The Newman Gifted Program at Marist College North Shore caters for students who have been identified as potentially gifted. The Program offers students academic rigor, creative and critical thinking experiences and enrichment opportunities within a Catholic educational environment in the Marist tradition.

At Marist College North Shore we are called to:

Nurture student’s love of learning through a Catholic pedagogy that fosters the development of the intellect, moral knowledge, understanding and reasoning in a relational, social and cultural context.
The Archbishop’s Charter for Catholic Schools, November 2014

Why is it called the Newman Gifted Program

Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) embraced academic rigor and diversity through truth, intellect and creativity. At Oxford University Cardinal Newman challenged mediocrity and paved the way for students who felt they did not fit into mainstream classrooms. Based on academic research for academically gifted students, Sydney Catholic Schools developed the Newman Gifted Program and now there are over 38 schools that have applied for and being accepted into the Program.



The Newman Gifted Program is designed to challenge and engage the student’s learning through compacting the curriculum and designing authentic enrichment programs.

The most important factor is that the teacher knows students in their classroom through mapping data and listening to student voice to cater for each student’s individual learning needs. The Newman teachers are provided pedagogical support attending Gifted Education courses, engaging in professional readings and attend regular meetings with a focus of gifted learning in our professional learning community at Marist College North Shore.

Students selected in the Newman Gifted Program will follow the same curriculum as outlined by the NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) as their peers. Gifted students require appropriate pace, complexity, depth and breadth in their curriculum. Gifted students tend to move through the curriculum more quickly than their age peers and repetition of content or a slower pace may hinder their academic potential. Based on student mastery they may finish the teaching program earlier than other classes allowing time to delve deeper into topics. These enrichment activities are designed using gifted pedagogy models and are catered to the student’s interests and passions to engage and challenge their learning.


Newman Symposium

Each year the College hosts a Newman Symposium to showcase and celebrate the student’s enrichment projects.

2017 MCNS Symposium: Wednesday 29 November (3.00 – 6.00pm)


Identification and Selection into the Newman Gifted Program

At Marist College North Shore we have adopted Gagne’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent for our identification process. We use a variety of data sources to help identify potentially gifted students to cluster classes. These sources include both objective and subjective measures to provide a clear profile of each student’s strengths and areas we need to improve and extend.

Identification sources include:

  • Year 5 Enrolment Interview Form: Student Gifted Involvement
  • Year 6 School Report
  • Allwell Testing
  • Psychometric Data
  • PAT Data
  • Year 5 NAPLAN results
  • Standardised Tests and Competitions
  • Year 6 Teacher Recommendation
  • Parental Nomination Form
  • Conversations with parents and other relevant data.

Students identified with high ability in verbal and non-verbal reasoning through the Allwell Test and other sources, tend to move more rapidly through the curriculum allowing opportunities for enrichment and/or acceleration. Students who have high ability in verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills aligned with strong literacy and/or numeracy skills will be clustered in the Newman class. Students who have strong literacy and/or numeracy skills, with lower reasoning skills will be clustered with like ability students and their progress closely monitored and measured to ascertain potential giftedness. The Newman class is not fixed and needs to be fluid due to pastoral or academic reasons. The wellbeing of every student is our highest priority.



Carolyn O’Brien
Director of Diverse Learning (Newman Project Leader)