There are many definitions for gifted and talented students.
Gifted children as those who have outstanding or high levels of innate ability, in any domain of human ability (intellectual, creative, social or physical) that would place them within the top 10% of their age-peers, even if their high potential has not yet been realised.
In contrast, talented children are those whose abilities have already been demonstrated by their achievements, and who are currently performing at a level that places them within the top 10% of their age-peers. In simple terms, gifts are natural abilities whereas talents are systematically developed skills.
Acknowledging that a percentage of our students are Maori, the school also values its gifted and talented Maori students, and recognizes that additional to those areas above, gifted and talented Maori may demonstrate or show potential in any one or more of the following areas:
- Whanaungatanga (family values and relationships)
- Manaakitanga (hospitality)
- Wairuatanga (spirituality)
- 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)
Pasifika students identify with one or more Pacific countries – Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Kiribati and others. They are a diverse group with many different cultures and ways of viewing the world. They may have recently migrated to New Zealand or be from families who have been here for many years. They may speak one language or multiple languages. We must ensure that the uniqueness of their talents are celebrated and valued.
Gifted and talented Pasifika students reflect the cultures they come from, where the individual stands within complex social networks- not outside them. The gifted and talented Pasifika student will very often have a deep knowledge of who they are in relation to others and the reciprocal obligations involved in this. A need to serve others may be paramount. Identifying and developing the talents of gifted Pasifika students requires respect for this knowledge and need. As with all students, affirmation of one’s identity is critical to educational success. If the learner’s identity is bound to a distinct cultural context then that context needs to be acknowledged, understood and valued by the teacher in order for teaching and learning to flourish.