Our Curriculum - H.A.T.S. Program

At Birralee, we believe in treating students as individuals by identifying and catering for their needs. This includes the 5% - 10% of students of high ability who we refer to as ‘H.A.T. students’ - High Ability and Talented students.

We have adopted the following definitions based on the widely accepted work of Gagne and Renzulli.

High Ability – the ability to perform far beyond age expectations.

Talent – developed through persistence to a level where performance is above average and far exceeds age expectations.

Gift – an innate ability that can't be obtained through personal effort.

Highly-able pupils demonstrate a range of abilities, talents and gifts that are not necessarily only academic. At Birralee, we value, support and encourage excellence in:

  • intellect (academic domains)
  • creativity (design, problem-solving, technology)
  • physical ability (sports, dance, movement)
  • interpersonal and leadership qualities

Assessment data is continuously reviewed for all students in the school. If it is determined that a H.A.T. student is under-achieving, then mentoring is offered to inspire and encourage the student to re-engage with their learning. This gives the student a chance to think and talk about their learning needs, discuss strategies for moving forward and empower them to be self-reflective and responsible learners.

Parents of H.A.T. students are involved in the identification of the abilities of their highly-able child, then in planning to meet their child’s needs and in the provision of access to programs to further develop their child’s abilities. Resources and access to appropriate programs may be recommended, and support for these parents is offered by the curriculum co-ordinator and the student’s class teacher.