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Marsden High School

Marsden High School

Telephone02 9874 6544

High Potential and Gifted Education

At Marsden High School, students are expected, and supported, to perform to their full potential. They are provided with explicit teaching and differentiated learning experiences to enable them to perform at their best. At the same time every student is expected to apply diligence and sustained effort to their studies, and to do their best to maximise their results.

It is a well established fact that students with high intellectual potential are typically at risk of underperformance if they are not challenged to achieve. In simple terms this means they need an environment in which they are challenged to work at a more complex level; at a faster pace; at a greater intensity; and with potentially greater volume of work than is typically expected of their age-peers.

Specialised curriculum provision for high potential and gifted students addresses their specific learning needs such as:

  • A faster pace

  • Processing more complex information and use of higher order thinking

  • Opportunities to engage in learning with students of the same or higher ability

  • Opportunities to undertake challenging work which enables them to develop strategies for persevering with difficult problems.

We aim to optimise the growth and achievement of high potential and gifted students across all domains of potential, through evidence-based talent development opportunities and differentiated teaching and learning practices, all of which are underpinned by the NSW Department of Education’s High Potential and Gifted Education policy

Marsden High School offers a range of specialised programs for high potential and gifted students:
  • The Pinnacle program for years 7  and 8
  • The Horizon program for years 9 and 10
  • Mathematics Accelerated elective in years 9 and 10
  • Science Accelerated elective in years 9 and 10
  • Extension courses in years 11 and 12

For highly gifted students, curriculum compacting, mentoring and acceleration may be implemented in certain circumstances.

Whole school high potential and gifted opportunities 

Marsden High School also offers a range of whole school high potential and gifted opportunities, in addition to the programs listed above. We implement evidence-based programs, practices and procedures so that high potential and gifted students’ specific learning needs are identified and catered for.

The school staff includes a range of specialist teachers, including music, drama and languages teachers, to cater for high potential and gifted students across a range of domains.

The collaborative planning process enables the creation of differentiated learning programs which support the needs of HPG students. There is a strong focus across the school on promoting creative and critical thinking and rich and open-ended tasks, through the widespread use of project-based learning.

Intellectual Domain


  • Author talks
  • Book week

  • Debating competitions

  • Public Speaking competitions including the Legacy Junior Speaking Award 

  • Riverside Theatre excursions

  • ICAS English tests

  • Essay writing workshops


Maths Enrichment

  • Maths Olympiad

  • Accelerated Maths program



  • Environment team

  • Australian Geography Competition

  • National History Challenge

  • History Teachers’s Association: Mastermind

  • UN Youth Evatt Competition

  • Rotary’s Model UN

  • Mock Trial 

  • Refugee Camp in my Neighbourhood excursion

  • Stock market competition




Support Unit

  • International Day of People with DIsability

  • Travel training




Create & Physical Domains


  • Dance workshops 

  • Synergy Dance Festival 



  • School plays/musicals

  • Pulse

  • Opportunities to be part of the hall technician crew



  • Band program

  • Strings program


Visual Arts



  • 3-D printing

  • Robotics team

  • Catering team



  • District/Regional carnivals

  • Sporting workshops

  • Girls in Sport program