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“This program allows teachers to focus on the importance of differentiation and better cater for our gifted students in Catholic schools. It will continue to support our students and their families into the future on their educational journey, as we recognise students’ potential and foster their talents.”

Gifted Education is a focus for schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. The purpose of gifted education is to identify “giftedness” in students and to provide appropriate educational programs and interventions to enable development of “talent” to achieve potential.

In 2016, the Catholic Schools Office identified a need to review and enhance its policies in relation to the field of gifted education to ensure the needs of gifted students were being met. The system’s gifted education policies and procedures have been designed to fulfil this requirement. The K-12 Gifted Education policy and procedure documents were launched in January 2017.

The policy is mandated for all schools in the system and provides clear guidelines for responsibility at system- and school-level. The system leadership is responsible for providing support and guidance in the development and implementation of gifted education initiatives, professional learning opportunities and resources. The principals and school executives are responsible for implementing a continuous process of identification of gifted students in consultation with relevant system personnel. The policy includes an identification overview to be followed by all schools.

The key components of the Gifted Education K-12 policy and strategy are:

  • Leadership commitment
  • Identification and use of data
  • Capacity building of staff
  • Targeted strategies for gifted pedagogy
  • School-wide and cluster approach to gifted education.

The roll-out of the gifted education initiative began in 2017 with nominated secondary and associated primary schools forming clusters as Gifted Education Lead Schools (GELS). These schools are implementing identification processes and appropriate educational interventions. Each of the GELS has a Gifted Education Mentor (GEM) appointed to support teachers and the school gifted education committees in providing appropriate strategies to assist students.

Over five years of implementation all schools in the system will be working in clusters with a strong K-12 system approach supporting students as they enter and transition through the grades and schools.

Gifted Education is an exciting new chapter for the lives of many students in our schools and we look forward to working with all the schools in the diocese during this exciting new era of learning. 

The Catholic Schools Office offers teachers a range of professional learning opportunities including scholarships in post graduate studies in Gifted Education. Up to 50% of course fees will be reimbursed to scholarship recipients - subject to satisfactory completion of each unit. Masters and Graduate certificate courses at UNSW can be completed through online or blended learning and via intensive courses during school holidays.

Download the Expression of Interest for UNSW post graduate studies

The Gifted Education Lead Schools are organised into seven clusters across the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.


High school: 
St Pius X, Adamstown 

Primary schools:
Holy Family, Merewether Beach
St Joseph’s, Merewether
St James’, Kotara South 
St John’s, Lambton
St Therese’s, New Lambton
St Columba’s, Adamstown


High school: 
St Clare’s, Taree

Primary schools:
Holy Name, Forster
St Joseph’s, Wingham


High school: 
San Clemente, Mayfield

Primary schools:
St Columban’s, Mayfield
Corpus Christi, Waratah
St Michael’s, Nelson Bay
St Peter's, Stockton


High school: 
All Saints' College, St Peter's Campus, Maitland

Primary schools:
St John the Baptist, Maitland
St Joseph’s, East Maitland 
Holy Spirit Infants, Abermain
Holy Spirit, Kurri Kurri


High school: 
St Joseph’s, Lochinvar

Primary schools:
St Patrick’s, Lochinvar
Rosary Park, Branxton


High school: 
St Bede’s, Chisholm

Primary schools:
St Aloysius, Chisholm
Our Lady of Lourdes, Tarro


High school: 
St Paul’s, Booragul

Primary schools:
St Mary’s, Warners Bay
St Joseph’s, Kilaben Bay
St John Vianney, Morisset
St Kevin’s, Cardiff
Holy Cross, Glendale


K-12 school:
St Catherine's Singleton

High school:
St Joseph's, Aberdeen

Primary school:
St James', Muswellbrook
St Joseph's, Denman

In Term 3 schools are invited to nominate to become a Gifted Education Lead School for the following year.