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Advanced Learning Support (ALS)


Philosophy

As a school that values not just academics, but education of the whole person, Advanced Learning Support is an important part of nurturing our girls’ development. In alignment with the school-wide vision, ALS@Dio is holistic in nature to support gifted and talented students’ development within their area(s) of capability, whilst concurrently supporting their social and emotional well-being and growth. There is a focus on fostering resilience within these girls in order that they may be able to make choices that lead them to live fulfilled, meaningful and satisfying lives. 

Identification Methods

We have based our Identification Methods on the Talent Pool strategy, part of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model developed by Dr. Joseph Renzulli and Dr. Sally Reis of the University Of Connecticut. This is an inclusive model designed to support students with a range of capabilities. At Dio, this has two main components.

The first is the use of diagnostic testing. We primarily use data from Performance Aptitude Tests (PATs). Any child who tests at stanine 9 in two or more competencies in Year 10 PATs (or Year 9 PATs if the student is currently in Year 9) is automatically invited to be part of ALS.

The second major component is teacher nomination. Your daughter’s teachers know her well and they can provide valuable feedback on how she is doing and extra extension or support that they believe she may need.

It is also important to note that the identification process is happening constantly. Advanced Learning supports are provided dependent on students’ needs, and so the inclusion of a child at one time does not necessarily mean she will require these supports at a later time.

Programme Components

The multi-faceted nature of ALS@Dio is based primarily on the Purdue Secondary Model for Gifted Education, developed by Dr. John Feldhusen of Purdue University. We strive to meet your daughter’s needs by utilising a range of strategies to enrich, extend and support her. We believe that to be effective, provisions for capable students must be specific to their interests and talents. The Individual Education Programme (IEP) is the foundation for ensuring that your daughter is provided with educational opportunities that allow her talents to flourish. We will meet regularly with your daughter to discuss her needs and to put in place strategies to ensure those needs are being met. These strategies could include:

• Extension work in class
• Curriculum compacting, allowing for in-depth inquiry
• Individual subject acceleration to a higher year level
• Utilising The Correspondence School
• University papers

We will also provide enriching co-curricular experiences for your daughter. These could include field trips, workshops and speakers. Alongside the academic support, your daughter will receive regular mentoring from either the Head of Advanced Learning, or the Junior Curriculum Co-ordinator.

Head of ALS
  • Mr Mark Bellham

Dio Scholars

The Senior Scholars group recognises year 12 and year 13 students who achieved Excellence endorsement in their previous year’s NCEA results. The Programme aims to enable maximum academic achievement and provide guidance for the future thought–provoking seminars which allow students to think outside the box.

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