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 curricular, co-curricular 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 the completion of 1st-year university subjects as a VCE subject in Year 12
- Diverse co-curricular 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.
Students can be referred to the Education Support Department for assessment by either teachers or parents. To determine support needs, Education Support Teachers may complete internal assessments or make recommendations for referrals to external agencies.
Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD)
Schools must now complete the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability every year. It counts the number of students who receive additional adjustments or ‘help’ at school because of a disability. The Education Support Team at the College works with teachers to identify students who will be included on the NCCD list. In order to be included, students must be provided with adjustments to address a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
The type of adjustments given depends on the needs of the student. The help can include extra help in classes, special learning programs, or changes to the work given to the student. Adjustments fall within four categories: Quality Differentiated Teaching Practice, Supplementary, Substantial and Extensive. Students who receive substantial or extensive adjustments will have regular Program Support Group (PSG) Meetings and Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs). Some other students may require a PLP and/or PSG, determined through consultation with parents and teachers.
Special Learning Programs
The Education Support Department offers a Literacy Support Program and the Mathematics Department offers a Numeracy Support Program to students in Years 7–9. At Years 10–12, students select their program to best suit their abilities and interests.