Supporting our children to make the most of their gifts and to experience education as exciting is vital. Gifted Awareness Week is here again to remind us that we need to pay attention to the unique gifts of the full range of our students.
It’s not good enough to teach to the average or focus on meeting standards; we need programmes that extend the minds and talents of amazing young people who risk alienation and boredom if ignored. All students learn at a different pace and those who excel in a particular field sometimes need more than what a teacher with thirty students at different levels can satisfy.
With some gifted children, their talent is really a special need which, if unmet, manifests as a behaviour problem. These young people need support much as students who need remedial reading help or physical support do to participate in activities.
The organisations who offer stimulating programmes to these students need to be resourced.
This is all the more important in this time of social inequity. These children with particular gifts don’t all have wealthy parents who can buy them access to the kind of intellectual and creative adventures that will keep them motivated. They need the extra support that can enhance their school week.
In a recent tour of low decile schools, I have met many teachers who would love more support staff in the classroom to meet all needs and who value the diversity of their students. However, class size, National Standards, and many social issues are impacting on the ability of schools to offer the best to all children.
The Green Party supports the not for profit organisations who work alongside schools to provide the adventures in education which inspire gifted kids.