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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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2.2.3 Theory into practice at a P-12 girls’ school

How do you structure a gifted and talented program to reflect your school community’s values along with best practice? A dedicated gifted education setting within a P-12 college has over the past twenty years seen the evolution of a framework incorporating six strands of practice: Professional Reading and Professional Development, Case Management, Chance Opportunities, Subject Specific Withdrawal, Voluntary and Interdisciplinary Projects, and Acceleration. This presentation will outline each of these strands, focusing on representative case studies to show how they work in practice.


Kathy Harrison
Methodist Ladies College

With a background in Science, Electrical Engineering and Youth Work, Kathy discovered a passion for encouraging gifted learners early in her 30 year teaching career. She has specialised in gifted education for twenty years; twelve spent leading the gifted education team at MLC. Her Masters research focused on using ICT with gifted learners; this continues with a focus on STEM. Kathy has provided professional development to schools, mentored other gifted education practitioners, been a Resident Scientist in School, worked with families, and established gifted programs in schools. Passionate about social justice, she volunteers through her church on projects in Vanuatu.

Jo Ryan*

Jo is an Australian teacher with over 30 years of experience in P to 12 schools. Since 2004, she has worked in an independent Melbourne girls' school as a teacher of gifted and talented children. Focused on the specific learning needs of highly able students, Jo has continually used action research to reflect and refine practice. In 2012, Jo gained Exemplary Teacher classification at her school and provides advice for her colleagues. Jo believes passionately in high quality education and best practice but, above all, Jo is a passionate mother, embracing everything family oriented.

Kate Lafferty
Methodist Ladies College

Kate is currently teaching in the Compass Centre, an enrichment program for highly able students, at Methodist Ladies College in Melbourne’s east. With almost twenty years of teaching experience, the last seven have been dedicated to establishing and implementing a respected and valued gifted and talented withdrawal program in a Victorian government primary school. Kate is completing her PhD at Monash University, focusing on the talent development of gifted girls, and is passionate about Gifted Education. Kate has presented sessions on Gifted Education to teachers and parents, as well as providing mentoring to both schools and students.


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