ISB’s vision to be a model of excellence in educating students for success in the world community extends to a belief in using structures and practices that allow students the best opportunities to reach their academic potential and to become passionate, reflective learners. ISB believes that all students should be challenged and supported in a learning environment that promotes deep thinking, inquiry, risk taking and creativity. As such, we have adopted a Talent Development Framework approach to respond to the needs of highly able students.
For most learners, placement with similar aged peers, in heterogeneous classrooms with effective differentiated instruction and enrichment opportunities is most appropriate. The great majority of students will progress with their enrollment cohort in the usual way, enjoying enrichment and extension activities according to need. When such differentiation and extension strategies no longer meet the needs of the student to work at an appropriately challenging level, or begin to restrict access to collaboration with classmates, other options might be considered.
For some highly-able learners, an appropriate level of challenge can best be achieved by affording them access to curriculum, learning environments, and instructional interventions commensurate with their abilities, which may be more commonly provided to older students. In keeping with ISB’s 2020 vision and commitment to the idea of “stage, not age”, providing accelerative opportunities to students who would benefit from them is a proven method of ensuring continued challenge and engagement for highly able learners.
ISB employs a Challenge and Enrichment Specialist who works with administrators and teachers to provide enrichment and challenge opportunities for ISB students.