Skyline at the World Conference of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children

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Skyline recently participated in the Virtual World Conference of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. Katrina Reynen, Elizabeth Hartnell-Young and Annie Harper recorded a video presentation, entitled On belief, determination and peer support: Gifted, disadvantaged students maintaining education aspirations through lockdown, which reported on the experience and consequences of providing a rich program online.

Katrina outlined the context of Skyline’s work in government schools in Victoria, and the characteristics of the students who are selected for the program: they display a growth mindset, leadership potential, and resilience. She described Skyline’s Theory of Change and noted that in early 2020, Skyline recognised a need to respond to the increased challenges students and alumni were experiencing with their study, employment, and mental health. Finally, she discussed the positive evaluation results from 2020, a year affected dramatically by COVID 19.

In Annie’s interview with Elizabeth, she reflected on the shifts that were made to the face-to-face Skyline Program, ensuring that the ‘Skyline Family’ continued to provide the wrap-around care required. As early as March 2020 over 100 Skyline students participated in a very successful virtual event in conjunction with the National Gallery of Victoria, with the cooperation of street artists, indigenous artists and NGV staff.

Annie acknowledged the importance of students’ self-awareness, finding confidence in themselves and interacting with others:

It was 24/7 non-stop replanning. It was very important that we had variety, that we had short, sharp focus on themes and questions. It was exciting, mind blowing, really. We used Zoom and the breakout component to bring students together to meet each other. It was a learning experience for everybody.

The World Gifted Symposium — National Education Summit will provide interested teachers with another opportunity for professional learning on 12 October.


Dweck, C. (2014). Mindsets and malleable minds: Implications for giftedness and talent. In R. Subotnik, A. Robinson, C. Callahan, & E. Gubbins (Eds.), Malleable Minds: Translating insights from psychology and neuroscience to gifted education (pp. 7-18). Storrs, CT: National Research Centre on the GIfted and Talented.

Kitano, M. K., & Lewis, R. B. (2005). Resilience and coping: implications for gifted children and youth at risk. Roeper Review, 27(4), 200-205. doi:10.1080/02783190509554319

Kronborg, L., Plunkett, M., Gamble, N., & Kaman, Y. (2017). Control and resilience: the importance of an internal focus to maintain resilience in academically able students. Gifted and Talented International, 32(1), 59-74.

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