Hi I’m Greta and am currently a year 12 student at Wellington East Girls. From the age of 7-10, I attended a programme just for gifted kids, Gifted Kids (GKP). It was an incredible experience, and although I was extremely nervous when I started, I soon realised how lucky I was to be in such a special, inclusive environment.
My Gifted Kids class was a tight-knit unit where I made amazing friends, some of whom I am still in contact with today. The programme offered me many fantastic opportunities that have shaped me as a person and enriched my love of learning. It gave me a place at a time when I was plagued with the self-doubt that I didn't belong, my teacher, Deb, was instrumental in this and gave me immense support in assuring me that it was ok to be different.
I also explored and discovered things about myself, including finding new things I didn’t know I was even interested in. One of my strengths and areas of passion now is music, which is something I didn't really know I liked or was good at. I now do lots of classical singing and am studying NCEA Level 2 music!
Another area I love now is French and languages in general, I'm still doing French at school and loving it, I remember being introduced to French and doing creative plays with Aude, our French Tutor at Gifted Kids.
Why this specialist withdrawal class worked for me was, I believe, a combination of the other kids I learned alongside, the teacher and the creative activities. I learnt so much, but it didn't feel stressful or competitive in any way. The other people in the class were very welcoming and always made me feel at home because I feel like there was this sense of acceptance at Gifted Kids, everyone was very open and let others just get on with what they were interested in.
Seven years ago I wrote this poem. My Gifted Kids teacher just sent it back to me and asked what feelings and thoughts it evoked now and I replied, it mainly makes feel proud to have gone to Gifted Kids, and I still think that the poem sums up my feelings towards Gifted Kids even though I wrote it so long ago. Especially the aspect of resilience! I was lucky to attend- I really feel it changed my life.
At first she was average,
a single grain of sand surrounded by others.
But then she got whisked away by the tide,
on the adventure of a life time.
The grain had no idea she was capable of surviving such an extraordinary adventure.
She met new people
who were the opposite of her but also the same.
No longer was she stuck
within the walls of her comfort zone.
Her world collapsed and rebuilt itself many times.
And she survived,
No longer was she a miniscule grain of sand surrounded by others.
She was special,
in a unique way,
She was part of a whole.
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Image Credits: '...and the music starts' by Marc Biarnès is licnesed under CC BY-NC 2.0 and 'Beach' by James is licensed under CC BY 2.0;