The term ‘gifted and talented’ is often misunderstood. It conjures images of an esoteric process in which an individual is bestowed with superhuman talent, and the maturity to use it, in all areas of their life

We consider the work of intellectual greats like Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, William Shakespeare and Leonardo Da Vinci; however, we often forget that they were also students who fumbled and failed. Like all students, they had to learn persistence and resilience.

Giftedness is really defined as asynchronous development; essentially, the brain is just a little older than the body. Statistically, it impacts 1 in 10 students. Far from being the model student, many gifted learners find themselves underperforming. This can be first seen as boredom in the classroom, frustration with peers, work avoidance, anxiety, poor self-esteem, constant questioning and inquisitive exploration of novel concepts, passion for social justice and/or a penchant for challenging authority. Once catered for, gifted learners can very quickly turn these behaviours around and start to enjoy the learning process once more. 

In 2020, the College is looking to further encourage the growth and development of gifted learners with the inclusion of a number of new acceleration and enrichment opportunities. These include the usual grade skipping, subject acceleration and academic co-curricular involvement, but we are also moving towards more nuanced programs which seek to provide the learner with a more tailored experience. These include: accelerated assessment within the age group, small group acceleration in multiple learning areas, formative work at accelerated levels within the age group, and withdrawal enrichment classes to provide access to like-minded discussions. We currently have 83 students engaging in pilot programs across the College, and are looking to open these options to all students next year. By mid-2021, we aim to have all students participate in a Cognitive Abilities Test, or CogAT, in order to further tailor learning to the individual and identify any gifted learners within our cohort.

If you would like more information, or wish to discuss your son’s potential for inclusion in the program, please feel free to contact our Acceleration and Enrichment Teacher, Emma Ramke.

Emma Ramke
Acceleration and Enrichment Teacher