Gifted and Talented (GATE)

According to the latest input from the Ministry of Education, some overarching characteristics of giftedness are:

  1. Gifted children demonstrate advanced ability in a specific domain.  They make more rapid progress in the acquisition of knowledge and skills than do other children.  Learning appears to come easily to them.
  2. An insistence on marching to their own drum.  Gifted children not only learn at a faster rate but they learn in a qualitatively different way.  They need little adult input or scaffolding and they have the ability to teach themselves.  It is not uncommon for gifted children to approach tasks and solve problems in unique and novel ways.
  3. A rage to master.  Gifted children have high levels of intrinsic motivation (are passionate) in their area(s) of interest and ability.  This interest can be intense and can even appear to be obsessive.

These characteristics of giftedness align with Carmel College’s vision statement of ‘Empowering young women to pursue personal excellence’.

At Carmel more focus is being placed on students who are passionate about a curriculum area rather than just being labelled as ‘gifted’ as this will lead to greater student agency, which is a school-wide goal.  Student agency refers to learning through activities that are meaningful and relevant to learners, driven by their passions and interests, and often self-initiated with appropriate guidance from teachers.

The programme name of Gifted and Talented (GATE) is slowly being changed to Passionate Enhanced Learning (PEL) to reflect this update.  We believe that passion and giftedness are linked and if students are passionate about certain areas of the curriculum and given out of class opportunities, they will pursue personal excellence.

If you would like to know more about the Passionate Enhanced Learning programme at Carmel College, please contact Annaliese Seedall (