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Virtual Provision for Gifted Secondary School Students: Keeping the Best and Brightest in the Bush

Research Report

Barbara Bannister



This evaluative research, using a mixed methods case study approach with triangulated design, investigated the perceived value of a virtual academically selective secondary school provision for Years 7–10 (age 12–16 years) that operated in Western NSW Region from 2010 until 2014. Students replaced regular curriculum study in the areas of English, mathematics and science at their local stategovernment- funded bricks-and-mortar school, with study that was conducted online with a cohort of academically gifted students from across similar schools in Western NSW Region. Perceived value by students and staff in the virtual provision as well as perceived value by parents and local state-government-funded secondary school Principals was positive, with students reporting a strong sense of belonging to the gifted cohort as well as their local school cohort, an improved skill-set to meet 21stcentury learning requirements and the capacity to harness their full potential through development of enabling skills such as organisation and study skills. Academic achievement of the virtual provision cohort in national or state-wide standardised tests matched those of metropolitan selective secondary school counterparts in literacy, numeracy and science understanding.

Title File name/URL File type & size Date Description
Virtual Provision for gifted secondary school students 02-Apr-2020 PhD thesis