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Gifted learners and ideas of giftedness are diverse, both within and across cultures.

Gifted students can be found in any family and in almost any classroom. Gifted students may need additional support to reach their full potential.

At MBC we recognise the diversity within our school and strive to provide learning programmes through our Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) programme to extend and challenge our gifted learners.


Gifted and Talented students at MBC are those who have the potential to, and/or who demonstrate exceptional ability in relation to their peers of the same age, in one or more of the following areas:

•    Intellectual/Academic
•    Innovative/Technological
•    Social/Leadership
•    Cultural
•    Physical/Sport
•    Creativity/Artistic

GATE programme aims

Students interact with others of like-mind over time to:


  • develop an understanding of self and others as gifted individuals

  • explore and develop strengths, talents, interest and passions

  • develop and engage in complex and abstract thinking

  • build self-direction and autonomy in learning

  • develop and use sophisticated learning processes

Identification of our gifted learners

Students are identified in several ways – entrance testing, primary/intermediate school data, teacher nomination, observations, assessment of student work and parent nomination.


Students who meet the definition of gifted or talented are then included on our school’s GATE register and are included in the school’s GATE programme which supports them through their five years at college.


Identification is an ongoing process and students can be added to the register and the programme at any stage during their years at college.

Year 9 and 10 GATE programme

At the start of year 9 a group of gifted students are identified and placed into a core class (the 004 class) where they learn together for PE, English, Science and Maths.


This class stays together for the core subjects in year 10 also (the 014 class) when Social Studies replaces PE as a core subject. These classes provide classroom-based learning that is planned and designed to both challenge and stimulate gifted and talented students.


Gifted and talented learning includes: choice, flexibility, relevance, acceleration, integrated curricula activities, stimulation, complex and in-depth thinking. There is flexibility in the composition of these classes to allow for movement in and out of the class to suit student need. Thus a student who is not originally placed in the 004 class may show giftedness later in the school year and be moved into the class during year 9 or 10.


Learners who are not placed in the 004 class at the start of year 9 are also catered for by the process of ‘cluster grouping’, whereby like-minded and talented learners are grouped together in classes to create extension groups.


Learners who exhibit giftedness in domains other than these core subjects are identified through elective subjects such as music, Te Reo, Art, Digital Technology, Technology and Drama. These students also form part of our cohort of gifted learners.

Year 11-13 GATE programme

From year 11 on, learners are given the option of accelerating their learning through subject or whole year level acceleration.


This allows us to continue to extend and challenge our gifted learners. The process of acceleration is done in consultation with subject teachers, HOFs, Deans, whanau and most importantly the students themselves. Acceleration allows the students to continue working with like-minded peers regardless of year level.


Scholarship programmes run through each faculty also provide extension and challenge for our gifted students in the senior school. Opportunities to be involved in leadership, sporting and cultural activities also provide valuable learning and enrichment for our gifted students in many domains.

Gifted Learning Strategies at MBC

Our Gifted Learning Programme at MBC has a strong focus on providing all gifted students with opportunities to thrive in the classroom.


Working from researched and proven principles for gifted education, our team of teachers work with the following strategies:

  • Differentiating learning activities

  • Using areas of student interest/prior knowledge

  • Encouraging risk-taking in learning

  • Like-minded students working together

  • Inquiry-based learning

  • Focus on new areas of learning in skills and content

  • Activities that engage depth and complexity of thinking

  • Developing extended abstract thinking skills

  • Building resilience, self-management and autonomy

  • Contextual learning - using real-life contexts

  • Connected curriculum - making connections through content and skills across several curriculum areas

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