GATE (Gifted and Talented Education)
Gifted Education Philosophy
Every student has the right to an education that provides opportunities for the maximum development of his/her potential. Students identified as gifted have outstanding abilities and potential for accomplishments. It is the goal of the gifted program to encourage, foster, and support educational experiences for those students identified as gifted, based on their unique learning needs and styles.
To extend student competencies in the areas of cognitive skills, collaboration, problem solving, creativity, reference skills, and communication skills beyond the experiences normally provided within the Ontario curriculum and its subsequent delivery to students.
Differentiated Programming within Regular Grade Settings
Differentiated programming refers to the individualizing of instruction, particularly for bright, talented and gifted learners. It is the established programming mode at UMS within all class settings. We offer what some professionals refer to as, “school-wide gifted programs.” Students in each grade receive instruction that has greater depth and breadth than the norm. Beyond the advanced curriculum, learning is enriched by addressing individual learning strengths as well as needs. Modifications to content, process and product are characteristics of the gifted program and are key components of the UMS instructional plan. By working with their intellectual peers, UMS students are afforded learning opportunities that are unique and very beneficial. Providing advanced learning experiences and a superior set of learning skills prepares students to excel in elementary and secondary school and instils a love of learning.
Gifted Identification Process
- During the second semester of each calendar year, all students in grade three participate in the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT 126+). This group, normed assessment is used as an initial screening instrument to identify potentially gifted students. Approximately 2% of any given population, when assessed, is considered and identified gifted.
- Additional assessment using the Woodcock-Johnson III Test of Achievement may occur (reading, writing, mathematics). (127+, 95%’ile)
- If available, the Wechsler Intelligence Test for Children (WISC IV) would be considered. (127+)
- Teacher/Parent observation checklists are also an important source of information and insight.
Program Delivery Model
- Identified students are congregated in instructional groups, by grade level, with their intellectual peers.
- A facilitator/teacher of the gifted delivers the program to each grouping in a self-contained resource room setting.
- The “gifted withdrawal” program occurs throughout the school year.
- Regular grade curriculum differentiation is developed for all identified students in each subject area.
- The depth and breadth of instruction and learning is enhanced for each identified student in all subject areas.
- Gifted enrichment is delivered beyond the scope of the Ontario Curriculum and affords students opportunities to study new topics using creative teaching and learning strategies. Creative problem solving is one focus.
- Students are required to maintain high academic averages in every curriculum subject area while enrolled in the gifted program.