Gifted children (GCs), also known as intellectual giftedness, is characterised by an intellectual ability significantly higher than others which proceeds into adulthood. There is no generally agreed-upon definition of gifted children. Indeed, much of it depends on the culture in which one is brought up. One type of intellectual giftedness which is easy to gauge is IQ, which tends to be the criterion used in clinical research. GCs may exhibit exceptional talent in one subject area, such as mathematics, and below-average ability in other areas such as language. The designations are relative for a reason. Some students exhibit what some cognitive psychologists term “savantism”, where their exceptional ability in one area comes at the expense of weaknesses in all other areas. BartyED’s gifted and talented programme is led by gifted adults with strong memories of childhood and they empathise with the needs of gifted children.
In BartyED’s definition, gifted children are simply children who are blessed to find what they are good at early in life. As mentors, we provide an accepting environment where students are challenged in their areas of expertise and exposed to nuances that tend towards a more integrated method of learning, so that students are better able to apply their skills in one subject to other subjects with greater ease. Gifted children tend to be ‘gifted’ because their parents nurture that ability in the first place. As such, BartyED’s tutors liaise closely with parents and our educational psychology team to assemble a programme that will strengthen students’ innate skills while challenging them to broaden their horizons in preparation for an addressing of their weak areas.
Gifted children often experience alienation from their classmates and society in general. They may even for a while experience alienation from their parents. This creates emotional turmoil in their lives; all of the literature on gifted children acknowledges this fact. As mentors, role models, and empathetic adults, we work with our clients to develop strategies for dealing with emotional obstacles.
Many clients come to us because they want to enter their children for exams early, such as taking the IGCSE at age 9, or because their child’s school does not provide enough additional work and mentoring to challenge and improve the student. Schools in Hong Kong generally refuse to ‘accelerate’, and as such, parents come to us privately. BartyED’s tutors are able to accommodate this need and provide a unique challenge and intellectual adventure to the gifted and talented child.