Highly able students are found in every school, in every culture and in every socio economic group. It is important that we nurture the gifts of our most able learners from the beginning of their school journey to prevent underachievement, disengagement and low self-efficacy.
At Scots, our focus is to create a stimulating environment through fun and challenging learning experiences. Students are encouraged to ask questions, seek information and co-construct knowledge. We celebrate taking risks with our thinking, learning from making mistakes and striving for personal best. Apart from providing regular rigorous intellectual challenge it promotes an environment where learning to the best of one’s ability is nurtured and celebrated.
What are the benefits of an honours program for your son?
If he is highly able and ready to be challenged, what are the benefits of an honours program for your son?
1. A willingness to accept challenges
A good honours program focuses on the fact that challenge leads to new learning. Children that take part in these programs are less afraid of making mistakes and feel more comfortable in admitting difficulty. While this may not immediately feel like a benefit, this can lead to students to acknowledging their own flaws and encourage them to actively improve them.
2. Remaining balanced about their ability
High achievers will sometimes hide their ability and purposely underachieve in order to remain unnoticed or to blend in with their peers. In other cases, able children may need help in managing their ability so that they don’t continually show off and outperform their peers, perhaps resulting in them becoming socially ostracised. Equally, no child should feel ashamed of a special talent – it is something to be celebrated. In classrooms where diversity is celebrated, and both effort and achievement are acknowledged, it is easy to accommodate gifted and talented students.
3. Rediscovering a love of learning
Gifted and talented students confined to ordinary, slow-paced learning often become bored. They already know the material being taught and sometimes resort to daydreaming or misbehaving to compensate for their stifled learning. Gifted education programs keep highly able learners challenged and on task by presenting material that is new, complex, and interesting. Statistics shows that gifted and talented education provides the incentive and direction that advanced students need to achieve the highest levels of educational success.
4. Developing new feelings of comfort and safety
Gifted education programs provide the safe place that they need to learn and perfect their talents. Advanced learners in regular schools often face scrutiny, bullying and other social challenges that make it difficult for them to thrive. They must worry about these pressures along with learning their lessons. When you place your son in a gifted and talented program, they are provided with a safe, empathetic place to learn. The instructors and other students in the program tend to be understanding and supportive of each other.
5. Honours programs can even benefits the students not in them
Pulling out the gifted and talented students allows other students to answer more questions and to gain self-esteem by becoming stronger performers. Sport teams understand this and often have junior or lower level teams train and play separately, leading to greater participation and more interaction with the coach.
Gifted programs have also created many of the innovations seen in the regular classroom that have improved academics. Problem-based curriculum, literature-based reading, and self-directed learning were all born in the gifted classroom. These adaptations, meant to challenge gifted students, have moved to other classrooms because of their effectiveness.
If you think your son may be ready for an Honours Program in his Preparatory School, download our brochure to find out more information such as selection criteria and course structure.