Learning Differences: Gifted and Talented

Learning Differences at Blue Gum Montessori School

Blue Gum Montessori School has an established Learning Differences Unit. Learning Differences teachers work across the whole school and collaborate with class teachers to meet the needs of all students. By providing targeted teaching and differentiated learning, we cater for students requiring support to consolidate and build their skills, and those requiring specific levels of challenge and extension. Through appropriate intervention, we facilitate the building of confidence, self-esteem and sense of knowing, enabling children to realise their full potential.

We use a variety of teaching approaches, classroom support or small-group teaching and individual sessions. Evidence-based strategies and integrated technologies are a key element of best practice and are utilised effectively to create an inclusive, dynamic learning experience. Students feel motivated, encouraged and supported by our specialist Learning Differences teachers, knowing that a new concept will be reinforced or practically demonstrated to deepen understanding, so that they can become confident and tenacious learners.

The School works closely with professionals with expertise in specific learning differences and special educational needs to ensure that the requirements of individual students are met.

Is the Blue Gum Montessori School classroom the right place for a gifted child?

We recognise that students’ gifts and talents develop in different ways and at different stages of learning. The Montessori framework allows for all students to be provided with an appropriately differentiated curriculum within their classrooms. We also deliver a range of targeted programs to our most academically able students which is planned in consultation with Home Classroom Teachers to be complement the Montessori flow of learning.. Students with identified gifts or talents in one or more areas, would place in the top 10% of their same age peers. Provisions to cater for these students in the classroom can include compacted curriculum, advanced subject matter and greater breadth and depth of content.

Recognising the importance for gifted children of working with like-minded peers, students are selected for specific programs which include problem-based learning (identifying and solving real world problems) and carefully chosen external team challenges. The class teacher and Enrichment Co-ordinator collaborate to ensure that gifted and talented students are motivated to ‘stretch their thinking’ and achieve their best.

Gifted and talented children have different learning needs from other children the same age. This is because they’re very curious, they learn quickly, and they like more complex ideas than other children their age. Learning is important to the wellbeing of gifted and talented children. When children’s learning is supported in the areas that interest them, their overall wellbeing is also being supported. (reference www.raising children)

Blue Gum Montessori School has some distinctive traits that make us a school of choice for gifted students. We

  • have knowledgeable, inspiring teachers
  • use a world-wide Montessori curriculum alongside the Western Australian curriculum allowing for a breadth and depth to the content covered
  • reinforce differentiation in student learning through a multi-age approach
  • have specific programs designed to engage gifted students in complex information, abstract ideas and advanced skills
  • provide high levels of student learning choice and the opportunities to explore areas of personal interest
  • encourage parent education and involvement in their child’s learning

Blue Gum Montessori School values the partnership between families and the School as this positive collaboration increases the student’s academic progress and well-being. In order to best meet the needs of each child, it is essential that the School receives all reports and any related information is communicated. Expectations must be shared and understood by all parties so that appropriate program modifications and differentiated learning experiences are offered. This enables us to ensure that gifted students are challenged and given every opportunity to develop academically, socially and emotionally and reach their potential.

While Gifted and Talented cognitive assessments are not generally recommended for children younger than six years of age, the School can work with families to identify gifted behaviour profiles and make learning modifications in the classroom at any age.