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Gifted Education program

At Penrhos College we believe that it is our responsibility to provide every girl with the opportunities that she needs for her to reach her academic potential.

Our Gifted Education program aims to:

  • Optimise opportunities for gifted students to engage in rich, rigorous learning that will challenge and extend them.
  • Enhance self-esteem and sense of accomplishment among gifted students.
  • Ensure that students with high potential are appropriately provided for so they are not at risk of underachievement.

Research informs us that gifted students may require different ways of learning for them to reach their potential. That is, they need to be catered for differently.

We are committed to providing a personalised learning program for our gifted learners which may mean going outside of the curriculum. We offer a targeted education program for gifted students which includes; curriculum compaction, alternative assessment tasks, real-world problem solving and integrated projects.

In addition to opportunities afforded within the subjects, a Critical and Creative Thinking elective is available.

We aim to ensure gifted students feel valued in a learning environment which both challenges and supports them to pursue excellence, develop a passion for lifelong learning and to feel inspired to become an extraordinary woman.


After a rigorous application process, Penrhos was selected as one of only fifteen schools to participate in the ELEVATE Community of Practice. Led by the Association of Independent Schools in New South Wales in conjunction with the United Kingdom Innovations Unit, the program benefits from the expertise of renowned international educational experts. Elevate is an exploratory program for teachers of high potential learners which is evidence based. Its aim is to provide new possibilities to help students to thrive now, and also in their future careers in a changing global economy.

The Elevate project focusses on content and skill development, as well as developing mindsets for lifelong learning. Specialist teachers profile students in their classes to better understand their needs and personalise offerings. Innovative classroom practices, based on the seven overarching principles outlined in the OECD CERI research; The Nature of Learning, are used to increase the rigour involved in the learning process. Our focus on the whole person paradigm of mind, heart, body and spirit underpins our practices.

The student learning program involves a combination of;
• acceleration of the pace of learning,
• expanding the learning beyond what is required and/
• deepening the learning to allow 21st century skill development in areas of personal passion

Thus generating new and challenging opportunities for each girl to achieve her personal best.

Academic extension

a. Mathematics Extension
b. Humanities and Social Sciences Extension
c. Science Extension
d. English Extension

Critical and creative thinking elective

Academically gifted students have the opportunity to take part in the Year 8, 9 and 10 elective, Critical and Creative Thinking. Girls receive an invitation to participate if they are identified as a learner who is exhibiting high academic ability.

Designed specifically to cater for academically gifted students, the program aims to promote academic rigour and intellectual challenge, whilst nurturing girls’ individual talents. This elective aims to develop skills, strategies and processes which can be applied across subject areas. Girls have the opportunity to explore an area of passion and participate in academic competitions.

This elective allows girls to work with other students of similar ability, and encourages them to take risks and challenge themselves in a supportive environment. Research indicates that intellectually able students benefit from working with students of similar ability to:

  • Stimulate and stretch their intellectual abilities
  • Ensure they have a realistic view of their capacity
  • Focus on higher order thinking when attempting challenging work
  • Prevent underachievement which can occur in mixed ability classrooms when students moderate their behaviour to conform with others
Academic competitions, events & co-curricular opportunities

We have a rich co-curricular program and depending on your daughter’s interest, there are a plethora of activities for her to be involved in.
a. Future Problem Solving
b. First Lego League
c. Da Vinci Decathlon
d. Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad
e. Philosophy Club
f. Debating
g. Mock Trials
h. Chess Club