ourladyoffatimacaringbah_news_celebratingIt’s been six years since the first Sydney Catholic schools began the accreditation process to deliver the Newman Selective Gifted Education program – and Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Primary School Caringbah (OLF) decided to celebrate the milestone with a showcase.

OLF was the first primary school to finish the intensive three-year Newman accreditation process, which they completed in 2015. Today, they’re one of more than 40 schools who are Newman accredited. The Newman Symposium is held annually to celebrate student talent and achievement showcasing a variety of programs involving academic success and creative art endeavours.

In September, the school opened their doors to parents and community members, inviting them to see how children were being extended in their regular classrooms and through specialised initiatives.

Luke Murtas, a parent whose three children are all part of Newman, said the day was a chance to celebrate gifted students and the effort teachers made to ensure their success.

“Kids that are good at sport get gold medals – there’s always a really obvious recognition of what they’ve achieved,” he said. “It’s good for the Newman children to have a day that’s all about them.”

Artworks made from recycled materials, created to illustrate stories written by students in English extension programs, were on display, as were students’ personal interest projects. One of these, by a Year 4 student, examined the use of a human cancer treatment in turtles.

At other stalls, students demonstrated how to make slime, described the potential social impact of self-driving cars, or discussed tricky topics they’d been learning about in their philosophy extension class.

It’s good for the Newman children to have a day that’s all about them – Luke Murtas