The School has a variety of alternatives for students with high capacities, as well as intervention measures to match specific learning difficulties. These measures fall under the current legislation and the School adapts them to its philosophy and educational project.
At the first intervention level we can find the so called flexible grouping measures, consisting of grouping students with a wider mastering in a particular area so that they can work together. Our School apply these measures in specific activities designed for students with these characteristics. So, for instance, in the First and Second cycle of Primary Education, high performance groups are formed in English and Spanish for children with high capacities in these areas.
Measures related to ordinary learning reinforcement are placed at the second level of intervention. Contrary to general opinion, in spite of standing out in one or more areas, students with high capacities can show some gaps in other areas. As a special service in our School, the support teacher works specifically with students with high intellectual capacities (known in Spanish as ACI students) once a month from Year 1 to Year 4 to assess the monthly evolution of each student, reporting directly to the Guidance Service.
The most common measures are the “enrichment” measures, coordinated and supervised by the Guidance Service and consisting of widening contents within the students’ reference group, always after having checked they master the contents.
Firstly, we start with a horizontal enrichment. That is, adding new contents within the same thematic area. For instance, a Primary Year 2 student who masters one digit numbers multiplication is asked to apply this knowledge to logic problems, whose resolution demands to make this operation.
After horizontal enrichment, vertical enrichment can be applied, consisting of deepening within the same contents. Back to the Primary Year 2 student who masters one digit numbers multiplication, now we would add two digit numbers multiplication.
In addition, enrichment measures in our School are developed both inside and outside the classroom, with academic, complementary and extra activities.
The next intervention level includes curriculum flexibilities, moving the student up to the next year class in those areas that he can master. Our School is not completely in favour of this line of action, which uproot the students from their groups. Furthermore, the enrichment measures and the intense curricular content in our academic curriculum make this kind of measures unnecessary. Nevertheless, this kind of action is taken in those cases where there is a strong difference in the mastery of the contents of a subject in comparison with the rest of the class, and the integration of the student in both the origin and the higher class is assured.
The next and last intervention level is accelerations. Grade-level acceleration consists of having the students attending all lessons of the subsequent year, with the objective of matching their interests and cognitive development with their capacities. There have been two accelerations in the School, both proceeding successfully.
The monitoring and deployment of these actions is developed under the coordination and supervision of the Guidance Service, the Academic Deputy Head and the Vice Director of Students.
The procedure starts when the Guidance Service analyses the giftedness report submitted by the tutor and suggests enrichment activities to the different departments. The main teacher of each subject and the Guidance Service value these suggestions and apply them in different activities in class.
The current action plan of the Junta de Andalucía (Andalusian Regional Government) for students with high intellectual capacities distinguishes between three different types of capacities:
Intellectually gifted students: They show a 75th percentile in capacities and cognitive resources as logical reasoning, perceptual reasoning, memory, verbal, mathematical reasoning and spatial aptitude. They are also required to show an upper 75th percentile in the field of creativity and be highly motivated.
Simple talents: High aptitude, 95th percentile in some specific areas, as mathematics, logic or creativity.
Complex talents: Combination of several aptitudes with percetiles higher than 80th in at least three areas. A complex talent could be the academic one, for example, when it stands out in verbal, logical and memory areas.