Gifted is an innate potential created by a complex brain structure. It can be nurtured with love and interesting activities and suitably challenging learning experiences. Talented is the adult expression of this potential at a level significantly higher than other adults. In sport this would be State grade and above. In academia this would be a Masters or PH.D, in business perhaps corporate leadership and in the Arts it would be performance at an exhibition level. Gifted does not always translate into Talent. Personality, attitudes, opportunities, diet and social conditions such as war or poverty may interfere in its development. Selection and provision based on talent is easy but not nearly enough. The most needy miss out. See the six types of gifted on the home page.
WiseOnes is a school based opportunity, a catalyst for talent development in early life with selection based on potential as tested by recognized tests.. The child needs the school to take up the opportunity. That is the chance element in the child’s life – out of the child’s control even if they need the support very much. www.fastlearnersonline.com.au is our online learning division.
What a wonderful learning experience WiseOnes has been for my son( grade 2) and for us,his parents. So wonderful that my daughter( Foundation) is joining the WiseOnes program this term. WiseOnes really does help gifted and talented learners( and their families). Were grateful to Beaumaris Primary School for welcoming WiseOnes as another form of school based education anf for supporting the kids in their learning endeavours.
I’d especially like to thank Claudine Berman for her enlightened approach to educating my children. Claudine’s been key in identifying their gifts and in guiding me in how to help them thrive in the state education system.
It’s been great fun attending the WiseOnes parent sessions, seeing the kids learning so happily and creatively and differently. My son started WiseOnes in Foundation. hearing him and like young minds vigorously discussing and debating issues as varied and complex as morality, mortality, treason, jealously, cloning, biological implants( ‘You’ll never convince me of that Claudine’), the universe and Shakespeare ( to name a few is inspiring. Claudine doesn’t hold back and these ‘mature’ theme are dealt with sensibly and honestly and start the mental cogs working. It’s reassuring to know that the kids are learning how to think”outside the box’ and about issues not often raised in the standard curriculum.
The weekly WiseOnes sessions have helped to focus and spark our son’s learning and reassure him that it is fun and a ‘gift’ to be gifted. It helps him feel that the education system recognizes his gifts.
We highly recommend WiseOnes to any inquiring mind. It can be an intriguing and stimulating journey for enthusiastic learners. (Name supplied) October 2o15
Fast learners Online: Wow! This is a much better way of learning algebra than school. I don’t learn well by listening but this way I can see the video and work on examples with the teacher sharing her camera and screen. Joshua 14 and Alex 10 Aug 2015 ( They did not know each other before this)
I would like to thank you for starting such an incredibly successful program that my son was lucky enough to experience for a year. Since we’ve moved to a school where this program is not offered, it really has left a hole in his education. What I liked most about WiseOnes was not the curriculum as such, even though it was incredibly informative and enjoyable for my son, it was the way the specialist teacher was able to teach my child how to overcome issues outside of the classroom that gifted children are often prone to. Things like it’s okay to not know something – this means we are being challenged; it’s okay to make a mistake – this is how we learn. It was a wealth of information that both my son and myself dearly miss. It should be in every school as standard in my opinion, just as there is help for the other end of the spectrum. Lena B 2014
March 2013 ” I would like to thank the support team at WiseOnes, especially Mrs Alexander, who has given my son, Ben, the confidence and a sense of achievement throughout his participation in the WiseOnes program at St. Gregory The Great Primary School.
Ben has been part of the program for the last 3 years and each term, the topics are interesting and challenging. Ben really enjoys and looks forward to the new term for the new topic. We hope his WiseOnes program will continue to support, guide and challenge him throughout his education. Eva”
Feb 2013. “I would highly recommend WiseOnes. Our son James has enjoyed every minute. He is pushed to think outside the square with subjects such as Engineering with Lego and Flight and Beyond. Claudine is a fantastic teacher, whom he really respects. Thank you for providing such a program.” Regards Bern
Hi Pat, Just to let you know that after being told by Ch’s kindy teacher that “she’s quite average in some areas” when we asked for her to be challenged, we have today taken her for the first lot of SB5 testing with a psychologist in Perth.
On the first set of 3 tests, she hit the ceiling on each and the psychologist has told us that she is profoundly gifted. Last lot of testing on Friday and then we get the full report with recommendations.
Thank you for all your help over the last couple of years. Now the truly hard work begins I guess. K
The program was embraced by our school leadership as another means of enhancing the learning and further engaging our gifted students. Participants in the program and their parents have been delighted with the program and with the caring and committed WiseOnes teachers who value the student’s interests and the diversity of the students and foster the development each student’s individual strengths and weaknesses.
In addition to providing free testing of students, engaging in professional dialogue with the school leaders and trialling new ideas in our school, the Education Manager has assisted us by suggesting ways of financing the program in the school and offering units that would be particularly appealing to our students.” Principal Outer South East school
“As the father of 2 very bright little boys I was very upset and concerned that the public school system had funding/resources for handling children with learning disabilities but my ‘gifted’ children (who as a result of their intellect also have learning problems in standard classes built for ‘mainstream’ thinking only) were left to cope with the education system as best they could. If it were not for Wise Ones, and programs like them, then Australia’s most valuable future assets (their brightest kids) would be denied the right to reach their fullest potential through better education. LesG 2012
I can not recommend highly enough the program which has got my kids excited about learning and asking questions about our greatest trading partner (China covered in T1), electronics (T4) and already, at only seven years of age, they understand that heroes and villains are relative to whose side they are on, and that things in this world are not just black and white. As an IT professional and a Finance and Investment specialist I know that if ever there was an investment that would pay big dividends for my kids, it will be the foundation on which they base their learning. WiseOnes provides the crucial cornerstone of this because it does not just ‘teach them things’, it teaches them to love the learning process itself. ”
I would like to put forward a few words of gratitude for the WiseOnes program run this year at the school. The program has been a big hit with our 8 year old son, Ben, as he has thrived with the extra, and exciting, learning challenge presented. The topics chosen each term have been varied and greatly enhanced Ben’s learning as well as his general knowledge. The convenience of the “immediately after school” timing of the program, and its location at the school, has also really helped this Mother of three!
A big thank to Claudine Berman and Brighton Primary School! NS
Thanks so much Pat. I can’t tell you the absolute relief I feel that WiseOnes is getting so much support at our school. It’s like a little dream of ours is coming true that finally the gifted and talented kids at our school are getting a fair share of the pie. Our next focus will be to look at the curriculum in the classroom but we’ll start with the WiseOnes first! It’s great to hear that there is another little girl of the same intellect as L… that will be in her group. When she was accelerated this year it took her almost a term to find her feet socially (which is natural) but then she connected with E… (whom you assessed yesterday – M’s daughter) and it was wonderful for her and us. They are on a very similar wavelength and socially just ‘get’ each other. It was amazing to see my girl finally engaging on a similar level with a classmate. She went from being frustrated at having to always play ‘baby games’ last year to being over the moon at playing games that challenge and stimulate her. I’m so thankful to Connie to agreeing so wholeheartedly with the recommended acceleration. RL
Claudine’s caring but firm approach to their extended learning reassures me that this is money well spent. My children are excited when WiseOnes day comes around and can’t wait to talk about what they’ve learned when they come home. Claudine reminds them that all children have different strengths and she helps each child work to those strengths with loads of encouragement and careful assessment of their abilities. With the current constraints on the public education system, I see WiseOnes as a window of opportunity to help my children fulfil their potential.’ Dingley P.S parent
• We changed schools when we moved house over a year ago and the WiseOnes program was an important part of our decision-making process. Both my children have gained knowledge through the WiseOnes program but more importantly it has given my son real challenges and has given my daughter the comfort that she’s not the only one who’s “different”. Sometimes going to WiseOnes is the only thing that gets her through the school week, as feeling “different” can be completely overwhelming for a 7 year old. Mt Pleasant school parent
• The WiseOnes program has helped my child feel that he fits in into the normal school. Mill Park PS
• My oldest child participated in 3 WiseOnes programs and really enjoyed working in a fast paced environment where she felt very supported by the teacher. Boronia Heights PS parent
• WiseOnes is supporting her confidence and assisting her to accept less than perfection( it will be a long process) Malvern PS parent
• WiseOnes has been fantastic for my daughter’s self esteem and something she looks forward to every week. It helps keep her motivated to attend school.(The school had suggested that this child was slow as she did not interact in class and refused to communicate with the teacher. She was discriminated against because of a congenital condition but now she is up near the top of the class thanks to the increased self esteem Ed) school name withheld
• My daughter would rather go to WiseOnes than stay in her class. She loves WiseOnes. Livingstone PS
• My child is enjoying it immensely. It has also given him a boost in his confidence. Mill Park PS
• WiseOnes has given her exposure to information and concepts outside the normal curriculum. This broader view of the world around her turns up in her conversation and hopefully brings forward and widens her career choices. Donvale PS parent
The following testimonials are from parents of gifted children:Hi Pat, Just to let you know that after being told by Ch’s kindy teacher that “she’s quite average in some areas” when we asked for her to be challenged, we have today taken her for the first lot of SB5 testing with F N in Perth. On the first set of 3 tests, she hit the ceiling on each and F has told us that she is profoundly gifted. Last lot of testing on Friday and then we get the full report with recommendations. Thank you for all your help over the last couple of years. Now the truly hard work begins I guess. K:”The WiseOnes program has provided my children with a range of benefits on many levels-academic,personal,social and emotional.It has provided them with an opportunity to be challenged, to think and problem solve on a depper level, to grasp new ways of being analytical and arriving at an answer. Most importantly, it has allowed them to accept themselves as individuals and that their spin on things is valuable. The positive changes in her personality, confidence and drive is a credit to the WiseOnes program. ” Parent of years 3/4 and 5/6 students” My daugher is very intelligent and was struggling to fit in socially with children her own age and was becoming quite the loner, both in and out of class. She has been struggling with emotions she does not understadn yet, worrying herself sick over things, like not finishing homework, or not having lots of friends. She loves the WiseOnes program and so do we , as parents, because it has helped us as a family to understand and cope with her uniqueness. Our daughter does not procrastinate as much and seems to be developing a lot more self esteem than she has had in the past. I sincerely encourage any parent who has worries about their child to consult WiseOnes” Parent of year 5/6 student.” WiseOnes has helped me get through some personal feelings…Some subjects are funny and some are serious. I LOVE forensic science. It’s so intgeresting and I’ve always wanted to learn everything I know now. I love everything about WiseOnes and look forward to the subjects ahead. Thanks Mum and Dad and Myra” Yr 5/6 student” WiseOnes has been outstanding. Through the year I have learnt at least one new thing every lesson. It teaches me more things about different subjects and really makes my mind think. What makes it very interesting is that the learning in each topic is very detailed and that it is a small class so we get lots of individual time.” Grade 1/2 student” We get to discuss talk and share information with everyone.” Year 1/2 student.
“I would like to put forward a few words of gratitude for the WiseOnes program run this year at the school. The program has been a big hit with our 8 year old son, Ben, as he has thrived with the extra, and exciting, learning challenge presented. The topics chosen each term have been varied and greatly enhanced Ben’s learning as well as his general knowledge. ” NS to school principal.
“We changed schools when we moved house over a year ago and the WiseOnes program was an important part of our decision-making process. Both my children have gained knowledge through the WiseOnes program but more importantly it has given my son real challenges and has given my daughter the comfort that she’s not the only one who’s “different”. Sometimes going to WiseOnes is the only thing that gets her through the school week, as feeling “different” can be completely overwhelming for a 7 year old. ” Parent
“WiseOnes has been fantastic for my daughter’s self esteem and something she looks forward to every week. It helps keep her motivated to attend school.”(The school had suggested that this child was slow as she did not interact in class and refused to communicate with the teacher. She was discriminated against because of a congenital condition but now she is up near the top of the class thanks to the increased self esteem Ed)
“My daughter would rather go to WiseOnes than stay in her class. She loves WiseOnes. ” Parent
“WiseOnes has helped her accept who she is and that there are many children that learn in the same manner that she does. It has given her something exciting to look forward to each week and is developing her confidence , sense of belonging and enjoyment. ” Parent
“”WiseOnes has provided my children with a different perspective and topics than the normal classroom process. It also means that they are more likely to be challenged and respond positively in a safe environment and learn to deal with being wrong without the pressure of the normal classroom dynamics( i.e. tormenting).”- school unnamed but phone provided.
“WiseOnes has given her exposure to information and concepts outside the normal curriculum. This broader view of the world around her turns up in her conversation and hopefully brings forward and widens her career choices. ” parent
“More confidence. Learned to empower herself. Provides positive stimulation and interest in more challenging areas so not “lost” in the system. Good to know the characteristics of gifted children-i.e frustration, drama queen, and therefore . positively direct with guidance, understanding and nurturing young minds. Thanks for opportunity to support and nurture these children.” Parent
“My child looks forward to attending WiseOnes each week. His face lights up as he tells me about what he has learnt. WiseOnes has increased his self confidence and self esteem.” Parent
“They both look forward to the class which is the first good thing. It’s not so much about the subject itself, although it’s wonderful to open their eyes to things they may not otherwise learn about, but more the “thought process”. WiseOnes teaches children HOW to think outside the box and work out a solution for themselves. They will learn to question things automatically, without even trying to. My son wants to take everything apart and find out HOW . My daughter questions everything to find out WHY. This program is perfect for both of them.” Parent
“Thanks for the great program Pat. I hope I can keep J… (and in the near future H…..) involved throughout their school experience. As someone who grew bored of High School myself, my hope is that I can continue to offer my children their best opportunity for a rewarding and interesting educational experience.” Parent
“All we need for our kids is enough support to see that they get the stimulation they need to stay interested and engaged, and stay in the school system. A very clever school drop-out is still just a school drop-out, and has to deal with the difficulties of finding gainful employment against those who may be less skilled and intelligent, but have diplomas or degree qualifications. We need teachers in place at every state school in Australia who are qualified to recognise gifted children, and who are inspired and gifted enough to run advanced educational programs that are not prohibitive in cost for the average parent.” Parent
“Brighton Primary School has been involved in Wise Ones for the past five years and throughout that time has been very satisfied with the program. It caters for students of high ability and complex thinkers and provides an opportunity for them to work with like-minded students on aspects of the curriculum they wouldn’t normally be exposed to at their stage of schooling. The students involved attend enthusiastically and enjoy the stimulating subject matter and the lively discussions occurring. The program supports our curriculum in that it is inquiry driven and has a focus on the acquisition of skills and knowledge required to function at a high level in a complex world.
We have also had the benefit of some excellent WiseOnes teachers who not only are committed to ensuring that all who attend gain the maximum benefit within the time spent there. but have also provided staff with valuable knowledge and understanding of the needs of our gifted and talented students. I would highly recommend the program to all schools needing additional support in catering for gifted students.” Sandra Lindsay.
” Dear Pat, I have just been looking at your wonderful website (and have done so in the past too) and I am crying because I am just so sick of my child’s unhappiness at school! When I read your site and others like it all of my faith , intuition and knowledge regarding my son and his giftedness is confirmed. It is so easy to feel helpless, as though you and your child are the problem. It’s great to feel understood and appreciated rather than a burden, a problem family!
My dilemma is that I just don’t know how best to help him. I don’t think the school has the philosophical understanding of the issues and/or means to do anything real about it. They may take some measures in order to keep me happy, quiet but i don’t think that will help my son as he may feel even more on the outer (At primary school this happened and he was the only one to be given any ‘special’ attention which made him very much an outsider). I would like to change schools but don’t know which schools are able to meet my sons needs. He is feeling very lonely (no friends) , hates homework(thinks it is unnecessary as it does not teach him anything) and just wants to be able to get out of school asap. He says schools are meant to be for learning yet he spends most of his time doing boring, repetitive and useless ‘stuff’. His self-esteem is very damaged and he doesn’t really bother anymore. I am thinking of taking him to a psychologist (because of negative, depressive thinking) but after reading your site I feel that what he really needs is a school environment that can cater for him adequately.” Parent C
The following are comments made by children that participate in the WiseOnes program:Mother: I wanted to provide you with some well overdue positive feedback about Gracie’s experiences at Wise Ones. It is a great program that she gets very excited about each week and has done so since she started in grade 1. She finds it challenging and feels she is able to use her brain in a very creative and different way. It has been a great academic addition for her. Feel free to pass this onto Richard and Judy also. Below is her feedback:Gracie: “I love WiseOnes because your ideas and thoughts can be free, no matter how wacky. You can extend your brain and you can live up to your full potential. I would not stop Wise Ones. It is always my favourite part of the week. We make up silly ideas that can go with what we’re doing. I find this class free and fun. Claudine makes us think of things from a perspective you would never think of. Another perspective is very important to see things through. For example we had to look at pieces of writing about Ancient Chinese Masters, and had to try and work out what they did. By looking at this from a different perspective, we were able to work this out.Claudine is always there at the class (even if she is not feeling completely well) and teaches us new things. , I rank (vvvvv) five smiles.10/10. “Mother again: It is great that Malvern Primary has this program available to the children. Regards Monique Richardson
- I like it because of the experiments we do and I enjoy it.
- We do lots of fun things like making challenges and lots more. We are always having fun. It is never boring.
- Every week there’s always something exciting and challenging. It’s always fun and never boring. If I had to choose between class and WiseOnes I would choose WiseOnes. I love WiseOnes.
- We do better stuff like electricity. It’s fun because we learn a lot and you get to experiment with different things.
- I like WiseOnes. At the moment we are learning about shells.
- It is fun and educational. . You learn more than during school /it’s more hands on.
- I come to WiseOnes because I am interested in learning about things not so many people know.
- I like WiseOnes because it’s hands on, fun and it is educational. It is also good being in small group.
- I enjoy WiseOnes because it gives me a chance to do things I wouldn’t usually do in school. You also get to meet other people you wouldn’t usually talk to.
- There are too many people in the class to do the kind of things we do in WiseOnes.
- I enjoy WiseOnes a lot because I learn lots of new things that I wouldn’t really learn during school classes. I think it’s interesting and complicated but it’s really fun. I’d like to keep on doing WiseOnes until I leave school.
- I enjoy WiseOnes because I have a small group and lots of friends and I’m learning lots of interesting stuff and I’m really enjoying WiseOnes and I want to keep on doing it.
- I think WiseOnes is great because I am challenged to do things that I thought I could never do. Also all the things we do are so interesting, different and fun.