gifted education in western australia

Giftedness refers to a student’s possession and use of outstanding natural abilities, called aptitudes, in at least one ability domain, (e.g. intellectual, artistic or sensorimotor). Talent refers to outstanding mastery of systematically developed abilities, called competencies (knowledge and skills), in at least one field of human activity. Talent emerges from ability as a consequence of the student’s learning experience. Gifted and Talented Policy July 2010

Here is a link to the Education Department of Western Australia’s page which provides information for gifted and talented children who live in Western Australia. Additionally, if you would like more information on gifted education in Australia in general, here you can find out detailed information about educating gifted students.  The site offers the Australian Department of Education’s Gifted Education Professional Development Package online for you to browse. This is an awesome resource to learn more all about gifted students in a classroom setting.

There is some provision for gifted and talented students in and around Perth, and in the rest of Western Australia. At primary level students may be able to access full or part time gifted programs. In public primary schools some students may be selected to take part in a gifted pull out class. These classes are generally one morning or afternoon per week. Students get to mix with other gifted children and explore various different subjects in more depth than they may be able to in school. Classes may include robotics, drama and debating, chemistry, or activities that centre around a popular interest, such as Harry Potter.  In years 1 to 4 these classes may be called Nautilus, JETS, TAGS, EYE or something else depending on your district. In year 4 students can sit the PEAC test and children with the highest scores are invited to join the PEAC program. Selection criteria for these classes may be fierce and may also be different from district to district, but in exceptional circumstances some children may be accepted via portfolio, teacher nomination and/or IQ test. Sadly, funding for these programs has been cut and fewer and fewer children are now able to access the program. You will need to speak to your local district office to find out more. If you are considering sending your child to a private school you will have to contact them directly to see what provision is available for gifted students.

There are currently a few primary schools which offer a gifted and talented class on a full time basis, but such classes are not necessarily offered all the way through the primary years and may only be offered in years 6 and 7 for example. By the time gifted children reach secondary school they may be eligible for a full or part-time gifted and talented program. Students are selected on an academically selective basis; students sit the  GATE test when they are in year 6 and are offered a place in a gifted program if they fulfil the testing criteria. Below you will find details of some schools that provide some degree of gifted and talented provision in and around Perth. Look at the websites or contact schools individually to find out which area of gifted and talented provision is offered; this could include programs that are academically selective, language focussed, musically orientated, or visual arts based:

Primary Schools:

Wattle Grove, 14kms from Perth CBD, Western Australia – unfortunately this program is no longer running.

Caladenia, Canning Vale, Western Australia – also no longer running.

South Hallshead, Mandurah, Western Australia.


Secondary Schools:

Perth Modern School, Subiaco, Western Australia

John Curtin College of the Arts, Fremantle, Western Australia.

Comet Bay College, Secret Harbour, Western Australia.

Shenton College, Shenton, Western Australia.

Rossmoyne Senior High School, Rossmoyne, Western Australia.

Applecross Senior High School, Ardross, Western Australia

Balcatta Senior High School, Perth, Western Australia

Bunbury High School, Selective Academic Program, Bunbury, Western Australia

Churchlands Senior High School, Perth, Western Australia

Duncraig Senior High School, Perth, Western Australia

Governor Stirling Senior High School, Midland, Western Australia

Kalamunda Senior High School, Kalamunda, Western Australia

Kelmscott Senior High School, Kelmscott, Western Australia

Melville Senior High School, Melville, Western Australia

Mount Lawley Senior High School, Mount Lawley, Western Australia

Willetton Senior High School, Willetton, Perth, Western Australia

For more information on gifted and talented provision in the above schools please contact them directly :) .

How do teachers in Western Australia identify Gifted and Talented students? This web page from the department looks at some identifiers that teachers can look out for in students. Additionally this is a resource book that provides information that can be helpful in providing appropriate academic provision for gifted students. Additionally, this resource book is also provided by the department to families who home school their children due to giftedness, so is useful for teachers and parents.

The below video is from the education department and was made in 2008, but it still offers some relevant information. It provides information on the selection process for GATE students. For more up to date information ensure you look at the Education Department of Western Australia’s website, mentioned above.