It is widely accepted in the field of IQ assessment that a standard deviation of 15 points applies to IQ test scores. Consequently, although the school exists to serve the needs of the intellectually gifted, the selection of pupils must take into account the possibility of a child performing poorly on the day of the test. It follows then that some pupils may be admitted, despite not attaining an IQ score in excess of 131 points.
This accommodation reflects such inclusion by means of the phrase ‘Advanced Learning’ in the name of the school. Conversely, the attainment of an IQ score in excess of 131 points neither guarantees nor infers automatic admission to the school.
Intellectually promising scholars will be identified, selected and enrolled, beginning with grades 7, 8 and 9 in the first year of operation, with grades 10 and 11 cohorts being introduced thereafter. In the event there is a cost effective demand for lower grades, these will be accommodated in the following year. Ultimately the school will provide for pupils from Grade 1 to Grade 12.
Identification by Screening and Assessment
• Teachers in other schools will be encouraged to refer academically exceptional pupils to this school for assessment throughout the school year.
• All prospective pupils will be screened for potential giftedness using the International Wechsler or modified South African Wechsler testing instruments.
• Candidates for whom English is a second language may be subject to the administration of cognitive, non-verbal tests to offset any possible unfairness due to language-based bias. • Assessment of the prospective pupils is conducted using a combination of formal and informal tests and checklists
• Reading, mathematics and language subtests will be administered.
General guidelines for referral and identification:
• The parent/s will need to give approval for the assessment to be administered. .
• Wherever possible, the current teacher(s) will need to motivate and provide evidence of the child’s exceptional ability in the form of a test script from each of the subjects; Mathematics, Science, Home Language and First Additional Language.
• The child will be willing to be challenged.
The Highly Gifted and Grade Advancement
Children with IQ scores in excess of 131 are considered intellectually gifted. Other indicators of exceptional ability are observed in children who:
• demonstrate ability to function at three or more grade levels higher than age.
• have taught themselves to read at very early ages
• make notable progress in academic subjects without instruction
GALASA recognises that children with exceptional abilities need more educational intervention than do others. Teachers and parents need to determine a child’s level of ability and then provide appropriate opportunities to develop these abilities.
In such instances, grade advancement is possible. The school principal, in consultation with teachers and allied professionals, and in compliance with appropriate regulations, will determine if grade advancement should be considered.
Of supreme importance is consideration of the child’s best interests and overall welfare.