unaware how great an impact he had on people’s beliefs.
How does a student get put into the Newman classes?
At Clancy we use a variety of data sources to help cluster our students appropriately. Sources such as the Middle Years Ability Test, PAT Maths assessment, previous school reports, recommendations from past teachers, enrolment interview conversations with parents and other relevant data, is gathered and discussed to ensure we have developed a clear profile of your child’s strengths and areas we need to improve and extend.
When the non-verbal/abstract reasoning data indicates a high ability, and when this information is aligned with strong literacy and/or numeracy skills, a student will be clustered into a Newman class. These students require either (or a combination of) pace, complexity, depth or breadth in their curriculum. They tend to move through the curriculum more quickly than others since repetition of skills and content is not necessary.
Students who we identify as having fairly strong non-verbal/abstract reasoning skills but require some literacy support are clustered into the Shadow Newman class, so their strengths are still the key focus while learning gaps are improved.
Do the Newman classes follow a different program to other classes?
Our Newman classes and Designed Mixed Ability clusters all follow the same curriculum as outlined by the Board of Studies. Due to the nature of the Newman students, Newman classes may finish the programs earlier than other classes so they have the opportunity to delve deeper into their topics using a variety of differentiated group and independent strategies.
Why is my child in some Newman classe and not others?
We cluster the Newman students according to their strengths so if the data shows an inclination towards Maths for example, they may be in a Newman Maths class and perhaps not the others. Some students may find they are in Newman classes for everything except Maths. Some students may be clustered into both. This may also be the case for English, Stage 5 Science and Stage 4 TAS and CAPA.
Is my child 'locked in' to the Newman class?
The purpose behind flexible groupings is to be fluid when the need calls for students to move across groups. This could be due to many reasons, some of which will be either pastoral and/or academic. If movement is required based on the evidence gathered over a period of time, consultation between between parents, staff and students will take place and appropriate adjustments can be made for Newman students.
Doesn't having a 'gifted class' create a culture of 'elitism'?
Over the decades, research has shown time and again that gifted students require full-time opportunities to be surrounded by others that are like-minded so they are able to access their potential. Since gifted students tend to think at least two years above their aged peers in some domains, working with others that have this ability to think beyond the regular curriculum is important to maintain their academic and pastoral wellbeing.
At Clancy, we focus on learning-growth and personal-best to reach academic success. We believe we can reach this goal by clustering our profiled diverse learners according to their strengths and areas to improve, including our Newman classes, who still require structure and extended support. Elitism is about promoting one class above all others – this is NOT the case at Clancy because we believe in the learning-growth and personal-success of ALL our students, whether they are in Newman or not.
How do you assess the Newman classes?
If the Newman classes are following an in-depth program, their assessments should reflect this challenge too. Newman classes will attempt the Above Level differentiated assessment tasks across their Newman subjects. The Above Level tasks still meet the requirements of the syllabus outcomes like all other classes, however they are required to go into more depth in at least one area of the task. The number of questions should ideally be the
same since it is only the depth of the question/s that should differ. TAS and CAPA tasks may differ slightly due to the nature of their practical work.
Who do i contact if i have questions about the Newman Program?
If you have any questions regarding your child’s Newman class, please contact their subject teacher. Alternatively, please contact Ms Penina Barry for further questions.