Gifted & Talented

Extension for our gifted learners

Ways in which Gifted and Talented children at Maungawhau may be provided for include:

  • In-school extension programmes
  • Involvement in extra-curricular activities offered at the school
  • Out-of-school provision e.g. “Mindplus” 


In School Provision – Junior School

Maths Extension – A maths extension programme is run for students with exceptional maths ability from Years 1 & 2. This is co-ordinated by Marilyn Schroeder our junior team leader. Children are selected based on results in school maths assessments and from teacher recommendation.


Philosophy for Children – Philosophy for Children sessions are run by Tania Plaisier our Associate Principal and Gifted Co-ordinator.  Students on the “G & T Register” are given priority in terms of selection for this programme. Philosophical inquiry is a powerful practice, offering students the opportunity to question and explore issues, concepts and ideas that are important and relevant to their lives, whatever stage of life they may be at.


In School Provision – Middle and Senior School

Future Problem Solving – The Gifted and Talented cluster classes in the middle and senior school include future problem solving work as part of the class reading and/or inquiry programmes for students who require extension. For more information about future problem solving refer to the following website. 


Maths Challenge – The Mathematics for Young Australians Challenge Stage was introduced in 2015 to our Year 4, 5 and 6 mathematicians requiring extension. Students receive a problem book containing 4 problems. They are required to present written solutions to as many of these problems as they can. The problems are challenging and require time and persistence, but are based on mathematics which should be known at that level.


Action Group – The middle and senior action group is run by Tania Plaisier, the GATE co-ordinator and Associate Principal. There is a student representative from each class in the middle and senior school. The group meets fortnightly to discuss improving the school curriculum, culture and environment.  The emphasis is on promoting student voice within the school.


Tournament of Minds – This is a break out group for Year 5 & 6 students led by Ms Tania Plaisier.  14 students are selected by their teacher to compete against other schools in the Tournament of Minds competition held in Term 2 each year.  TOM consists of a long-term challenge which students work collaboratively on over a six week period to complete a challenge in one of the following four areas: The Arts, Language & Literature, STEAM & Social Sciences and a Spontaneous challenge on the day of the tournament. For more information about Tournament of Minds please visit the following website:


ICAS Competitions – Educational Assessment Australia (EAA), who design and deliver the ICAS assessments, are a not-for-profit arm of the University of New South Wales. ICAS assessments are available to nominated gifted and talented students at Maungawhau School, based on information from classroom teachers and school assessments.  The ICAS maths, english, science and spelling assessments are available to all selected students in years 3 – 6.  The ICAS  writing  assessment is available for all selected students in years 4 – 6.  For more information about ICAS assessments please visit the following website


Philosophy for Children – Read more information about Philosophy for Children under Junior School.


Writers Festival – A group of talented writers from Maungawhau are selected each year to attend the Auckland Writers Festival. The Festival brings the very best local and international writers of contemporary fiction and non-fiction, scientists, economists, poets, journalists and public intellectuals together with audiences to explore ideas, share stories and experience brilliant conversations.

A group of Maungawhau students also attend the ACCOS Writers Festival which is an annual event involving students from the ACCOS.


Science Badges – This has been introduced as an optional home-learning activity to students in the senior school who wish to participate in some science extension.


Writing Challenges/Competitions – The following websites may be accessed by students, at home or at school, and are intended to motivate and engage our students to write creatively.  Students sign up to join the challenge.  Every Thursday a new starter/photo is added to stimulate students and they write a 100-word piece with this stimulus in mind.   Students are able to read and comment on writing completed by other students all over the world! Run by NZ authors who provide a story starter every two weeks. Students submit their entry directly to the site themselves.  Students are eligible to win prizes when they submit a story.

Nano Wrimos Young Writers Challenge National Novel Writing Month happens every November! It’s a fun, seat-of-your-pants writing event where the challenge is to complete an entire novel in just 30 days. For one month, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create!

That means participants begin writing November 1 and must finish by midnight, November 30. The Young Writers Program (YWP) allows 17-and-under participants to set reasonable, yet challenging, individual word-count goals.


Extra-Curricular/Extension Opportunities Available at Maungawhau

  • APPA Choir- (auditioned group which performs in parts at the Town Hall at an end of year performance)
  • Senior Rock Band (auditioned)
  • School Production Group (auditioned)
  • Junior, Middle & Senior Kapa Haka
  • Middle & Senior School Chess Clubs
  • Middle & Senior School Choir
  • Gardening Club (middle & senior classes)
  • Middle School Games Club
  • Senior Singing Group
  • Indian Dance
  • Ukelele Group

As well as the above extra-curricular/extension opportunities, the following activities are available at a cost to parents either during or outside of school hours.  Please contact our school office for more information about these programmes:

  • Helen O’Grady Drama
  • Fine Young Artists
  • Mandarin
  • Music Tuition with Lewis Eady Music School
  • plus many more listed on Clubs & After School Activities

Out of School Provision

Mindplus – Formerly known as ‘One Day School, Mindplus offers the opportunity for gifted students to work with like minded students.  More information can be found on the NZCGE website.


In School Provision – Useful ‘GATE’ websites

The New Zealand Association for Gifted Children – Visit this online environment where gifted children, their parents, teachers and other education professionals can meet, learn from and help one another.


giftEDnewz: The Online Newsletter of the Professional Association for Gifted Education.


giftEDnz: The Professional Association for Gifted Education – Poipoia a tatou tamariki ihumanea – Nurture of our gifted children.  A national association is being established to provide support for people who have a professional interest in Gifted and Talented education. To become a foundation member, visit the website and complete the online registration form. 


TKI Gifted & Talented Community – This website has a wide variety of Gifted and Talented links for parents, students and teachers. Highly recommended.