Gifted and Talented (GATE)
What is Gate?
GATE is the Gifted and Talented Education Programme that we run at Carmel College. NAG (National Administration Guideline) 1 states that gifted and talented students must be catered for in New Zealand schools.
Gifted & Talented students at Carmel College are those who show POTENTIAL exceptional abilities in one of more aspects of the total learning experience and display certain learning characteristics that give them the potential to achieve outstanding performance.
This is multi-categorical and may include one or more of the following:
- Intellectual/Academic ability
- Creativity – innovative thinking
- Cultural specific abilities and qualities
- Emotional intelligence – intra & inter personal skills, leadership
- Cultural arts – verbal, visual & performance
- Physical & sporting ability
There are a range of characteristics that GATE students share and this helps us identify them. Some of these are:
- Generates ideas quickly and easily.
- Keen sense of humour, able to laugh at self.
- Produces quality, novel/original ideas/imaginative.
- Advanced curiosity/questioning.
- Likes inventing, creating, constructing
- Willing to take risks, experiment.
- May go off on tangents, with little follow through.
- May play tricks at others’ expense; may use humour to control others
- May be constantly inattentive and off-task.
- May irritate others; may appear to ‘threaten’ adults who don’t know the answers.
- May be frustrated and rebellious in a conventional setting; may be ‘dropouts’.
- May be rebellious and challenging; may take inappropriate risks.
- Shows concern/sensitivity to others.
- Shows high level of personal intensity of feelings.
- Deep appreciation of aesthetic/artistic pursuits.
- Strong sense of justice.
- Shows high levels of perfectionism and strives for high personal standards.
- Shows leadership qualities – others follow naturally.
- May be overly self-sensitive and easily upset.
- May be overly imaginative and ‘dreamy’.
- May be the class rebel
- May manipulate others in negative ways.
- May find it difficult to control emotions, anger, sadness, depression etc.
- May avoid tasks where there is a risk of the high personal standard not being attained.
- Learns quickly and easily; effective memory and quick mastery of new skills.
- Avid reader/writer.
- Wide general knowledge and large vocabulary.
- Advanced in one or more subject areas/domains
- High level of competency in problem finding and analysis
- May be bored, and resist drill and repetition.
- May monopolise conversations, dominate class discussions.
- May show off, evoke peer resentment.
- May neglect other responsibilities.
- May brag, be egotistical or impatient with others
- May be overly critical or dogmatic in social situations, may correct other students and adults.
What is the NZ definition of giftedness?
“ those with exceptional abilities relative to most other people. These individuals have certain learning characteristics that give them the potential to achieve outstanding performance … Giftedness and talent can mean different things to different communities and cultures in New Zealand, and there is a range of appropriate approaches towards meeting the needs of all such students. Schools need to develop multicatergorical approaches to giftedness that are flexible enough to include the many characteristics that are typical of gifted and talented learners.”
(Ministry of Education, 2002, p.2)
Multi-categorical approaches are used to identify gifted students at Carmel College. These include, but are not limited to, teacher observation using characteristic checklists or observation scales, questionnaires, standardized tests (PATs, MYATs, asTTle...), parent referral, peer referral and self referral. The most common identification approach used in New Zealand schools is teacher observation and nomination.
What do you do in the GATE Form time Sessions?
Each GATE year level meets with the GATE Coordinator once every two weeks for a twenty minute session (Year 7 & 8 meet every week in a combined session). Students are also able to make individual appointments with the GATE Coordinator.
The GATE Formtime Sessions are a holistic approach to meeting NAG1. They are there to help students connect with gifted students and to form a support network.
They are also used to help raise the self efficacy of students and to provide them with some challenges (this is why there is an annual project). Gifted students are more susceptible to depression, drug use, eating disorders and suicide – to name just a few. A support group can help them cope with being ‘different’ and it is important that they have this time together.
The direction of the Sessions is generally dictated by each student group. At the beginning of the year, the students discuss what they would like to cover over the course of the year. This is also adapted as new issues arise in the year.
Some examples of what we cover are:
- How to cope with stress
- Role of attitude and its effect on motivation
- Neuro linguistic kinesiology
- Neuro linguistic programming
- Friendship issues and bullying
- Self talk
- Personality Styles
- What being gifted means?
- Social action
What does the GATE Coordinator do?
The GATE Coordinator’s role is not to improve academic grades although this may happen.
The key roles of the GATE Coordinator are:
- to identify potentially gifted students
- to facilitate opportunities for gifted students to meet and ‘connect’ with other gifted students
- to act as a mentor to gifted students and provide support for gifted issues
- to provide GATE professional development for staff
- to liaise with parents and provide opportunities for GATE understanding in the community
- to raise the self efficacy of gifted students and train them in coping skills for gifted issues.
- to act as a mediator between staff, gifted students and their families.