Supporting your child at school
Communicating your parental values and beliefs to the school is important as the concept of high potential can vary between cultures. Working with the school helps create a positive learning environment which helps your child achieve their potential.
Policy impact for all children
The Department of Education recognises that all students should be known, valued and cared for. Every child should be given the opportunity to be engaged and challenged at school so they can grow. When schools focus on high expectations, a whole school learning culture which appreciates quality learning is created and all students benefit.
Students with high potential are found in all schools and from all backgrounds. Curriculum for students with high potential builds on a quality curriculum for all students.
By targeting students’ individual needs, learning can be grouped in useful ways (called differentiation) and all students benefit. Schools implementing talent development programs across different areas of potential can capitalise on the variety of student interests, improving student engagement across the school.
Providing a range of opportunities, particularly in the early years, enables more students to develop their abilities.
Sharing your child’s strengths
Communicate with your child’s teachers:
- share information about extra-curricular activities or interests
- provide samples of what your child is producing at home
- share results of any formal external assessments
- encourage your child to speak with their teacher/s about their strengths
- become involved with your child’s school so you are in a position to share information not only formally but informally
- share information about awards, competitions or special achievements.
If you believe your child is underachieving
High potential and gifted children are generally considered to be motivated learners, particularly in their area of interest, but we know this is not always the case. Some children underachieve and are not achieving their potential. There can be a variety of causes of underachievement, including:
- a lack of challenge
- poor motivation or disengagement
- inadequate access to opportunities
- incongruous values, beliefs or expectations
- educational or social disadvantage
- lack of English language proficiency
- geographical isolation
- health or wellbeing issues.
Strategies to support achievement include:
- understanding the causes of underachievement
- working in a positive partnership with your school and other community or external providers to identify and address your child’s needs
- discovering and supporting your child in their areas of interest or strength
- collaborating with your child and setting realistic goals together
- ensuring activities are scaffolded adequately so your child experiences success
- being patient – experience and celebrate success in small achievable steps
- using authentic role models admired by your child to motivate and provide aspiration
- encouraging relationships with other interested peers so your child feels they can share their interests with others
- targeted remediation which addresses any disability or barrier to participating on the same basis as other high potential and gifted students.