Gifted kids ready for more brain-teasers

Wollongong's class for academically gifted year 5 and 6 students is ready for some new students, and program co-ordinator Chester Meurant is expecting an avalanche of applications.

The weekly class, held at Farmborough Road Public School, gathers bright students from across Illawarra's public schools to study science, evaluate theatrical performances, analyse literature and attend excursions to museums, hospitals and universities.

Last year, Mr Meurant received the highest number of applications in the program's 22-year history - 230 applicants for 31 spots.

"One of our primary objectives is to get the students to attain evaluative skills - the highest level of learning," he said.

To develop these evaluation skills, the students review performances by the likes of Sydney's Symphony Orchestra.

Admission is based on a psychometric test, teacher recommendations, standardised test results, and information provided by the child's parents.

Seven students who were in year 5 last year will return to the program for year 6.

Jo Thompson's daughter, Mia, is one of those students, and is excited about the year ahead.

The Kanahooka mother has watched her 11-year-old daughter gain confidence since joining the program.

"All the excursions have opened her eyes up to the workings of the world," Mrs Thompson said

Applications cost $20 and close on February 14.

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