Green Party supports Gifted Kids Awareness Week 2015

Providing high quality teaching that caters to the specific needs of every child is an enormous challenge, but there is no investment more rewarding for society. Gifted Awareness Week gives us a chance to think about how diverse the needs of our children are and what extraordinary things can happen if we rise to the challenge of meeting those needs.

Gifted young people are often thought of as students who require less support, but we know that isn’t the case. All students need support, and gifted children, like all students with special needs, require particular support to feel empowered and engaged by their learning.

It is vital that we make substantive investments into the organisations supporting our gifted young people. If we don’t provide gifted children with the opportunity to extend themselves, their intelligence can manifest itself in behavioural problems. If we succeed in teaching them as individuals, they can go on to achieve truly brilliant things.

Unfortunately, National Standards continue to focus teachers on students just below the expected achievement level for numeracy and literacy, limiting the breadth of teaching and harming the learning of all students. Meanwhile, Early Childhood Centres are profit-driven and incentivised to cut costs in educating the children in their care.

At a time when children are being pushed into low quality Early Childhood Education and ranked by National Standards, it is essential that these organisations keep fighting to provide an education based on the needs of individual students.

The current government is determined to pull New Zealand education back towards a factory model, but the organisations providing stimulating programmes for gifted children are helping pull New Zealand education into the Twenty-First Century.

7 Comments Posted

  1. Thank you for your support of Gifted Awareness Week Catherine. What would your party do specifically to ensure a more adequate and appropriate provision for gifted and talented students could be achieved, particularly as the majority of gifted and talented students spend most of their time at school in a mainstream class?

  2. Great to read about gifted education from a politician who ‘gets’ it. There is some great work being done in our classrooms, would love to see every gifted child able to access the education they are entitled to!

  3. Thank you Catherine and the Green Party for your continued involvement with Gifted Awareness Week. Whilst I am unsure about the factory model of education, I know that in increasingly diverse times, there seem to be decreasingly diverse educational options. The focus on inclusive education seems to be excluding gifted students. I am interested to hear about what the Green Party might advocate for in terms of ongoing policy development in education.

  4. Thank you Catherine for your continued support for gifted education. Your acknowledgement of the special needs of gifted students is so very important – and a reminder that needs to be sent to Government and the Ministry of Education! For our country to truly have a world class inclusive education system, the gifted and talented must be acknowledged, identified, and provided with responsive, differentiated learning opportunities. Yet, at present, the powers that be in special and inclusive education, ironically, exclude an entire group of learners. Having your educational needs met is a human right – and having a system that appropriately facilitates identification and provision for gifted learners is a matter of equity.

  5. This is good to hear the system failed my son who at age 9 was assesses by CAMHs as a 97 percentile with a reading age of 16 plus (off the chart) I couldn’t get the help he needed through the school, SES of others. Behavior deteriorated as social issues developed. With support he completed Intermediate additionally completing cornerstone maths from Life Works and writing excellent poetry which I encouraged as a way of expressing his thoughts and feelings. After being bullied in the first term of Boys High he stopped school all together. I failed to get acceptance at several schools due to behavioral issues. CAMHs, SES and ADHD support coordinator all advised that CYFs had access to the best schools and recommended some places. My son had an assessment with Nigel Latter at Birthright and reccomended this place for him. Once signed he was kept locked in a house with an unqualified carer and snuck out roaming the streets at night. When I asked why he was not in school the whole purpose of me signing him over, they said they couldn’t find place. When caught sneaking out he locked himself in his room. They called the police used pepper spray on him and drove him to Auckland to a secure lock up that had serious offenderes, drug and self harm victims and that is where he spent his 14th birthday. They kept this hidden from me and I had to act like a detective to find out where he was next taken apparently to Mangakino where he tells me he was abused. My son now 21 is putting a case together to sue CYFs for his treatment while in care. The story is bigger but the point is my son was in the top 3% of intelligence in NZ age 9 and totally let down by all organizations in NZ. What a waste of tallent and disgrace.

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