The In's and Out's of GFSG Inc. 

What is GFSG Inc.?

Gifted Families Support Group Incorporated is a not for profit association with the vision to support gifted children, their families, and their educators. GFSG Inc. is affiliated with the Australian Association for the Education of Gifted and Talented Children (AAEGT) and represents NSW on the national board. Through this affiliation, GFSG Inc. is able to expand the support we give to our members by taking their concerns to a national level and open up new opportunities. GFSG Inc. is also affiliated with GLD Australia; a national online learning community responding to the needs of gifted children and gifted adults with specific learning disability and other learning challenges.

 

What does GFSG Inc. do?

GFSG Inc. committee members draw on their professional expertise and personal experiences raising gifted children, coupled with invaluable advice from experts in the gifted field, to provide families and educators with a range of opportunities for support and professional development.  In particular, GFSG Inc. aims to provide opportunities for gifted children to connect with ‘like minds’, to provide families the opportunity to openly discuss their own experiences without judgement, and to promote access for educators to quality professional development regarding the education of both gifted and GLD children.  GFSG Inc. also supports the AAEGT in advocating for gifted individuals at a national level and is involved in the annual Gifted Awareness Week- Australia.   

 

What does GFSG Inc. offer?

  • GEM (Games for Enquiring Minds) K-8 Games night twice per school term.  
  • GEM excursions twice a year.  Mum’s dinners approximately every 8 weeks.
  • Men’s Night Out  
  • Picnics and holiday activities for the family.
  • Little GEMs playgroup for 0-6yrs on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, during school terms.
  • Talks and information seminars for parents and educators each school term, covering a variety of topics and presented by experts in the field.
  •  Quarterly eNewsletter
  • In-school Professional Development Programs for schools. (See the PD for Schools tab)
  • Library for members  
  • Members’ private Facebook group.
  • Non-members are welcome to attend events, though membership discounts do apply.
  • GFSG Inc. welcomes feedback and suggestions for events / excursion venues / seminar topics to be considered for inclusion in the annual program.  

What does the LOGO mean?

Our logo a circle with arrows pointing south and south-west.  This signifies south and south-western Sydney, where we began.

 

Do we offer an online chat forum?

Whilst members have access to a private, members-only Facebook group, online forum's are not our main focus, but rather foster the relationships built at events.  GFSG Inc. is founded on the principles of providing opportunities for face-to-face support and professional development for parents and educators, as well as supporting academia researching in the field of gifted education. 

 

My child is almost 5, can they come to GEM?

To be able to attend GEM, no matter their age, children must be attending school (or home schooled) and be in primary school.  Although your pre-schooler may be gifted and functioning far beyound a neuro-typcial pre-schooler, so are all the children who attend GEM.

 

Can I bring my child to a parent seminar?

While we appreciate that both parents would of course benefit from attending parent/teacher seminars, and baby sitters are sometimes hard to get, unfortunately children cannot attend.

 

Can you recommend me a good school?

It is not our policy to recommend schools to families.  All gifted children are unique with different needs;  what works well for one gifted child may not work well for another.  We recommend making an appointment to see the principal of potential schools, in order to discuss your child’s needs and see how flexible the school is in catering to children who don’t necessarily fit into the proverbial box.

 

Approaching teacher

We believe that the best way to approach a teacher is by saying “How can WE work together to do the best for this child?” rather than “What are you going to do for my child?”

 

What is a Registry of Members?

A list of all members that we are required to keep by the Constitution binding our association.

 

What is the AAEGT?

The Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented (AAEGT) came into existence in May 1985 as a result of a growing recognition among educators of the need for the establishment of a national body as a focus for the endeavours of Australian teachers and parents in the field of gifted education. The founders of AAEGT were driven by the need for a national forum that provided accurate information, as well as support, advocacy and networks across the nation. Among the AAEGT objectives, the company endeavours to stimulate and encourage further research into the nature of giftedness, talents, creativity and the education and development of the gifted and talented; and to disseminate the results of such research. Furthermore, the AAEGT aims to assemble, for an exchange of ideas and experiences, people from throughout Australia and beyond, interested in the gifted and talented.

 

 

 

Did you know? 

Information about giftedness and the needs of children who are gifted.

 

What is Giftedness?  

There is no universal definition. Some professionals define "gifted" as an intelligence test score above 130, two or more standard deviations above the norm, or the top 2.5%. Others define "gifted" based on scholastic achievement: a gifted child works 2 or more grade levels above his or her age. Still others see giftedness as prodigious accomplishment: adult-level work while chronologically a child. But these are far from the only definitions. Former U. S. Commissioner of Education Sidney P. Marland, Jr., in his August 1971 report to Congress, stated:

Gifted and talented children are those identified by professionally qualified persons who by virtue of outstanding abilities are capable of high performance. These are children who require differentiated educational programs and/or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their contribution to self and society. [http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/gifted_101.htm]

The NSW DEC, CEO and a number of independent schools adopt the Gagné Differentiated Model of Gifted and Talented (DMGT) when identifying and considering the needs of our gifted and talented students.  Professor Gagné, emphasises that ‘Giftedness is the possession of natural abilities or aptitudes at levels significantly beyond what might be expected for one’s age, in any domain of human ability’.  According to Gagné, giftedness occurs in 10% of children across 6 natural domains. In 2012, the Australian Bureau of Statistics published data detailing that there were approximately 1.1million children in primary and secondary schools in NSW (combined). Within NSW, we are therefore looking at over 110, 000 children who are gifted. The needs of these children vary greatly; even within that 10% there is great diversity.

 

What is the difference between Gifted and Talented?

 Giftedness does not necessarily equate to talent. Giftedness is untrained natural abilities, whereas talents as specific skills are learned capabilities. I believe that the Gagné model emphasises differing natural giftedness and achieving talent, and clearly outlines catalysts affecting giftedness manifesting into talent. Given the focus on talent resurging both nationally and internationally, how many gifted children will be overlooked and underserved because we fail to understand and apply ‘Gagne thinking’ in favour of achievement identifiers of giftedness? Gifted students are found in all communities and in almost every classroom in Australia.  However, without suitable educational experiences and specialised intervention, these students’ gifts may never be transformed into talents. 

 

Isn't being gifted elitist? 

1.     Gifted children think differently; they process differently, their brain is wired differently. This does not make them more special than anyone else; giftedness is not elitist. It is not gender-specific, nor bound to one cultural group or socio-economic status. Giftedness is not free from a learning disability. It does not guarantee happiness nor success; it is not a golden lottery ticket. Gifted children are rarely prodigies or geniuses. All children are gifts, all children have gifts, but not all children are gifted. Children who are gifted need to have their needs met at school on a full-time basis – not just at chess club every second Wednesday or at weekend or holiday ‘gifted’ workshops. Gifted students are gifted all day, every day. Since gifted students are a heterogeneous group, each requires specifically targeted adjustments to their educational program. There is no universal solution appropriate for all gifted students. 

 

Won't all gifted children be fine on their own?

Children who are gifted face being misunderstood, loneliness, and disengagement when their learning needs are not met. In his keynote address at the 2015 National Gifted Conference, Geoff Masters, Chief Executive of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), presented extensive data looking at our growing bank of Naplan results. In each year of school in Australia, the most advanced 10 per cent of students are five to six years ahead of the least advanced 10 per cent of students. As a society, our vision should be to guide and educate all children by meeting each one at their own level. Masters determines that ‘The learning needs of the highest-performing students in our schools are often not well addressed due to the failure to recognise true variability in students’ levels of capability and achievement’. 

 

Is GSFG Inc. just a parent group?

No. Whilst the GFSG Inc. Committee do bring important parental experience to the leadership of the association, all Committee members are professionals within their own field, thus collaborating to make a strong team with diverse, yet supporting professions. 

In addition, GFSG Inc. also continues to support our educators, whom we acknowledge often experience a challenging time in their diverse classrooms. Of the 37 universities in Australia who offer education at a tertiary level, only 3 have a compulsory, stand-alone gifted education unit within their undergraduate programs. Those universities are UOW, UNSW and UNE. To support our educators and provide necessary professional development in gifted education, we need to collaborate as a nation, explicitly incorporating gifted in our curriculum, teaching standards, under-graduate studies and on-going post-graduate professional development.  

 

 

 

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What are some common traits of Giftedness  [http://giftedkids.about.com/od/gifted101/a/giftedtraits.htm]

 

 

 

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