Heathcote High School

Excellence, Opportunity & Success

Telephone02 9520 9488


Gifted and Talented

Gifted and Talented Programs

Gifted students are those whose potential is distinctly above average in one or more of the following areas of ability at school - intellectual, creative, social and physical.

Our gifted and talented program provides these students with learning opportunities on top of the normal curriculum.

Heathcote High School offer the following Gifted and Talented Programs: 

Whole School Programs

  • Wollongong University Enrichment Program: Selected students were able to choose from a variety of "Learning Labs" that covered a wide range of academic fields. The program was presented by university academics who are leaders in their field and the workshops were innovative, challenging and aimed to stimulate the interests of high achieving students. It gave students the opportunity to socialize with like-minded peers within a university setting.
  • 7S and 8S selective class: selected students in years 7 and 8 are placed in a separate class and experience a differentiated curriculum.
  • 7S and 8S Interdisciplinary project:  The Interdisciplinary Project (IDP) is a structured cross-curricular enrichment strategy for high-ability students in Years 7 and 8.  By compacting the Stage 4 curriculum in all subject areas we "buy time" from traditional subject areas, allowing students to engage in learning strategies across the curriculum. Students are given the opportunity to complete a rich task of high intellectual quality and present their findings to an audience. The project encourages a genuine "stretch" in learning through the application of creative problem solving strategies and engagement with the real world.
  • GATS day:  Selected students from Years 7-10 participate in a variety of challenging workshops that encourage the development of their team work and problem solving skills.
  • Year 6 Enrichment Program:  The Enrichment Program caters for gifted children by providing challenging activities, which broaden their perspective on learning. The focus is on the use of higher order thinking skills and problem solving based learning. Activities complement the Stage 3 curriculum with the aim of deepening students' knowledge and understanding.


  • Year 7 enrichment program: Selected students are given the opportunity to participate in this program. During this time the "smell the mathematical roses" that teachers would not be able to explore in usual lessons.
  • Mathematics competition: Selected students are given the opportunity to participate and test their skills in a very challenging competition.
  • Mathematics Olympiad: Students engage in a day that tests their mathematical ability in practical and theoretical contexts. It encourages social interaction and promotes mathematical fun.
  • Primary Mathematics Challenges: Students from Years 9 and 10 are given the opportunity to mentor Year 5 students in mathematical problems with practical and theoretical contexts and engage in social interaction in a high school setting. 


  • Australian Science Competition: The International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) Science assesses students' skills in the key scientific areas of: Interpreting data, including observing, measuring and interpreting diagrams, tables and graphs, applying data, including inferring, predicting and concluding and higher order skills, including investigating, reasoning and problem solving
  • National Chemistry Quiz: This competition is conducted annually in July by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, which is the professional body for chemists in Australia. The Competition is conducted at six levels corresponding to the Australian School Years of 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12. 
  • Science and Engineering Challenge: The Science and Engineering Challenge is a set of fun and competitive activities involving principles of science, engineering and technology. A competitive environment is created as representative school teams are pitted against each other and against the clock in a range of science and engineering tasks. The concept is to immediately engage students in the activity with a minimum of introduction and theory.
  • Conoco-Phillips Science Experience:Selected students are given the opportunity to attend the Conoco-Phillips Science Experience. It is a fun 3 or 4 days of science activities for Year 9 and 10 students .
  • Honeywell Engineering School:Selected students are selected to attend.  Throughout the week-long program, students are introduced to five universities, including University of Sydney(host university), University of Western Sydney, University of Technology, Sydney, University of New South Wales, and University of Wollongong. The students are also taken behind the scenes of some major engineering companies and projects to see engineers at work.
  • National Youth Science Forum: The NYSF offers Australia's best and brightest young science students a unique chance to explore a wide range of universities and careers in science, engineering and technology.
  • Science in the city: Students in the top Year 10 class participate in Hands-on science activities, talks, shows and workshops for school students at the Sydney Museum
  • UTS Women in Engineering Day: Selected female students in Year 11 are invited to attend the Women in Engineering Program at UTS. It is a long-standing initiative to redress the low rate of female participation in the field by communicating the opportunities of engineering as a course of study and career.


  • Year 11 Creative Writing workshops: Students participate in a variety of creative writing workshops in preparation for their HSC. Guest speakers are invited to motivate and mentor the students. This workshop culminates in the creation of an individual composition by each student.
  • Australasian English Competition: All selective junior classes participate in this national competition. It is run by the University of New South Wales Educational Testing Centre. It is a test with about 60 questions for comprehension, spelling, grammar and general knowledge.
  • Digital Story Telling: Year 10 students are given the opportunity to create a digital composition for sharing.
  • Writing workshops: Students are given the opportunity to participate in writing workshops during the school holidays. Intensive writing exercises and special guests provide motivation and role modeling for the completion of their major works in extension English. 
  • Debating team: The Premiers debating challenge is open to all NSW government schools, with the aim of developing the public speaking and reasoning skills of the students involved.
  • Sutherland Shire Public Speaking Competition: Students are selected to represent their school in this competition. 
  • Future Problem Solving: Year 10 students participate in this group activity where a variety of scenarios are presented to a group and they have to apply problem solving skills and produce a presentation to a group.


  • Australian Geography competition: The Competition challenges Australian secondary school students to demonstrate their geographical knowledge and skills. It rewards student excellence with great prizes, including selection for Australia's international geography teams.
  • Australian History Competition: The Australian History Competition is prepared by the History Teachers' Association of Australia and run in conjunction with The Giant Classroom. It provides an interesting and challenging competition for students and it is also an opportunity to provide a quality resource that demonstrates approaches to the assessment of knowledge, skills and understandings and promotes a broad view of history.


  • Sports program:Talented sporting students are given the opportunity to gain selection in school, zone, regional, state and national teams. This allows students the opportunity to participate in sport during school time and take part in skill training sessions with experienced staff and coaches.
  • Extension Workshops:Year 12 students are given the opportunity to participate in extension workshops in the school holidays.

Home Economics

  • Gifted and Talented Textile Workshop: the aim of this workshop is to identify the potential of students in textile technology. Students are given the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of textiles by completing a textile product using a range of processes. This allows students to recognize their own potential, develop confidence in their abilities and motivate them to a higher level of achievement and broaden their interpersonal relationships in an environment of engaging and discovery learning.
  • Chef for a Day: Gifted and Talented students are identified and selected to participate in an intensive program where they develop a four course meal in an environment where they are fully engaged in their learning. Leadership is a focus in this activity.

Industrial Arts

  • World Skills Competition: World Skills Australia aims to develop and nurture the skills of young Australians. The purpose is to promote and build a skills culture by inspiring young people, celebrating skills excellence and providing them with an opportunity to showcase their trade and skill talent. Students participate in competitions held on a regional, national and international level.
  • SIA sculpture awards: The Awards are an industry initiative set in conjunction with the SIA/TAFE Apprentice Awards. The criteria include the design and creation of a primary metal based sculpture. The competition aims to encourage high school students to take further interest in, and engage with vocational education and skills training as viable future career options.
  • University of Wollongong Engineers, Design and Technology and Industrial Technology Timber competitions: The Competitions aim to acknowledge students' efforts and encourage them to consider pursuing a career in the design/ technology/ engineering/ science related fields.



  • 7S Shadow puppet project: 7S students prepare a shadow puppet play.