Evidence suggests that our high potential learners, including gifted students, are not being sufficiently challenged in school. As Professor John Hattie, Chair of the Board of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership stated: “It’s an unfortunate phenomenon that’s called ‘coasting’ and it’s reflected in the flattening of the achievement profile of Australian students at the top end, as indicated by multiple surveys from the OECD.” In fact, national and international research and assessment shows that the top 40 percent of Australian learners are underperforming.
Trinity Grammar School has a strong commitment to academic excellence, nurturing the growth of students at all levels of their education. The School is proud to be one of only 15 schools selected from the independent, catholic and government sectors to be part of a core team of leading educators working together to engage in a robust innovation process to transform and develop new practices that are future-focused, and challenge and support high ability learners.
As a result, high potential learners are being challenged at Trinity through a multi-school project named ELEVATE, initiated by the Association of Independent Schools of NSW, supported by strategic partnerships with the UK-based Innovation Unit and the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).
ELEVATE is a multi-year programme of work focusing on designing and implementing educational best practices to address the learning needs of high potential learners, including gifted learners.
Utilising robust design thinking, methods and processes, in combination with research evidence, practitioner knowledge and the experience of teachers, ELEVATE provides an exciting opportunity for the growth and refinement of Trinity’s learning and teaching models.
Key focus areas for Trinity and the ELEVATE project include:
- Creating the conditions that enable a shift towards more powerful and effective teaching and learning experiences for high potential learners.
- Reshaping practices and improving the evidence base to enhance achievement, wellbeing and engagement of high potential learners.
- Curriculum and pedagogic designs that are responsive to pace, depth and level of complexity for high potential learners, creating challenges and opportunities to achieve excellence and become further motivated.
- Assessment practices and data literacy informing the design of optimal learning experiences that meet and extend curriculum opportunities and amplify impact with high potential learners.
- Successfully using a basket of measures to effectively monitor the progress and growth of high potential learners.
Trinity was selected to participate in the ELEVATE project because the School demonstrates:
- passion and commitment to increasing teacher capacity and developing innovative learning opportunities
- commitment to designing and implementing practices to improve learning opportunities for high potential learners
- capacity to allocate time and resources to lead and engage the School community in innovative and collaborative approaches
- commitment to evidence-based testing of new practices and ideas
- willingness to commit up to five school leaders to engage in project workshops and activities
- willingness to share innovation and learning beyond the School
- it has the capacity and resources to fulfil obligations to existing projects.
An important element of this project is its focus on individual school context, rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Trinity is committed to creating the best possible learning environment to foster innovation, creativity and higher level thinking. These skills are recognised as being critical in the modern global economy.
Trinity’s involvement in the ELEVATE project assists it to draw on the best examples from around the world, collaborate with other schools in the core development group, and design classroom learning approaches that respond and adapt to the needs of its boys.
The project has received strong support from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). Kate Carnell AO, Ombudsman for Family Enterprise and Small Business and former CEO of ACCI, said it was crucial for Australian businesses to play a role in preparing young people to become the innovators, job creators and social change agents of the future.
By forging strategic partnerships with industry to adopt new approaches to realising the highest potential for all of the School’s students, Trinity aims to develop future visionary and strategic leaders and industry innovators.
At Trinity, we have guided boys to grow in mind, body and spirit for over a century and we know what boys need to flourish and succeed. To learn more about the Trinity difference, and how we support learners of all abilities, download our prospectus.