Why do gifted students need their own programme?
National and international research has shown that gifted children have special learning needs that can be difficult to meet in regular classrooms - they learn more quickly and comprehensively than average students of the same age and require higher levels of challenge, engagement and intensity to help reach their potential. Gifted kids also benefit greatly from ongoing interaction with "like minds".
What makes Pakiki Kids unique?
Pakiki Kids relies on the proven expertise of the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education (formerly Gifted Kids), which began providing services to gifted students in low-decile New Zealand schools more than ten years ago and has grown to transform the lives of thousands of gifted students from Invercargill to Dargaville. The NZCGE curriculum is based on extensive research and practical experience in best-practice teaching for gifted students.
Pakiki Kids is community based, bringing together families, schools and local mentors to support gifted students and gifted education. Teachers from participating Cluster Schools receive professional development in gifted education to enhance the experience of gifted students in their regular schools.
How does the NZCGE curriculum help gifted kids?
The NZCGE MindPlus curriculum guides PK students to:
The curriculum integrates three content strands (conceptual, personal and talent development) and three process strands (research, complex thinking and communication development).
Conceptual Development: Students learn in-depth about a universal concept through a range of contexts and generalisations. They generate big ideas and link their learning to other universal themes. The macro concept for 2015 was “Change” and for 2016 it is “Systems”.
Personal Development: Students are supported to identify their individual strengths, talents, learning styles and motivations. Students also explore what it means to be gifted, reflect on their own intensities and how to manage these and learn about other gifted people in the past and the present.
Talent Development: Students explore and develop their individual talents, interests and passions in-depth by carrying out projects planned and designed in consultation with the PK Teacher.
Most class days at Pakiki Kids include activities from each of the three content strands.
The content strands are accessed and developed through the process strands which are characterised by depth, complexity, personalisation and self-directedness. Students use skills, tools and strategies that promote in-depth and complex research and thinking in the following areas: creative thinking, critical thinking, caring thinking, questioning and metacognition. There is also a regular focus on using philosophical discussions and community of inquiry techniques.
Because students spend the equivalent of less than one full school term at Pākiki Kids (38 days each year), the NZCGE curriculum is designed ideally as a two-year programme of development for students. While students receive learning benefits from attending Pakiki Kids after only one year, research by NZCGE indicates that students who attend a MindPlus programme for two years or more receive greater lasting benefits.