The New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education (NZCGE) curriculum is an overarching curriculum which guides all student programmes offered by NZCGE.   It uses an affirmative, strength-focused approach and has been purposely designed to meet the needs of gifted learners in New Zealand and thus has strong links to the Key Competencies in the NZ Curriculum. It draws on national and international research and recommendations for best practice in gifted education.  As with all curricula, the NZCGE curriculum is regularly reviewed and ever evolving.

Curriculum Aims

Students interact with learners of like-mind over time to:

  • develop and understanding of self and others as gifted individuals;
  • explore and develop strengths, talents, interests and passions;
  • develop and engage in complex and abstract thinking;
  • build self-direction and autonomy in learning;
  • develop and use sophisticated learning processes.

NZCGE teachers approach these aims in appropriate ways for the age, stage and abilities of their students

Our curriculum provides learning in six different strands: 

Content Strands

Personal Development

Conceptual Development

Talent Development

Process Strands


Complex Thinking 



Progress in the learning strands is demonstrated in two ways: increasing breadth, depth, sophistication and complexity in students’ understanding and products of learning, and increasing self-directedness in the pursuit and application of their learning.

While each of the learning strands is included as separate components, they are integrally connected.



Personal Development

Personal development is about the exploration, understanding, development and acceptance of intra- and interpersonal knowledge and skills. The key focus for this curriculum strand is on understanding giftedness and the associated implications for managing self, relating to others and participating and contributing.  Research shows that while most gifted children recognise they are different, they often do not understand why this is so or identify the relationship between their experiences and their giftedness, nor how to manage issues related to their giftedness.

Talent Development

Talent development is about the in-depth exploration and development of strengths, talents, interests and passions, moving in a deliberate and planned way towards expertise. To further their giftedness, students need to participate in challenging learning experiences that extend from their talents, abilities and interests (Clark, 2002).

Conceptual Development

Conceptual development involves complex and in-depth identification, exploration and formation of deep understandings related to universal concepts and big ideas. Conceptual development is accelerated, abstract and interdisciplinary learning.




Learning through the process strands aims to equip gifted learners with the necessary skills and tools to manage, transform and communicate complex and abstract content.  Higher-level learning processes have long been associated with curricula for gifted learners, however teaching process skills in isolation instead of in the context of high-level or abstract content is inappropriate for gifted learners. Learning processes are interwoven through the content strands. The process strands enable students to access and develop advanced knowledge and skills in each of these three areas. The main process skills developed through the curriculum are research, thinking and communication skills.

In short, the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education Curriculum provides gifted learners with

  • a strength-based, purpose-designed curriculum which guides all our student programmes
  • content and processes which address students’ needs for intellectual and creative challenge and support their social and emotional development as gifted children, and
  • support for the development of Key Competencies at an appropriate level of challenge.


For more information please contact us here


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