We recognise that each child is different and that many children have an exceptional talent or ability. Those talents and abilities are not limited to academic areas alone, which is why we have developed the following categories of talent and ability:
Intellectual/Academic (students with exceptional abilities in one or more of the essential learning areas: i.e., English and languages, mathematics, technology, health and physical education, social sciences, science, the arts.
Creativity (students with general creative abilities as evidenced in their abilities to problem-find and problem-solve, and their innovative thinking and productivity.)
Expression through the visual and performing arts (music, dance, drama and visual arts)
Social/Leadership (students with interpersonal and intrapersonal abilities and qualities which enable them to act in leadership roles.)
Expression through physical/sport (students with excellent physical abilities and skills, as evidenced through sport and/or health and physical education programmes.)
Culture-specific abilities and qualities (those valued by the student’s cultural or ethnic group, including traditional arts and crafts, pride in cultural identity, language ability and service to the culture.)
How do we cater for these children in our learning programmes?
As children move through our school information is passed on from teacher to teacher on children who have special talents and abilities. This is not always apparent from an early age and these can emerge as children move through our school. Sometimes parents will alert us to the talents and abilities their children have and sometimes, when children learn about their abilities and talents they let us know! Some children are naturally shy or modest about their talents and abilities — the role of the school is to enable expression in the classroom and through other special programmes.
What happens in the classroom?
Teachers work to develop learning programmes that meet children’s specific needs and abilities are flexible and adaptive designed to challenge students to think critically and creatively are rich and problem-based.
Learning management strategies that teachers use include:
- Ability grouping (such as the management of reading groups) developing a culture of success where high achievement is valued and celebrated designing ‘open-ended’ learning activities that extend children’s thinking Enabling learning to cover a range of curriculum areas to cater a range of talents.
- Enabling work to presented in a variety of ways that utilize talents and abilities. Mixed ability grouping where thinking is extended for all in the group and the skills of cooperation, collaboration and leadership are developed and utilized.
- Teachers adapt learning activities to ensure that learning intentions and expectations provide appropriate challenge and extension.
- The use of student voice in the design of learning programmes.
- There is also a wide range of special programmes that run alongside classroom programmes
that allow students with talents and abilities opportunities to extend themselves, see below.