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Gifted and Talented

At St Andrew’s we have a well-established Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) programme, set up to be responsive to the individual needs, strengths and interests of gifted and talented students. High achievers in sport and culture are also well supported at St Andrew’s through a range of programmes and initiatives.

In the Preparatory School we have a large group of high achieving students on a Priority Learners’ Register, which keeps track of their activities and monitors progress.

One of our key strategies is the Differentiated Classroom programme, run by each class teacher to cater for the wide range of abilities in classrooms. This integrated approach enhances problem-solving, inquiry and higher order thinking skills, and ensures the learning is engaging and suited to the individual ability of each student. Differentiation greatly enhances the educational experiences of gifted and talented students.

The underlying principles guiding differentiation for gifted and talented students are to:

  • present content which is related to broad based issues, themes, or problems;
  • integrate multiple disciplines;
  • present comprehensive, related, and mutually reinforcing experiences;
  • develop independent or self-directed study skills;
  • develop productive, complex, abstract, and/or higher order thinking skills;
  • focus on open-ended tasks;
  • develop research skills and methods;
  • evaluate student outcomes by using appropriate and specific criteria through self-appraisal.

Curriculum enrichment is also used widely across all year levels of the Preparatory School. Curriculum enrichment refers to “learning activities providing depth and breadth to regular teaching according to the child’s abilities and needs” (Townsend, 1996). Curriculum enrichment is taught by specialist teachers and includes Physical Education, Religious Education, Spanish (Years 1–7), French (Years 7–8), Japanese (Year 8), Music, Dance and Drama, Art, Food and Materials Technology (Years 7–8).

Tournament of Minds, Future Problem Solving, Robotics Club, World Scholars’ Cup, Writing Enrichment (with writer-in-residence Kerrin Davidson who offers regular master-classes), Extension Mathematics, High Performance Sport, and EPro8 Challenge are some of the withdrawal programmes offered to able students in the Preparatory School, along with a number of in school and after school clubs and competitions.

If you believe your child is gifted and talented, please email the Preparatory School on prepschool@stac.school.nz so that we can investigate further. All enquiries will be responded to promptly. 

If your child isn’t currently enrolled at St Andrew’s College, and you would like to find out more, you are warmly invited to book a tour with Jonathan Bierwirth, Principal of Preparatory School, by clicking here.