Our specialised programs ensure our students are appropriately challenged and supported throughout their school years. As an open entry, mixed-ability school, we work with students across the full spectrum of ability levels and have a focus on personal excellence. We believe that with the right support and resources, each student is able to perform to the best of his ability.
Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program
We recognise that gifted and talented students have specific education needs and that it is imperative they are challenged, extended and inspired in distinct ways.
Defining Gifted and Talented
Giftedness is defined as the possession and use of outstanding natural abilities, called aptitudes, in at least one ability domain, to a degree that places an individual at least among the top 10% of age peers. Domains may be verbal/linguistic, mathematical/spatial, musical, kinaesthetic or creative.
Talent is defined as the outstanding mastery of systematically developed abilities, called competencies (knowledge and skills), in at least one field of human activity to a degree that places an individual at least among the top 10% of age peers who are or have been active in that field.
How we meet the needs of gifted and talented students
A comprehensive points based assessment criteria is used to ascertain a student’s eligibility for GATE. This system will allow for assessment of multiple forms of abilities (e.g. intellectual, creative, etc.). Once assessed, a range of curricula, co-curricula and mentoring opportunities are available that are tailored to match the distinctive needs of the individual student. This allows the development of talents in specific domains while pursuing mainstream curricula in other subjects. The opportunities that may be offered include:
- Differentiated content, processes and/or tasks to challenge gifted and talented students
- Annual Progression Reports for individual students
- STEM based electives offering hands on learning such as Robotics and Computer Programming
- Mentorship opportunities via the CSIRO Scientists in Schools Program
- Subject acceleration across specific key learning areas in Year 9, 10 and 11
- Pathways that lead to completion of 1st year university subjects as a VCE subject in Year 12
- Diverse co-curricula options that provide further avenues for gifted and talented students to be challenged through music, drama, art, debating, immersion programs, lunch clubs, as well as sport.
As well as preparation for external competitions such as:
- Tournament of Minds
- Da Vinci Decathlon
And external support programs such as:
- The Victorian Association for Gifted and Talented Children Activities
- CSIRO Student Research Scheme
Through this program, De La Salle College aims to enable exceptionally able students in a community of faith and excellence to achieve their full potential with integrity and distinction.
Extending across all year levels, our Education Support Team assists our teachers to meet the needs of students with additional learning needs.
The team works collaboratively with our teaching staff to:
- Identify and implement appropriate adjustments to support student wellbeing and learning;
- Enhance teachers’ knowledge of students with learning difficulties;
- Inform teaching practices in an environment of inclusivity and success.
The Education Support Team consists of a Coordinator, Special Education Teachers and Learning Support Officers. The team is structured as follows.
Students can be referred to the Education Support Team for assessment by either teachers or parents. To determine support needs, Special Education Teachers may complete internal assessments. As necessary, external agencies may be engaged for specific testing.
Support for CEM-funded students
Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) offers funding for eligible ‘educationally disadvantaged’ students with the aim of improving their learning outcomes. CEM-funded students at De La Salle are allocated an in-class Learning Support Officer (LSO) for subjects where they need the most assistance. LSOs provide invaluable learning support, whilst being respectful of the student’s need for independence in classroom situations.
CEM-funded students have an Individual Learning Plan (IPL) written by each subject teacher. ILPs are presented, reviewed and discussed with parents at regular Program Support Group (PSG) meetings, facilitated by the relevant Education Support Teacher. PSG meetings allow the opportunity for any other issues relevant to the student’s education and wellbeing to be addressed.
Support for students without CEM-funding
For students with learning difficulties that do not qualify for CEM-funding, the Education Support Team develop a confidential learning profile and share this with all relevant teaching staff. The team also provide resources to teaching staff to increase their understanding of specific learning difficulties and enhance their ability to effectively tailor the delivery of the curriculum.
Literacy support program
The Education Support Team offers a Literacy Support Program to students who meet the enrolment criteria for the program. Both CEM-funded and non-funded students can be offered a place in this program, based on results of literacy testing.
Please note, a numeracy support program is also available; this is offered by the Mathematics department.