The STAR (Students Thinking Achieving Reaching) Gifted programme allows gifted children to work with ‘like’ minds – that is with children who think and enjoy the same high-level thinking challenges.
The programme is co-ordinated by Central Otago REAP and provides a One Day a week school for students identified as gifted.
REAP Schools and Early Childhood co-ordinator Steve Brown says research was unequivocal in stating gifted children needed to be clustered together to cater for their specific intellectual, social and emotional needs.
By being involved with the One Day a week school, students have the ability to learn with other gifted students who share similar characteristics, who think in similar ways and who can provide intellectual challenge and strive to go ‘beyond the known’.
Steve says for students who struggled socially, the One Day school environment has proven to help them to develop strategies to interact with their peers and also adults both in the STAR programme and back at school.
To be part of the STAR programme, students identified as potentially gifted in Years 5-8 complete a Woodcock Johnson III assessment. If the assessment finds they are gifted, they can then take part in the One Day school programme.
The school is based at Clyde Primary School on a Wednesday between 9am to 3pm throughout the school year, and at Wanaka Primary School with two classes held on a Wednesday and Thursday.
Steve says two community meetings were held in Alexandra and Wanaka in June for interested people, as well as an ‘open morning time’ where parents and children could visit the classes in action.
“There was a good level of interest, which is good because often these children are not identified and miss the important opportunity One Day School provides to truly cater for their needs.
“Our One Day School teachers also visit schools at this time of year to talk with teachers about what to look for in terms of identifying these children.”
Anyone interested in the programme or who would like an assessment pack can contact Steve at Central Otago REAP on (03) 448 6115 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Article written by Emma Maddox - Journalist
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Bookings essential for all workshops:
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U3A Cromwell - Alcohol Consumption & Public Health
10am - 12pm $5 - Speaker:Jennie Connor, Venue: St Johns Cromwell, Barry Avenue