Research has proved that the brightest children do not always come top of their classes – often they underachieve, become the class clowns or spend their days working out just how far they can try their teacher’s patience. At PNPS we treat our brightest pupils differently.
Bright children can work out just how much they need to do to pass each grade. At PNPS, we know that our brightest pupils need to be motivated to do more than that. This is why we give them work that motivates them to achieve. Bright children also need counselling and a set of social skills to help them cope in an unfriendly world. They are often not accepted by their peers because they view the world differently and see things others don’t.
Our Creative and Talented programme includes a six month programme with our learning support co-ordinator to build self esteem, discuss friendship issues and learn to deal with authority successfully. This part of the programme makes PNPS unique in the Western Cape – we focus on the skills needed in society, which are often lacking in exceptionally bright people!
Besides the social skills programme, pupils focus on thinking skills and learn to be creative in multi-age classes once a week. They also have a small group lesson where they learn how to research, how to record evidence of learning, how to problem solve and how to start collections of things.
On being asked about her experience of the programme, one pupil said:
I learnt that things are not as simple as they seem, and I must never accept simple things but squeeze the juice out of them to get explanations.