Provision for the diverse learning needs of students is a priority at Corpus Christi. Our Gifted and Talented program (ASPIRE) is one feature of our school’s differentiation practices.
The ASPIRE Gifted & Talented Program was implemented in 2019 with the assistance of Di Barnes, who is the former Senior Curriculum Adviser for the Gifted and Talented Unit for NSW Department of Education and Training. ASPIRE stands for “Achieving Specific Personal Inspiration with Real Enrichment”.
Leading our ASPIRE team in 2023 is Sarah Fleming who takes on the dual role of Year 6 teacher and ASPIRE co-ordinator. Corpus Christi works in partnership with Penina Kiss. Penina is the Learning Partner for High Potential and Gifted Education at Catholic Schools Broken Bay.
Sarah Fleming has a Masters of Gifted Education (UNSW) and is currently undertaking her Doctorate of Gifted Education (UNSW). Penina Kiss has a Masters of Education in Gifted Education, Educational Psychology and Educational Leadership & Administration (UNSW).
This year at Corpus Christi we have some exciting things taking place through our ASPIRE Program. We offer enrichment and extension opportunities for high potential students and those who are gifted and talented. Our highly-qualified staff are undertaking professional learning in gifted education and are offering opportunities throughout all key learning areas. We have organised for experts in art, STEM, science and technology, IT, engineering, and sport to come in and work with small groups of students.
We have also commenced “Genius Hour” sessions which include a range of students from K to 6 with a focus on design thinking, philosophical questions, and areas of interest for selected students.
Additionally, enrichment programs for all students are provided both within the classroom setting and as extra curricula opportunities.
Mentors in our community and beyond work with students in Mathematics, STEM, Visual Arts and Digital Technologies. Our newly opened STEM Lab provides space and easy access to a host of new 21st Century resources. This flexible learning space is utilised by all students.
Art Extension Classes
At Corpus Christi, Gifted education is not only limited to students requiring extension in Literacy and Numeracy. Students who demonstrate a high skill set and keen interest in the Arts are invited to join our Art extension classes. Junior (Kindergarten – Year 2) and Senior (Years 3-6) gifted and talented art extension classes are held weekly during school time. Students are exposed to a range of different creative mediums and techniques as they delve deeper into the theories of art studying key art movements and influential artists of our time.
Our new dedicated STEM Lab provides space and easy access to a host of new 21st Century resources including drones, Virtual Reality goggles, 3D printer, robotics, coding and more. All classes visit our STEM lab as a part of their weekly STEM classes. Our specialised equipment enables exciting forms of STEM learning at Corpus Christi under the leadership of our STEM specialist teacher Mr. Spencer.
As a part of our Gifted and Talented unit, Corpus Christi invites outside STEM mentors to run gifted workshops with small groups of selected students. Recently we have welcomed workshops run by community mentors such as a Sydney University Professor, astrophysicist, drone pilot and 3D print specialist.
Our Principal Mrs. Wheen also runs a popular weekly STEM lunch club open to all students who show a keen interest in STEM.
Starting from Kindergarten, students at Corpus Christi learn the art of public speaking. All students participate in our school wide Public Speaking Competition annually. Students who excel in Public Speaking in Years 6 progress to the Diocesan Competition, competing against the best public speakers from our Diocese of Broken Bay primary schools.
External and Extra Curricular Opportunities
da Vinci Decathlon
The da Vinci Decathlon is an academic competition designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of school students. Students compete in teams of eight across 10 disciplines: engineering, mathematics and chess, code breaking, art and poetry, science, English, ideation, creative producers, cartography and legacy.
At Corpus Christi the da Vinci Decathlon is one way we support those children in Stage 3 with high ability in a particular field of their academic studies. They are prepared for the competition by participating in a number of practice sessions which are facilitated by a teacher trained in this field.
Maths Olympiad is a unique program that is offered to gifted and high achieving Mathematics students in Stage 3. This international program allows high achieving students to put their talent to the test by competing alongside other students in Australia and New Zealand to solve mathematical problems in a creative manner, as opposed to simply reaching a solution using a prescribed method.
G.A.T.E.WAYS is an independent, non-funded organisation, established in 1994 to provide opportunities for highly able and gifted children with special educational needs. Like-minded students can participate in programs that will challenge them intellectually and help develop their individual talents.
Stage 3 students have the opportunity to participate in the Independent Schools’ Debating Competition (schools such as Barker, Knox, Riverview, Abbotsleigh, Redlands, Kincopple Rose Bay and so on) under the banner of the Brigidine College Junior Team. The ISDA is the premier student debating competition for independent schools in Sydney. Expert coaches from Brigidine College coach our students in the art of debating and students participate in this interschool competition against a number of prestigious independent schools across Sydney. In 2020, the competition was disrupted by the Pandemic but our Brigidine Junior Teams competed in the SDN (Schools Debating Network) competition instead. Our Primary B team were victorious in the 2020 SDN Grand Final and our Primary A team were runners up in the 2021 SDN Grand Final
Students have the opportunity in engaging in Chess coaching through Sydney Academy of Chess. The Academy provides a quality chess coaching service to schools and individuals and ultimately aim to bring an appreciation of chess into the minds of all Australians. Students can opt to participate in a range of interschool competitions throughout the year.
Students at Corpus Christi can participate in the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools yearly. ICAS is developed by UNSW Global through the University of NSW and is designed to target students’ higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills in English, Mathematics, Science, Writing, Spelling and Digital Technologies. These competitive assessments are designed to recognise academic excellence and students’ ability to apply classroom learning to new complex contexts.
In this video, watch Di Barnes as she talks you through Corpus Christi’s Gifted and Talented programme.
If you would like any more information on our ASPIRE programme, please contact our office on 02 7256 2114 or email email@example.com