Kawana college to host conference for Queensland’s bright sparks

KWSC students at work in the science lab with Academic Curriculum Extension (ACE) Program teacher Jim Bailey
KWSC students at work in the science lab with Academic Curriculum Extension (ACE) Program teacher Jim Bailey

Internationally acclaimed teaching professionals and more than 270 junior secondary students from across Queensland will converge on Kawana Waters State College next week to participate in a conference for academically gifted and talented students.
Kawana Waters State College Deputy Principal Elly Gerbo said the event would provide valuable insight for teachers into enhancing gifted and talented teaching programs.
“The conference will include presentations from industry experts Julie Arliss and Jeffrey Hodges, who are renowned for their work with gifted and talented students around the globe,” Ms Gerbo said.
“Students are also set to benefit significantly, with the conference designed to broaden students’ knowledge base and deliver new thinking tools in an engaging manner.”
Ms Gerbo said the conference had proved so popular that schools from as far as the Gold Coast were journeying to Kawana to be involved and it had been necessary to add a second day to the event program to accommodate the huge number of attendee registrations.
“Interactive conferences focusing on gifted and talented education don’t come around all that often, so it’s no surprise so many schools are jumping at the opportunity to participate,” Ms Gerbo said.
“The event will incorporate a number of different sessions for students, with topics including quantum science, medical ethics and resilience and self-esteem.”
The program is designed to develop students’ critical thinking and reasoning skills and it will also provide them with the opportunity to participate in a debate and socialise with their like-minded peers.
Ms Gerbo said while the conference would run over two days on 22 and 23 August, Kawana Waters State College (KWSC) students and teachers would benefit from almost a full week of gifted and talented activities, with Learning and Development Consultant Ruth Phillips also visiting the school to impart her extensive knowledge on 19 and 20 August.
“Ruth has worked closely with KWSC in previous years to develop the school’s Academic Curriculum Extension (ACE) Program, which caters for gifted and highly able students,” Ms Gerbo said.
“This program offers the opportunity to expand on the standard curriculum in a way that challenges our gifted and highly able students academically, while also supporting their development.”
Ms Gerbo said Ms Phillips’ input had been integral to formulating a structured and well-rounded gifted and talented program for students, and marked the school as one of only a handful of local education providers that offered such a specialised program.
“The ACE Program has been developed in line with Education Queensland’s Framework for Gifted and Talented Students and we are very lucky to have had content and ideas provided by one of the country’s leading consultants in this niche area of education.”
“We launched the program last year and off the back of its success, have received a substantially increased number of applications for the 2014 program.”
For more information regarding Kawana Waters State College or the ACE Program, visit www.kawanawaterssc.eq.edu.au or call 5436 9333.