Welcome to MacKillop Catholic College

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Kaleidoscope Program

MacKillop Catholic College supports the expectation that all schools will create a culture of excellence that enables all students to flourish (Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Declaration, 2019).  While the term giftedness is nationally recognised, MacKillop Catholic College uses the term High Ability Students.  We have moved away from the notion that giftedness is solely based on I.Q. or is indeed an innate quality that one is born with and is imbued with for life.


High-ability students are those who, by virtue of outstanding abilities, are capable of high performance in any of the following areas, singly or in combination (Piirto, 1998):

  • General intellectual ability
  • Specific academic aptitude
  • Creative or productive thinking
  • Leadership ability
  • Visual and performing arts
  • Psychomotor ability

We believe that high ability can exist across many domains and can be of various levels. Research has shown that the greater the ability the greater the asynchronicity of development. High Ability students need to be supported and challenged, failure to do so can increase the risk of the onset of social and emotional problems, as well as the failure to fully develop the potential talent.

Once a High Ability student has been identified, support is a partnership between the school and the home.

The College has a dedicated program, Kaleidoscope Program, by way of invitation to identified High Ability students.  This group meets afterschool to be involved in an inquiry-based program each term.

In addition to the Kaleidoscope program support is also offered the following, depending on the area and degree of high ability:

  • Mathematics enrichment programs e.g. Squadrilaterals
  • Enrichment programs in English (Debating, Environmental challenges, Public speaking)
  • Affective support through mentorship and counselling
  • Interest and high-skill programs within courses
  • Classes with pedagogical styles specially adapted for the inclusion of High Ability; differentiated curriculum, flexible groupings, tier-based class resourcing.
  • National and International competitions (Tournament of the Minds, Computational and Algorithmic Tests, Science and Mathematics Olympiads, Australian Mathematics Competition, Mock Trial (Law) Competitions, Frank MacDonald Essay competition).

The College has a dedicated leader for this program, Program Leader:  Learning Extension.