The Newman program, named after Cardinal John Henry Newman who was a significant church scholar, is a key element of the Sydney Archdiocesan Gifted Education Policy. It provides opportunities for academically gifted and talented students. Based on significant research, the program supports gifted learners across different subjects and skill areas. It was developed by Sydney Catholic Schools in consultation with local and international academics and practitioners with particular expertise in gifted and talented education.
For some time, schools have had to consider the needs of gifted students by providing opportunities to identify and extend those who are gifted, but whose capabilities might not always be obvious. The 2013 Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) review of Australian Curriculum highlighted the need for schools to offer gifted and talented students flexible and individually appropriate learning pathways. The Newman program has risen to the challenge, offering comprehensive extended content in many areas.
At Brigidine College, the Gifted and Talented program aims to extend and enrich all aspects of a student’s life. The program embraces contemporary educational research in Gifted Education. Students are selected for the program using broad selection data including parent and teacher nomination forms, an ability test, and a Maths, Reading and Writing test. Student results are tracked and monitored through the Sentral assessment and reporting system as well as the Canvas Learning Management System.