Our Provisional Definition of Giftedness

Our provisional definition of giftedness is based on community consultation, evidence, and experience. 

We welcome your feedback on this provisional definition.

St Mark’s School welcomes giftedness as a neurodivergence of exceptional aptitude, intensity, and asynchronous development. We affirm that giftedness occurs in all societal groups, including all cultures, ethnicities, genders, socio-economic strata, and disabilities. We partner with whānau to encourage God given gifts and talents, as seen through our St Mark’s School values:

Huatau | Grace Ethical Awareness and Compassionate Service Manaakitanga, Kaitiakitanga
Hiranga | Excellence Aptitude in any Curriculum Area/s  Mātauranga, Te Mahi Rēhia
Māiatanga | Courage Leadership and Creativity  Rangatiratanga
Piriponotanga | Faithfulness Spiritual or Cultural Commitment Whanaungatanga, Tikanga


🧠 Neurodivergence

Neurodiversity is the idea that all brains and minds are different. We are a neurodiversity affirming school, where difference does not mean deficit. The neurodiversity movement began with the takiwātanga/autistic community and is growing to include a wide range of neurodiverse communities. 


📈 Exceptional Aptitude

Gifted learners have the potential to radically surpass age-level expectations in their area/s of strength. Exceptional aptitude does not require and is not limited to academic achievement.     


🔥 Intensity

Gifted learners are intense. One or more of these intensities (intellectual, imaginational, emotional, sensory, and psychomotor) create a different lived experience, bringing unique opportunities and challenges: 

Personal Opportunities Personal Challenges
Intellectual Intensity insatiable curiosity, rage to learn overthinking, impatience with peers
Imaginational Intensity    rich inner world, creativity worries, distractibility 
Emotional Intensity depth of feeling,  empathy, compassion difficulty self-regulating, social isolation
Sensory Intensity heightened appreciation of sensory experiences      sensory overload, being ‘picky’
Psychomotor Intensity extra energy impulsivity


🎂 Asynchronous Development

Gifted learners are out-of-sync with their age peers. Development is advanced in their area/s of strength. Development may be delayed in other areas.