Gifted and Talented Students
At Ellesmere College Gifted and Talented students are those who demonstrate or show the potential for a high level of performance in one or more of the following areas, when compared to others of similar age, culture, experience and environment:
• Critical and creative thinking -- problem solving, metacognition, intuitive thinking
• Emotional intelligence:
o Intrapersonal skills (e.g. self-critique, self-reflection, self-regulation)
o Interpersonal skills (e.g. leadership, organisational skills)
• Physical and sporting ability
• Cultural traditions, values and ethics
• Visual and/or performing arts
• Technological aptitude
• Academic and intellectual abilities
The school recognises that within its group of gifted and talented students there is a range of ability from mild to profound which includes twice-exceptional individuals (gifted students whose performance is impaired, or high potential is masked by a specific learning disability, physical impairment, disorder or condition). Most will be catered for through differentiated programmes within the classroom, while some may require provision beyond the classroom (see Figure 1).
The school is committed to its gifted and talented Maori students and recognises that in addition to those areas above, these students may demonstrate or show potential in areas specifically valued from within a Maori worldview.
• Whanaungatanga (family values and relationships)
• Manaakitanga (hospitality)
• Kaitiakitanga (caretaker/guardianship of knowledge, environment and resources)
• Matauranga (knowledge)
• Tohungatanga (expertise - in curriculum and non-curriculum areas)
• Tikanga (behaviour through protocols, customs and rituals that demonstrate and reinforce values and beliefs)
• Tinana (physical)
• Rangatiratanga (leadership)
Consultation with the Maori community will reaffirm these qualities.
While we do not stream or band our classes’ teachers adapt and differentiate lessons to suit the learning needs of all students. In addition GATE students are encouraged to enter the numerous activities and competitions that are available in all curriculum areas. Other opportunities to support GATE students include mentor support, yearlong projects, NCEA scholarship entries and scholarship tutorials and support. Some GATE students have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that has input from teachers, specialists and parents.
The GATE Coordinator is Mrs Melissa Jones and the Assistant GATE Coordinator is Mrs Desirae Beechey.
Learning Support aims to provide all students with a safe and enjoyable environment that will encourage them to feel positive about their learning.
We want all students to access the curriculum and to experience success across a range of areas while at school through the provision of a combination of extra assistance, adapted programmes or learning environments and specialised equipment or materials.
Ellesmere College Learning Support provides a variety of support for students with additional needs including:
• Coordinating student support worker allocation
• Assessing students to see if they meet the NZQA criteria for support and Special Assessment Conditions.
• Arranging Special Assessment Conditions provision for internal assessments
• Collating and coordinating information on students learning issues.
• Provisioning support for ORS funded students
• Coordinating links to external agencies, including the RTLB Service
Learning Support can assess students, develop Individual Education Plans [I.E.P’s] and offer individual and small group instruction, as well as provide Teacher Aide assistance and special assessment assistance for students who qualify. The Learning Centre also works to develop a comprehensive programme of Professional Learning for College Staff so that they become more aware of the disabilities they may encounter among students they teach, and strategies to help the students overcome those disabilities.
Mrs Liz Kidd, as SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator), is the teacher-in-charge of Learning Support. The College also currently employs 2 part-time specialist teachers and 6 teacher aides.