We have just been told (by reg. educational psychologist) that our child is gifted and that we will need to inform the school so extension work can be facilitated. Our child attends Balmoral School (primary) in Auckland, and I wonder if anyone has recent experience with a gifted child attending there? What are your opinions about the school's attitude towards a 'diagnosis' of giftedness? I have heard that they may be unsupportive (this many be entirely wrong) and we don't want our child to be pigeonholed by broaching it with the school if this is the case.
Not supportive of out-of-school options (ODS) or withdrawal groups in school - principal told me that they cater for their gifted children in the classroom and there was no need for 'extras.' The school states that it is strong in Philosophy for Children, which is a good programme, but not enough on its own to stimulate gifted kids. Good luck!
I would say our experiences with three gifted children at Balmoral School is exactly the same as the above. We were told that they would be catered for as part of the classroom - and were actively discouraging us from using the ODS. There was no extension. We left 3 years ago - so I have no idea what the current thinking on the matter is, but the Principal is still the same. The teachers are wonderful though - as you probably know. We are still in contact with several of them.
I have had two children attend Balmoral School and ODS. (from 2003 - 2012) For the most part I have found the school to be supportive. Although I must add that my eldest started at ODS while Mike O'Reilly was the principal at Balmoral. (he was on the board of advisors of the Gifted Education Centre at the time). My son attended ODS from year 2 through to year 8. My daughter from year 2 through to year 7 - the only reason she has stopped this year is that the day clashes with other activities. ODS has been invaluable for my children and I cannot recommend it enough.
They do offer music lessons at Balmoral, and do philosophy for children, plus have rich task work. That wasn't enough for my children but that along with One Day School worked for us very well.
As an aside... Maungawhau Primary doesn't offer extension classes but recognises its gifted kids and allows attendance at ODS. (Currently almost half my son's ODS group comes from Maungawhau Primary.... which makes me wonder if it isn't time to ask the school to step up and provide an extension class after all, at least then our kids could do both!!)
And Mt Eden Normal doesn't support attendance at ODS, doesn't really have extension groups per se, but with a bit of parental persuasion (!!) can give children appropriate extra challenges.