Leonardo Gifted School is partner or member of: COBIS - Council of British International Schools, ECHA - European Council for High Ability, WCGTC - World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, AERO - Alternative Education Resource Organization, BPLUSA - Big Picture Learning Design USA, University of Bucharest - Faculty of Phychology and Educational Sciences, University of Connecticut - Neag School of Education, Simon Fraser University - Faculty of Education
Started in 2010, now in its fifth consecutive program year, Centrul Gifted Education, is a Romanian charity, the first center exclusively dedicated to gifted children in Romania. We are members of ECHA-European Council for High Ability and WCGTC- World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. Partners to the University of Bucharest – Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences. Internationally, we have been supported by the Simon Fraser University – Faculty of Education through the works of Dr. Lannie Kanevsky, Associate Professor, and the University of Connecticut- Neag School of Education through the support of Dr. Sally Reis and Dr. Joseph Renzulli. International Audit: Our project to open a school was audited and recommended by two reputed international Universities, CEU Business School and Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business. Our project is internationally recommended, supported by Romanian legislation (Legea 17/2007, Legea 1/2011 sectiunea 14), supported by Professional Ambassadors and Excellence Ambassadors, supported by expert communities in Germany, USA and the EU.
Our program obtained 100% satisfaction rate (2014 social study) amongst our gifted. We have now more than 150 gifted children enrolled in our internationally affiliated Academic Program, the only of its kind in Romania, with an international selection process.
Children participated after their program at their regular school, by yearly attending an overall of 120-150 hours in our program. Altogether, after 5 years we have now over 1500 hours of expertise and direct work with gifted, we have fine tuned our abilities in relationship with our target group.
Due to our success with children, parents started to ask for more. Right now, due to an increased interest in the program, we have decided to open Leonardo Gifted School, a British school dedicated exclusively to gifted, in an international setting, mindset and curriculum.
We offer now over 24 differentiating learning factors, in order to meet the special needs of gifted through a gifted education learning experience.
Firstly, we have a selection at international standards including a behaviour evaluation. This evaluation has taken an important role at the entrance point in the program because we have many children who require therapy, and this happens to be necessary before education and/or in parallel to education. In front of a panel of licensed psychologists we offer kids interactive, highly engaging games where they play in group and they are observed for their behaviour with an observation form based on criteria chosen by the specialist panel. In the end, the parents are offered an insight on the special needs of the child, or how they can support the best, the child – which is in our belief, the best approach and greatest input value, i.e. counselling the parents, giving them quality information and helping them to have an informed decision. Parents are the decision makers for the future of the child and they are the ones who need counselling on the needs of the child.
Our Academic program – an Excellence School starts with the children who are eager to develop and to learn about their potential.
Our focus will be on implementing the best practices in the world to increase student engagement, instructional excellence and customisation to meet the needs of gifted, individualised learning plans and overall academic achievement.
We have a dedicated team of teachers trained in Excellence Psychopedagogy, who are motivated and in love with the subject they are teaching. We work with counsellors and psychologists for all the steps and curriculum developed in the program. What we then see from our tremendous effort into quality behaviour is that children are copying the amount of self-respect and self-love they see in us, so they first copy our attitude towards them, amongst us, and the reality of this heartfelt community. They are inspired and then they copy this as their new life model. Our great success is that children are building life attitudes, abilities and skills for a lifetime, the wit and grit, not only knowledge.
We have a strong pillar in the program: we work as well with parents – parents have been offered over the years a dedicated program of formation of over 20 hours / year with group work and individual work with counsellors and psychologists (to develop new skills, attitudes and tools to offer the same nurturing environment and quality relationship also at home) – and with trainers, with dedicated programs (respecting the Law 17/2007 on the education of children and youth capable of high performance) which work on developing the skills and understandings to cater more for the needs and the educational pathway a child takes in the program.
We all are professionals who recognize the special education and counselling needs of differentiating education for gifted children and are going through a continuous self-development on gifted education through regular, formal, informal and non-formal trainings on the subject with our own team of psychologists or with international specialists in the field, such as prof. Dr. Florian Colceag, ECHA and WCGTC representative in Romania.
Right now two of our staff members have graduated and awarded a Continuing Professional Development Certificate for „Teaching Gifted and Talented” from the Institute of Child Education & Psychology Europe (ICEP Europe).
Our team is very energetic, where optimism and positive energy are at their home; all our training assistants and volunteers go through a special kit of formation in gifted education, child protection, anti-bullying, and we always focus on child positive welfare through our care, high energy and responsiveness.
A central aspect in our program is to support the children to discover, and to be conscious about their own potential. Children usually enter the program demoralised, and bored. In a few months they put their wings back on and they exude an energy they did not know they could have, with their eyes sparkling and full of faith they can succeed with their abilities. An extraordinary motivation for us which gives us focus as a team so that children get the support they need to be who they are, and to perform at their true potential.
Our future program is to develop a „Zero Energy” Green campus already developed with a multidisciplinary team (Artist, Designer, Arhictect) to include: a school for gifted – an innovative, independent energetically, best of the arts project developed having the needs of children in mind, an experimental museum, and a center of resources for population, where children can display their works, perform, or act as guides. The Campus shall be a best practice in developing a unique environment for fulfilling and nurturing the needs of gifted and supporting giftedness and human intelligence development in general. If you want to get involved into this project – let us know by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our mind stretches as far as to think: how would we best act and then how would we feel if only one of the children in our school grows into a Michelangelo?