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Excellence programs

Generating Excellence for Maleny Students (G.E.M.S.)

Students who are gifted and talented in one or more domains are present in every school and can be found across all groups of learners. It is important that these students are identified and supported with appropriate programs and strategies. At Maleny State School, students who demonstrate talent in one or more key learning areas are extended to ensure they continue to achieve to their potential.

Generating Excellence for Maleny Students (G.E.M.S.) is a program designed to extend and challenge students’ learning. It is aimed at students from Year 2 to Year 7 who are achieving high academic results in specific key learning areas. Students are provided with activities to deepen their knowledge, understanding and skills on topics that they are learning in their classroom.

GEMS is provided in the following three key learning areas:

  • Mathematics
  • Writing
  • Art

The following criteria is used to assess a student’s eligibility for a GEMS program:

  1. Current NAPLAN banding (and / or)
  2. Achieving at ‘A’ or ‘B’ level in the specific key learning area (and or)
  3. A recommendation from the student’s classroom teacher.

IMPACT Projects – Literacy, Numeracy, Higher Order Thinking

Queensland state primary schools have the chance to invest in IMPACT Projects in 2015 via Brisbane School of Distance Education. IMPACT Projects have two strands - Booster and UNIFY. Project details are below.

Booster Projects (Year 4-6 Writing & Year 4-6 Numeracy*)

  • Booster projects aim to boost the confidence and achievement of students who could reach the Upper 2 Bands
  • The target group is students who could reach the Upper 2 Bands via an engaging and targeted program - usually they are from the second and third top NAPLAN bands, i.e. Band 4-5 in Year 3 NAPLAN in the relevant area
  • Students should be selected using a combination of teacher judgement, student NAPLAN data and internal school data
  • Booster projects are an extension of the highly successful Project 600 (SE, CQ and DDSW Regions) and Project U2B (Metro, NC Regions) which have been delivered by regional teams in collaboration with Brisbane School of Distance Education – 21000 students from over 500 schools since 2011
  • Year 4-6 Writing is available to schools in all regions, while Year 4-6 Numeracy* is available to schools in all regions except for Metro (because Metro may be funding Project U2B in 2015 – to be confirmed)
  • It is anticipated that many schools will register Year 5 students for Round 1 leading into NAPLAN, then register Year 4 students for Round 2 and 3 or move across to UNIFY.


UNIFY Projects Year 4-6 Higher Order Thinking

  • UNIFY projects extend the higher order thinking skills of high performing or gifted students
  • A range of topics are on offer in 2015 including Critical Thinking, Scientific Inquiry, Creative Writing, Numeracy or Design Technologies
  • Many schools offer UNIFY to higher performing students or to identified gifted students, but the target group is flexible and schools can select any student or group of students who have an interest in the project topic and will benefit from the experience
  • Critical Thinking is on offer in Round 1 leading into NAPLAN, with further options available in Round 2 and Round 3 – see the next pages
  • UNIFY stands for University For You – a highlight is UNIFY’s special online and on-campus events that connect students with university and industry experts who could inspire a student’s pursuit of a passion, pathway or career
  • UNIFY projects have been a big success for schools right across Queensland - 12000 students from over 300 schools since 2012
  • Participation in Booster and UNIFY Projects involves 1 x 60-70 minute session per week via web conference plus extension activities available at any time. Schools submit timetable preferences and we negotiate a solution. Student learning is assessed and we provide report card comments. Schools usually set the project up as an Other Learning Area (OLA). Schools can edit the comments and choose to include on report cards.

For more information

Please contact the school office if you have any queries on any of the above Excellence programs.