Archive for April, 2015

Year 7 Study Skills Program in Term 2

The Study Skills Program is a six week course offered to Year 7 students. The sessions run immediately after school in the Library on Wednesday afternoons from 3:00pm until 4:30pm. The Study Skills Program gives students the opportunity to develop important skills to aid the transition to High School. Each session will focus on a different aspect of studying and it is recommended that students attend every session. The first session will be held on Wednesday 6th May and the program will conclude 10th June. There will be a limit of 15 students in the group. Students wishing to attend must return the permission note to Miss Sobierajski in the Arts Faculty (staffroom in the SPACe)Study Skills Program Permission note by Tuesday 5th May.

Parent Teacher Night is coming up on Wednesday 29th April

Parent Teacher Night Information 2015

Japan Trip 2016 Parent Information Session

Thanks to all parents who responded and indicated an interest in the Japan Trip for 2016.

A parent information session will be held on Thursday 3oth April (Week 1)  at 6pm in the school library.

Included in next years itinerary by popular request Harry Potter World at Universal Studios – Mr Grieve approved!



The School Canteen will be closed all day tomorrow the 10th April.

Gifted and Talented Students

To support ACT public schools in their implementation of the Gifted and Talented Students policy, the ACT Education and Training Directorate has commissioned Gateways Education to develop a series of six articles over the next three years to provide information to parents and the community about gifted and talented children.  

This article and further information about the education of gifted and talented learners, including Gifted and Talented Fact Sheets for parents, can be found on the ACT Education and Training Directorate website. Alternatively contact Stromlo’s Gifted and Talented contact person Kristina Collins by phone or email at


Understanding the different curriculum needs of gifted learners

In educational systems across the world, educators are tasked with the responsibility of meeting the needs of all learners in their classrooms through the curriculum and program options they construct and deliver. Every classroom is a community of diversity, which includes students of different ability levels and learning styles, prior understandings and skills, different cultural experiences and language backgrounds, as well as a variety of affective differences and learning difficulties. Each learner has specific needs and, whilst the curriculum is designed to reach most learners in these classrooms, additional strategies are often needed for students such as gifted learners, whose needs are different to mainstream learners.


Differentiation is about modifying learning experiences so that all students have the opportunity to engage in the learning process at their optimum level. In the case of gifted students, it should be as qualitatively different as their level of ability requires. Differentiation has become the global approach to addressing the needs of a wide variety of learners, as it promotes equity in the mixed ability classroom and focuses on best practice instruction (Tomlinson, 1999, 2001; UNESCO, 2004)


Gifted students differ markedly from each other in the curriculum adjustments they require because their characteristics and needs are so personal and unique. VanTassel-Baska’s longitudinal research published in 2008, found that the three key characteristics of gifted learners, which should guide curriculum planning were those of precocity, intensity and complexity. They need time for in-depth exploration, to manipulate ideas and draw generalisations about seemingly unconnected concepts, and opportunities to ask provocative questions.


So how does appropriately differentiated curriculum meet the different needs of gifted learners? There has been substantial agreement over the last three decades (Kim, VanTassel-Baska, Bracken, Feng & Stambaugh, 2014; Passow, 1982; Reis & Renzulli, 2010; Rogers, 2007; VanTassel-Baska, 1986, 2005, 2008, 2012, 2013; VanTassel-Baska & Brown, 2007; VanTassel-Baska & Little, 2011), on a number of key points related to this question. The following points provide a summary of these:

  • The content of curriculum presented to gifted students should be more advanced than the regular curriculum and be organised to include more elaborate, complex, and in-depth study of major concepts, problems, and ideas that integrate knowledge within and across systems of thought (Maker, 1986). The pace at which this content is presented should be reflective of the different learning rates of gifted learners.
  • Curriculum differentiation should allow for the development and application of productive thinking skills to enable gifted students to reconceptualise existing knowledge and/or generate new knowledge. Inquiry-based and problem based learning using higher order thinking and creative thinking skills such as those developed through the use of Bloom’s Taxonomy (1956), the Williams Model (1970), the Maker Model (1982) and Paul’s Elements of Reasoning Model (1992) should underpin curriculum implementation and pedagogy.
  • The learning environment in the differentiated classroom should be open and supportive of diverse learning styles and enable gifted students to explore constantly changing knowledge and information in order to develop the attitude that knowledge is worth pursuing in an open world. Personal bests rather than comparisons to other students should be encouraged too, as research shows this results in an increasing level of academic achievement for all students, particularly the gifted (Rogers, 2002). Gifted students require daily challenge in their learning in order to prevent underachievement, anxiety and stress and thus may benefit from being grouped with like-minded peers to facilitate this (Rogers, 2007) and to avoid repetition of already mastered materials.
  • Curriculum adjustments for gifted students should promote self-initiated and self-directed learning and growth, and support the development of self-understanding and connection to the world.

The research in the field of gifted education strongly suggests that curriculum differentiation is effective in promoting learning within this population (VanTassel-Baska, 2008). It is also important to recognise that differentiation for gifted learners in heterogeneous settings requires great skill on the part of teachers and the support of principals and educational authorities (VanTassel-Baska, 2004) through ongoing access to professional learning. Finally, Rogers (2007) warns that there is no single practice or panacea that will work in every school setting and with every gifted learner and therefore, good practice will reflect multiple research-based strategies and pedagogical structures, which align with a school’s own philosophy, staff and community.


Right Here Right Now

Right here right now

Public Consultation – draft Reporting Student Achievement

The ACT Education and Training Directorate is seeking public comment on the draft Reporting Student Achievement (Preschool to Year 12) Policy and draft common report templates for ACT public primary and high schools. The draft Policy and draft common templates are designed to ensure parents receive consistent information about their child’s achievement regardless of which ACT public school their child attends.

School communities can provide feedback through the ACT Education and Training Directorate website at and the ACT Government’s Community Engagement ‘Time to Talk’ website at

Closing Date: Friday 15 May 2015

Action Buses – changes to School Services

Changes to 412, 501 and 503 School Services from 18 May 2015

ACTION has advised there will be changes to Route 412, 501 and 503 from Monday 18 May 2015.

412 now commences 3 minutes earlier at 8:22am

501 will begin 5 minutes later at 8:07am

503 will begin 1 minute later at 8:24am

A detailed list of these changes is available on the ACTION website 

Woodwork Benches for Sale

The woodwork faculty is refurbishing their workshop and are selling off the old benches at a great price.

Details below:

2 person wood work benches for sale   $20 each

14 available, first in , first served. 2 person lift

1500 long, 700 wide, 900 high

Available from April 7th

Contact dan oliver

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