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Clancy Catholic College | Newman Selective Gifted Education Program

Newman Selective Gifted Education Program


At Clancy Catholic College, we believe it is important to personalise the curriculum to suit the learner. For this to take place, we need to know our students and part of getting to know them is gathering information that will help us build a profile of students’ strengths and areas we need to improve.

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.


How does the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program fit into the
broader vision of education at Clancy Catholic College?

“All students regardless of race, age or gender, by virtue of their dignity as
human persons, have a right to an education that is suited to their particular
needs and adapted to their ability.”

Gravissimum Educationis nl, 1965 Declaration on Christian Education, Pope Paul VI
In alignment with Sydney Catholic Schools’ Gifted Education K-12 Position Paper
(2007), and the Gifted Education Policy (2015) the College promotes learning ‘the
Clancy Way’. In essence, ‘The Clancy Way’ is a philosophy that every student
should be given every opportunity through high standards and high support to
reach their personal best.

What is the philosophy behind creating Newman classes?

All learners have the right to receive an education that is responsive to their needs
and the provision of an appropriate educational program for the gifted is an issue
of equity. Gifted learners have diverse learning needs and require adaptations to
their education in order to develop their potential.

Why is it called the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program?

The Newman Selective Gifted Education 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 are students selected for Newman at Clancy?

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 assessments, and
enrolment interview conversations with parents are collected to inform decisions
around Newman. In addition, previous school reports and recommendations from
past teachers when provided, and other relevant data, is gathered and discussed.
These steps are taken to ensure that we have developed a clear profile of your
child’s strengths and an understanding of the areas we need to improve and

My son/daughter is in Newman for some subjects and not others? Why is
this the case?

Different students have gifts and talents in different area and as such we cluster
the Newman students according to their strengths. If the data shows an inclination
towards Maths for example, they may be in a Newman Maths class and perhaps
not the others.

What classes are Newman classes at Clancy?

Currently Newman classes are coded to end with a 1 (e.g. 7ENG1, 7MAT1, etc).
This may change in the future. Currently, we have Newman classes in English,
HSIE, RE, Languages, PDHPE, as well as in Mathematics and Science. While there
are no Newman classes in CAPA and TAS in 2019, there will be in Year 8 2020.
Students that have a demonstrated talent in these areas will still be able to access
extension work and extension assessment in these classes.

Do we ‘stream’ by ability at Clancy?

There is a Newman Selective Class in most subjects in Year 7-10 but all other
classes are mixed ability with the exception of Year 9 and 10 Mathematics which
are streamed into pathways 3, 2 and 1 as mandated by NESA (NSW Education
Standards Authority). Importantly, the numbering system for classes is for the
functioning of the timetable alone and does not denote ability.

Additionally, elective courses in Years 9 and 10 are completely unstreamed.
However, our staff have built a strong capacity to differentiate the curriculum to
suit the diverse needs of learners within the College, and as a result students will
be given the opportunity to access quality learning and teaching across all classes
to enable them to reach their full potential.

If you are in a Newman class, does this guarantee that you remain in the
Newman Program every year?

Not necessarily. Data is analysed towards the end of each calendar year to
determine whether some students might benefit from being placed in mixed ability
classes, and whether other students have improved their performance to the point
where they are to be moved into one or more Newman classes.

How many students are there in a Newman Class?

Newman classes are capped at a maximum of 30 as more would make teaching
and learning less than optimal. Practicalities such as the size of the learning spaces
have to be considered also.

Do the Newman classes follow a different program to the other classes?

Our Newman classes and Mixed Ability classes all follow the same curriculum as
outlined by NESA. 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

Is there an opportunity for Newman students to showcase their talents?

A Newman Symposium is held every year specifically so that Newman students
can showcase their talents. Other opportunities include: College Assemblies;
Newsletters; the College website; ClancyU; CAPA Night; HSC Major Works Nights,
and the College Musical.

How does a child get to demonstrate that they are capable of being a part
of a Newman class?

All students in a course, whether Newman or not, get to attempt a number of
common assessment tasks throughout the year, as well as formative assessment
tasks. These tasks are designed with ‘Extension’ activities that are not extra work,
but require greater depth. This allows any student (Newman or otherwise) to
demonstrate that they are capable of comprehensively addressing the outcomes
within a given course.

Is being in a Newman class more work? Will my son and daughter be able
to cope?

At Clancy teachers have high expectations of all students, and work with students
as individuals in order to allow them to achieve their personal best. Hence, being
a part of the Gifted Education Program does not have to mean a dramatic rise in
homework for students.