Global Gifted,Talented and Neurodiverse (GTN) Awareness Week 2022.
The Potential Trust Potential Blog
What gives me #GiftedJoy?
By Steve Ramsden, Chair of Potential Plus Uk.
What gives me #GiftedJoy is seeing the heartfelt responses we get from children when we put on face-to-face events for High Learning Potential children (the term we use in the UK for Gifted children).
Often these children feel like square pegs in round holes at school because their interests differ from the other children in their classes and age groups. If you are the eight year old boy obsessed with the physics of crystals who I talked to, you may not have much in common with the other boys in your age group who want to talk about football or computer games, and this can lead to isolation and loneliness in childhood, if not outright bullying.
I work with a UK charity (Potential Plus UK https://potentialplusuk.org/ ) which supports the parents of these children by enabling them to meet up to share experiences whilst engaging in fun activities.
What sticks in my mind from such an event is the two little girls who met for the first time at an outdoor event in Leicestershire, England. The event involved playing various outdoor team events in family groups. However these two little girls immediately connected. They were so alike and neither had anyone similar to relate to at the schools they attended. They stuck to each other like a lifeline through the day and when it came time to leave, were hugging each other for ten minutes before their parents were able to peel them away. They made promises to keep in touch and meet up at future events.
I am continually amazed at how one weekend a year can be sustaining for these children and how they can make connections with other children which are immediately picked up a year later. One such child told me ‘when I come here I feel I belong and I can be myself‘. It makes me reflect on how vital it is that we make opportunities for making the right connections between children, and how important it is to enable all children to build their self-confidence and find their own identity in the world. Helping this to happen is #GiftedJoy.
What gives you #GiftedJoy? Young or old, big or small, email us us at email@example.com and let us know! We’ll put some of your responses on our website.
About Steve Ramsden.
Steve has been involved in charities supporting high learning potential children since joining Potential Plus UK when his first child was 6½, in May 1998. He realised that something was seriously wrong with his child’s education when in a discussion on the way to school about using the dictionary there to find out what ‘narwhal’ meant, he was told that ‘children weren’t allowed to use the grown-up dictionary’. They could only use the Children’s dictionary. Further investigation revealed that ‘our teacher likes us to read books but not books like that’ ‘, the book in question being Erik the Viking. Steve’s children are now grown up, having successfully navigated the shoals of the education system, but he continues his involvement in the support of high learning potential children as a trustee of both Potential Plus UK and the Potential Trust. Steve is now retired and when not working for charities, spends his time learning the saxophone and painting water colours.
About The Potential Trust
The Potential Trust (https://www.thepotentialtrust.org.uk) is a small educational charity set up in 1984 to provide, promote and encourage whatever makes education more interesting and exciting for children of high learning potential – especially those with considerably more than the average share of curiosity, perception and persistence – and to enable them to access events and experiences that facilitate their personal and social development and their creative, artistic and practical skills as well as their intellectual abilities.
To this end, The Potential Trust now has four main areas of work to achieve our mission
Questor Bursaries – The Trust offers small bursaries to children and young people up to the age of 18 from low or lower- income families who have the potential for high attainment in academic or other subjects but who are not achieving at that level and cannot afford to take part in activities that:
- enable them to learn new things and try new challenges
- enable them to explore existing interests in greater depth or gain mastery of a subject
- encourage them to make new friends and improve their confidence and well-being.
Potential Conferences – The Potential Trust runs an annual programme of Potential Conferences on a variety of different subjects relating to learning and high learning potential. A Potential Conference is a professional retreat for a group of up to about 20 people interested in discussing something they are passionate about in this area and that resonates with the aim of the Trust.
Potential Collaborations – As a small charity, The Potential Trust strongly believes in working in partnership with other like- minded organisations who can help it in its mission to make education exciting for children and young people with high learning potential.
Potential Change – in the long term, The Potential Trust seeks to ensure the needs of children and young people with high learning potential in education and in society as a whole are recognised and met and the barriers they face addressed to ensure they receive equity of challenge, experience and inclusion to maximise their potential. This aspect of The Trust’s work includes such as:
- conducting research into different aspects of high learning potential
- raising awareness of high learning potential
- lobbying for equity and inclusion of children with high learning potential in education.
About The G-Word and Global Gifted,Talented and Neurodiverse Awareness Week 2022
Defying popular myths that assume most gifted people are wealthy, white, and will do fine on their own, THE G WORD is a film currently in production that reveals the economic, cultural, and gender diversity of gifted and talented population in the USA at every stage of life, highlighting their educational challenges, social isolation, deep emotional sensitivities, and complex, neurodiverse brains. It puts a face to the physical threats experienced by many in schools and society-at-large, while also revealing a large and lively community of people working hard to meet their needs while challenging the prejudice and trauma that comes with being labeled “smart” in the 21st century.
To find out more about THE G WORD and explore excerpts from the film, click on this link https://www.thegwordfilm.com/home#synopsis
As a result of working in partnership with those in the gifted, talented and neurodiverse community, in 2021 the team behind The G Word launched Global Gifted,Talented and Neurodiverse (GTN) Awareness Week to raise awareness around the world of the rich diversity of this communityh. In 2022, the theme for GTN Awareness Week is Bringing JOY and EQUITY Into Focus. During 24-28th October a programme of webinars, podcasts and discussions will be held on a series of topics related to this year’s theme. For more information and to register click on this link https://www.thegwordfilm.com/gtn-awareness-week
#GiftedJoy #GTNAwarenessWeek #TheGWord