Gifted & Talented

Do you think your child might be gifted & talented?

If you think that your child may be gifted and talented please speak to your child's teacher.

The definitions of 'Gifted and Talented' below will help you to understand what we determine a gifted and talented student to be. These include culturally appropriate definitions for Maori and Pasifika students.

General Definition

Riley et al, (2004)

Gifted and talented students at Arahoe School demonstrate exceptional levels of performance and/or potential in one or more areas when compared with others of similar age, culture, experience or environment. As a multi-cultural school we recognise that giftedness and talent varies from culture to culture and is shaped by each group’s beliefs, values, attitudes and customs.

These areas may include the following six broad areas of giftedness and talent:

  • Intellectual/Academic - refers to students with exceptional abilities in one or more of the learning areas (i.e., English, the arts, health and physical education, learning languages, mathematics and statistics, science, social sciences, and technology).

  • Creativity - refers to students with general creative abilities as evidenced in their abilities to problem-find and problem-solve, and their innovative thinking and productivity.

  • Expression - through the visual and performing arts refers to music, dance, drama, and visual arts.

  • Social/Leadership - refers to students with interpersonal and intrapersonal abilities and qualities which enable them to act in leadership roles.

  • Culture-specific abilities and qualities - refers to those valued by the student’s cultural or ethnic group, including traditional arts and crafts, pride in cultural identity, language ability, and service to the culture.

  • Expression through physical/sport - refers to students with excellent physical abilities and skills, as evidenced through sport and physical education programmes.

Maori Gifted & Talented Definition

Mahaki & Mahaki (2007)

Acknowledging that a percentage of our students are Maori, the school values its gifted and talented Maori students and recognises that additional to the above areas, gifted and talented Maori students may demonstrate or show potential in any one or more of the following qualities:

  • Manaakitanga - generosity - honouring, caring and giving mana to people thus maintaining your own, community service, food

  • Whanaungatanga - family values/relationships, connecting with and supporting each other

  • Wairuatanga - balance, harmony, spirituality, being grounded, calm, knowledge of whakapapa, legends and myths, karakia

  • Kaitiakitanga - care taker/guardianship of knowledge, environment and resources

  • Rangatiratanga - ranga – to weave, tira – a company – leadership that inspires unity, role model, courage, pepeha

  • Matauranga - knowledge, intellect, thinking skills, wisdom, education, learned, studious

  • Te Mahi Rehia - Recreational Pursuits - physical and artistic performance, reo, ngā tākaro

  • Tikanga - approved etiquette – correct behaviour, truthful, proper, respectful, karakia

Pasifika Gifted & Talented Definition

Faaea-Semeatu (2011)

Also acknowledging that a percentage of our students are Pasifika, the school values its gifted and talented Pasifika students and recognises that additional to the above areas, gifted and talented Pasifika students may demonstrate or show potential in any one or more of the following qualities:

  • Adaptability

  • Memory

  • Church Affiliation

  • Commitment to Excellence

  • Relationships

  • Resilience

  • Lineage/Birthright

  • Language fluency

  • Leadership

  • Representation


The Ministry of Education document Gifted and Talented Students: Meeting Their Needs in New Zealand Schools (2012) forms the basis of our school’s policy to ensure our gifted students are identified and provided for.

Riley, T., Bevan-Brown, J., Bicknell, B., Carroll-Lind, J., & Kearney, A. (2004). The extent, nature and effectiveness of planned approaches in New Zealand schools for identifying and providing for gifted and talented students. Wellington: Ministry of Education

How do we cater for our Gifted and Talented Students?

The 'Stepping Up' Programme

To ensure our gifted students are identified and receive specific educational opportunities, Arahoe School has established a 'Stepping Up' programme. Children are nominated and selected, to take part in a variety of enrichment programmes which are run by passionate and talented teachers within and outside the school. These programmes are designed to extend the children’s existing abilities and enable them to reach their potential.

For more information about our Stepping Up programmes, please visit the Stepping Up page on our website or click here.