Through the enrichment and extension opportunities offered at Maria Regina, we ensure the needs of all students are met. We believe that high potential and gifted students, are entitled to rigorous and engaging learning opportunities that acknowledge their learning needs, strengths and interests. Our Extension Program is designed to identify and extend high potential and gifted learners within a challenging and supportive environment.
EXTENSION PROGRAM – ‘SOAR Higher’
O pportunities for
R igour, enrichment and
Higher order thinking
The SOAR Higher Gifted and Talented Extension program at Maria Regina, is available to students in Year 1-6 who have been identified as achieving beyond the expected classroom level and requiring academic extension. The identification process implemented at Maria Regina follows the procedures outlined in the Identification of Gifted/High Ability Students in the Diocese of Broken Bay, Guidelines K-12.
The SOAR Higher program is currently based on an English focus and has been purposefully written to incorporate higher order thinking skills and challenging questioning through the use of Blooms Taxonomy question stems, the Williams Model, Critical Thinking questioning and the Inquiry Approach. The use of Novel studies, Visual Literacy and Inquiry Research projects provide the basis and focus for each of the four terms.
The Gifted and Enrichment Coordinator, Sarah Fleming, works in partnership with Classroom Teachers to run the SOAR Higher program across Years 1-6. The students work in the classroom on their extension program and present their learning in a variety of ways. They have the opportunity to share their work collaboratively as a like-minded group and extend the depth of their thinking through these discussions.
All teachers at Maria Regina have been trained in providing ‘point of learning need’ differentiation strategies using higher order thinking and critical thinking question stems. These differentiation strategies are also incorporated into assessment tasks to enable high ability to emerge. Lessons are tailored to suit the needs of the group and individual students. Our teachers are highly skilled in monitoring students to ascertain where they can undertake more complex and challenging work. In addition to this, the inclusion of open-ended tasks, EPMC, Design Thinking and Thinking Routines also provided challenging enrichment. These opportunities are available to all students at Maria Regina.
Torrance Testing for Creative and Critical Thinking
With the expertise of Dr Bronwen Wade (STEAM Ahead Australia) every student at Maria Regina was tested on their creative and critical thinking abilities in term 4 2019, using an abbreviated version of Torrance Testing adapted by Dr Wade. As a result, students in each class have been identified as being highly capable in their creative and critical thinking skills. These students will be catered for in the classroom during
STEAM/Art classes and through utilising the Williams Model, to develop their skills and talents in this area.
Passion Project Day (Genius Hour)
Passion Project Day (PPD) is our annual extension and enrichment day for Maria Regina students in Years 3-6. Students are encouraged to ask questions, pursue interests and passions, research and create something to showcase their new knowledge. Parents are invited to the afternoon showcase.
- ICAS Competitions (English, Maths, Science, Digital Technologies, Writing)
- Language – Japanese
- Specialist Music lessons
- Public Speaking
- School Musical
Hear from our former Gifted Coordinator, Trish Biok, about how Maria Regina provides opportunities for children with advanced learning abilities to thrive: