Gifted and Talented Education

Waiheke High School recognises that gifted and talented students have unique academic, social, emotional and cultural needs which can require a diversified, appropriate and responsive learning environment.

The Gifted and Talented Coordinator at Waiheke High School is Claire Mahaki


Giftedness is evidenced in all societal groups, regardless of culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender or disability. Gifted and talented students are those who demonstrate or show the potential for a high level of performance in one or more area when compared to others of a similar age, culture, experience or environment.

What is Giftedness?

Giftedness is a multiple construct which falls under these broad categories.

  • “g” or General Intelligence: based on the speed of mental processing, memory skills, logic and critical thinking ability.
  • Creative Intelligence: the generation of a range of new, original ideas or products; fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration.
  • Emotional Intelligence: the emotional development required to see talent through to fruition; leadership, personal and social competencies.

Giftedness at WHS

In acknowledging the unique bicultural heritage of New Zealand, Waiheke High School values and distinguishes students who demonstrate additional gifts and talents from one or more of the following curriculum and non-curricular perspectives.

Domain Significant Skills
Academic abilities / Matauranga Intelligence; knowledge; wisdom; inquiry; depth of thought; achievement
Leadership / Rangatiratanga Mana; service; unity; vision; strategic thinking; protocols; role models
 Language / Korero  Communication; oratory; explanation; analysis; vocabulary; linguistics; imagery
 Arts / Toi-Whakaari  Visual and/ or Performing Arts; Design; Creativity; Presentation; Vibrancy
 Physical Skills / Tinana  Sports; health; recreational pursuits; dexterity; fitness; coaching; teamwork; motor skills
 Interpersonal / Whanaungatanga  Generosity; inclusiveness; hospitality; nurturing; kindness
 Technology / Hangarau  Critical thinking; spatial awareness; construction; IT
 Balance / Wairuatanga  Intuitive thinking; reflection; consideration; spiritual awareness and safety
 Mathematics / Pangarau Critical thinking; data analysis; problem solving
 Guardianship / Kaitiakitanga  Environmental responsibility; care of resources; cultural traditions; ethical
 Science / Putaio  Investigating; exploring; conceptual understanding; curiosity; deductive reasoning

Identification Procedures

Giftedness is usually associated with high intelligence or aptitude whereas Talent is usually related to a high level of performance. The purpose of identifying students’ gifts and talents is to enable teachers to provide a responsive learning environment which will meet the needs of individuals and groups.

This process may include gathering data from the following sources:

  • Teacher checklists and assessments
  • Parent information feedback
  • Standardised tests
  • Teacher knowledge and intuition
  • Students portfolios and products
  • Peer/ Self nomination

“Renzulli developed a concept of giftedness based on the interaction between a high level of these three basic clusters of human traits. He claimed that Gifted and Talented students are able to utilise these and apply them to human performance and achieve extraordinary results”

Identification processes should:

  • Be inclusive and wide ranging – following multi-category, culturally relevant approaches
  • Be a flexible and continuous to allow for the recognition of emerging stages of gifts / talents
  • Utilise a cumulative data base so that identification is on-going and dynamic
  • Utilise information from a variety of sources and approaches
  • Involve open communication between parents, students, teachers, SMT and BOT
  • Be as unobtrusive as possible and a natural part of the students’ learning environment
  • Use a team approach to coordinate identification processes

School-wide support provision will include:

  • A key team with responsibility for leading special needs education
  • A co-ordinator to record G & T provisions from each faculty and identify areas for professional development
  • Identification of a budget to support educational resources

Provision for differentiated or extended learning may be made through:

  • IEPs
  • Multi-level or Year level ability grouping
  • Extension / enrichment / accelleration groups
  • Specialists / mentors working alongside teacher
  • Critical, creative and caring (ethical) thinking skills
  • Independent study • High ability co-operative learning groups
  • Competitions
  • Learning Centres
  • Online learning
  • Thematic / integrated learning
  • Field trips / excursions
  • Ability grouping and/or interest grouping
  • Higher level research skills
  • Compacting courses

Current opportunities available for gifted and talented students at Waiheke High School

  • All intermediate students taught by subject specialists, within specialized learning areas where appropriate
  • Literacy – extension classes in the junior school and opportunities for subject acceleration for gifted individuals in the senior school
  • Numeracy – extension classes in the junior school and opportunities for subject acceleration for gifted individuals in the senior school
  • Scholarship classes in maths and English at Year 12 for gifted students
  • Cross year grouping within the humanities, science, maths, English, Maori, art, graphics and music
  • Kapa haka
  • Waiata
  • Physical education – Sports Academy – enrichment opportunities within Auckland Athletics Association
  • Music – three choirs: junior, senior and all male. Jazz ensemble under development for 2011. Appointment of new Jazz Director
  • Drama – whole school productions
  • Hospitality – students given the opportunity to work alongside professional chefs and experience the island –based hospitality industry
  • Science – all junior students provided with specific teaching areas (three laboratories) and specialist teachers. Standardised tests used to identify top 20% of students – upper juniors streamed
  • Leadership training via AUT for Year 13 prefects. This is to be extended to include Year 12 by end of 2011
  • Business – Young Enterprise opportunities for junior school
  • Year 13 students identified as gifted in maths and English attend Auckland university to gain tertiary papers
  • Viticulture – tertiary course available to senior students and course mentored by world renowned viticulturist
  • Students have the opportunity to enter national and international competitions
  • Tailored career advice for those students identified as gifted and talented
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