Three Border schools are being showcased on the international stage for their leadership in nurturing gifted students and ongoing commitment to education.
The principals of Bandiana Primary School, Albury High School and Trinity Anglican College will be featured in a one-hour panel discussion at the 2021 World Council for Gifted Education and Talented Children (WCGTC) conference, which typically attracts more than 600 participants from 30 countries.
The biennial conference, which will run in a virtual format for the first time on July 31-August 1 and August 7-8, brings together researchers, educators, psychologists, parents and other stakeholders to discuss issues that impact the field of gifted education, and gifted and talented children.
Albury careers and education consultant Ayesha Umar will present the audiovisual discussion (pre-recorded due to COVID-19) which sees Donna Wright (Bandiana), Darryl Ward (Albury High) and Justin Beckett (Trinity) outline the different challenges they have faced implementing gifted education programs in their schools and how students have blossomed where programs have been running.
Ms Umar said there was significant evidence to show academic acceleration was the best path to cater to the needs of gifted students.
She said parents and teachers were often apprehensive about whole-year acceleration or grade skipping due to concerns around social impacts.
"However, empirical research proves students who are accelerated simultaneously progress academically, socially and personally," she said.
Ms Umar designed the Collaborative Gifted Program at Bandiana Primary School, which saw the school named as a finalist in the Victorian Education Awards for Outstanding Provision for High Ability Students in 2020.
During the panel discussion Bandiana principal Donna Wright, who was crowned Australian Principal of the Year last year, said the school actively sought to identify gifted children.
"It's about making sure these children have (the) opportunity ... and are not left to their own devices," she said.
"We have to use strategies in school to assist those in their journey through education."
Ms Wright said the focus was to look at a child's individual strengths "and then unpack how you get the most out of that child".
Mr Ward said there had been a high potential class at Albury High for several years however the school transitioned to a streamlined gifted education program in 2020.
Trinity is in the process of introducing a gifted education program.
- NEXT WEEK: More on Border schools' programs.