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

FAQ about the school

FAQ about the school

Are there spaces available in my child’s year?

There are waiting lists for some year groups but this changes all the time throughout the school year. For up to date information on the availability of places, please contact our Admissions Officer by email admissions@leonardoschool.ro
Please note that a space cannot be confirmed until all process of selection and registration papers have been processed.

Are there any conditions of entry?

Yes, please read about our Admissions policy.

How do I apply for a place for my child?

You can apply year round for IQ testing and after the results, you shall be selected for our bi-annual Selection process at international standards. You shall receive the details by email, at least 1 month before the Selection day.

How long does the application process take?

You can receive the results in June, for the application of the school year in September. And in September, if applied early, for the next year. In June and in September we hold a Selection process which involves group works andt the meeting of candidates together in a behavioural session.

Is there a deadline for applications?

No, you can apply year round. Start by reading about our IQ testing services. Click here for more info.

How does the School determine which year group my child will be placed in?

Please read below the answer to the question – How are classes organised?. We use the age as an indicator of class potential, but the main decision is taken based on the ability observed by a School Counselling Education Specialist (psychologist), who advises on the maturity, emotional stability and ability of the child to be enrolled in a certain classroom age.

Do you have learning support teachers and facilities for children with special needs?

In the Primary School, all Additional Learning Needs are managed with the help of our Director of Education. Most learning needs are catered for within the classroom by the class teacher and teaching assistant in partnership with parents. This sometimes involves by building in the Individual Education Plan (IEP) on key development targets which are shared with parents. The school communicates with parents if the need for speech, or occupation therapy is considered necessary; parents are put in touch with relevant specialist who carry out assessments and agree a support schedule with school. Parents meet the fees for these services, supplementary.
For children who present very specific learning needs, parents financially subsidise a Learning Support Teaching Assistant who works alongside the child in class on specific targets for an agreed percentage of the week. This support is reviewed each term.

What are the class sizes at Leonardo Gifted School?

Minimum size of the class is 10 and the largest, 15. For some enrichment classes the number can be much smaller depending on the number of students selecting particular subject options.

What is the staff to student ratio?

We offer a very high staff to student ration. We know the high intensity of learning and the energy and the level of student involvement and we provide the means for a high collaborative and direct working with the teachers. All primary classes have one Class Teacher and one Teaching Assistant (TA), plus 1-2 volunteers and partially, a School Counselling Education Specialist – a licensed psychoterapist- who is a behaviour observer who is there to meet immediately the emotional needs of the child. Over the Enrichment, we also provide co-trainers, with a different Specialisation.
Our teachers and TAs participate in regular trainings offered by internal and external staff, following our internal regulations and policies for continuous professional development.

What languages are taught at Leonardo Gifted School?

We provide extensive support for children to acquire the English language, as well as Romanian. An additional language taught shall be German or Chinese. In the school we provide support for children to attend classes for EFL–English as a Foreign Language. There is also the possibility to obtain additional support to help children whose first language is not English. The main objective is to create an environment in which children can gain confidence and ‘take risks’ in English, in a supportive environment. The children start to communicate through reading, writing, listening and speaking to the level necessary in order to access successfully the curriculum in a variety of ways.

What nationalities are represented in the student population?

We are open to applications from all over the world. We shall publish the percentages after the first year of operation.

Is there a school uniform?

Yes, all students shall be proposed to wear a School uniform. We provide the possibility of developing a creative uniform that can make children feel represented by their outfit and feel they can own the image of how they look and get involved in the process of decision. But the uniform helps create an atmosphere of inclusion, where everyone can feel secure, in the way they look.

Do you operate a school bus?

Yes. If in June there is a minimum of 9 children enrolled for a transportation service we shall operate a school bus. The details – costs involved can be found in the Tuition and Fees website area.

What is the school location?

The school shall operate by renting a space down town Bucharest, near the city center, as soon as the selection period ends in June. Right now our premises are near Stirbei Voda street, on Berzei 22, sector 1.

What time does the School Day start?

School Day starts at 8.30 am and finishes at 6 pm. For a longer stay with us, please consult the section Tuition and Fees.
Enrichment take place generally between 3 pm – 6 pm.

Does your school respect national holidays?

The School Calendar comprises: about 36 weeks of teaching or 177 working days. We respect the regular national holidays, and the summer holiday starts around 20 June – 15 September; the school shall start on next Monday after each 15.09.

How are classes organised?

We intend to develop classess on set years, for Primary 1 + Primary 2, and mixed years – according to abilities (emotional and intellectual) for Primary 3+ Primary 4 and Primary 5 + Primary 6.
In total: a maximum of 33 children in 3 Groups:
Buds Group: Primary 1 + Primary 2
Junior Group: Primary 3+ Primary 4
High Junior Group: Primary 5 + Primary 6
Our definitions of years are as follows:
Primary 1 (Y1) 5 yrs. & 6 months to 6 yrs. & 5 months
Primary 2 (Y2) 6 yrs. & 6 months to 7 yrs. & 5 months
Primary 3 (Y3) 7 yrs. & 6 months to 8 yrs. & 5 months
Primary 4 (Y4) 8 yrs. & 6 months to 9 yrs. & 5 months
Primary 5 (Y5) 9 yrs & 6 months to 10 yrs. & 5 months
Primary 6 (Y6) 10 yrs. & 6 months to 11 yrs. & 5 months

Does the school offer an extra-curricular programme?

Yes, we intend to offer a whole range of an extra-curricular program, an Enrichment curriculum with extremely attractive classes and to respond to the interests of children aged 5-11 years (Foundation to Secondary Education).

What is the curriculum used?

We are using the National Curriculum of England and Wales as the core curriculum and educational foundation for our children.

Is the school registered with a Ministry of Education?

No, the school is not yet registered with the Romanian Ministry of Education.
We intend to apply to become an accredited Romanian school as well, as soon as possible (June 2016)– in the first year of operation, in 2016. School launch is programmed for 2016.

Is the school registered with examination boards?

We want to enroll our school for Cambridge Primary for our children aged Ages 5 to 11.
But our school does not educate children to test. We aim to be a school where Primary Tests and Evaluation tests are given. But they are optional. The sequence is: one at the end of the school year and the other at the end of the primary program (end of year six.) These Evaluations Tests are for English, Mathematics and Science in stages 3 to 6. This testing is used internationally and is graded at school using the National Curriculum of England and Wales grading and guidance schemes. The results are just for school use or reporting to parents. This is a diagnostic tool for the end of the Primary Program in English, Mathematics and Science.

Does the school have a parent association?

We want to give parents a chance to support their children the best possible way, so we shall involve several parents in developing a Gifted Parent Association. This shall be devised over 2-3 years, the earliest, because it takes stamina, and a leadership role. Right now we have seen that parents focus more on their daily work and life routine and only a few have time for social causes and social development. We will see this as a further development in time, according to each parent generation, as new situations can come up.

How are parents informed about their child's progress?

We have built an internal Assessment Standards and Forms Policy, which will devise the methods of reporting effort and assessment for short-term, periodic and annual – Primary Tests and Evaluation shall be made available on option. We have an in-house standardised format for reporting including criteria for assessment of behaviour reports, and forms for Individual Educational Plans – IEPs.

The frequency of reporting is:
half term, and full reports at the end of year report to parents. So the frequency is: twice a year.
Also, according to the Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations of 2005, all pupils will have their attendance record included in the end of year report to parents, guardians or carers.

Do parents have a clear complaints procedure that can, if necessary, give them access to an external and objective third party arbitrator?

Yes, according to our Complaints Policy – it is made availabe to parents. The arbitrator shall be made available according to the Complaints Policy. Please consult the Policies section.

Does the school have a Child Protection Policy?

Yes, it does. Please consult the Policies section.

How are staff trained in Child Protection procedures?

This is clearly explained in the Training and Continuing Professional Development Policy – internal policy – to develop a continuous training and training planning for teachers. Our plan includes in each year, during the induction period in August – for new staff, and every year before the start of the School, as well as within the year, with periodicity, twice per month, short meetings of reinforcement and reminder on Child Protection Policy. They shall be held as duties of the Child Protection Officer, who is a happily involved Psychologist and Counsellor, and wants to further the promise of the wellbeing environment for all the children in our school. Her name is Mrs. Gabriela Cosma. You can see her contact details in the Staff & Teachers section of the website.

Is the Child Protection and Complaints Policy available on the school website?

Yes, they are. Please consult the Policies section.

What structures or systems exist to ensure that pupils remain highly motivated both in their academic work and other activities?

We devise with the Psychologist – Counsellor, and the parents, Individual Educational Plans – IEP, and all the extracurricular activities shall highly involve the child according to his interests and passions, with highly motivated Mentors – with a number of approximately 2,5 – 3 h/day of enrichment classes, and a tailored learning environment to support their free choice and ability to make choices and express themselves, we deem that we shall be able to keep the children highly focused and motivated.
With close attention from the Psychologist – Counsellor, there shall be devised periodical Behaviour report and Feedback sessions where the child shall be put first, so that the child learns to express his/her real needs and issues of the heart. Together with the Counsellor the child learns to explore his soul and address real issues from the classroom and his/her life, on the same day that they happen or very soon around the moment. This is a healthy way of dealing with the emotional issues, and we are building on our great experience of 3 years of direct work with psychologists in our Academic Program, and results are great. Parents and children report they are happier, they like themselves better and the results can be spotted with the open eye, by the enthusiasm seen. According to the Underachievement Policy – Education Guidance we shall address Underachievement in a whole-school approach. We are able to closely see if the child is motivated, and if not, further investigate and address it, with both the help of the Psychologist and the parents, who shall be involved to address and create solutions and an approach which takes into account the needs of the child and listens to the child.
It is useful to know that being a G&T School we always keep in mind that students and parents, for consistent result, should be engaged to assume the process from the beginning of the enrolement. So our enrolement policy is based on a high motivation factor, from both the child and the parents, and this shall be keenly looked from the inception, and closely after the child starts attending the school. We have 5 year experience in seeing motivation as a dynamic force, and we have learnt to build a contractual emotional relationship with all involved parties, so that everyone understands that we are here to develop for ourselves, and this is a self-assumed process, and this helps everyone get an easier life: parent, child, counsellor, teacher. We are taking this very seriously with our psychologists and we are lucky to have found the right balance for a high motivation factor in our project, which we shall use as an expertise. Nothing can be done if there is not a commitment between school, child and parent.
From our experience, the best motivating factor is to develop a sense of ownership of learning, and get involvement of the child – to make exciting the learning itself. This is when the intrinsic value of learning becomes evident to the child and this is when the teacher can obtain engagement. This stems usually from the values derived from a tailored learning environment where children can ask questions, can question the rules, the setting, can talk from an equal stand to the teacher, where they are allowed to express freely and in a positive, non-violent way, where differences are allowed, and a sense of respect to ideas, and the person is encouraged, where ideas are in debate, and not the persons, etc. A positive emotional learning setting, on short. This learning environment includes also the second layer, which is curriculum differentiation of content, process, and final product, in negotiation with the child, based on his/her interest, level of knowledge, based on how the team players or friends share the same interest, etc. All our learning is based on GAMES.
Research shows are most engaged and motivated when learning is a game, an intelligent game, which helps the child involve multi-sensory and multi-intelligence into solving, creating and drawing personal conclusions on the level of performance – his learning – thus developing a sense of ownership of learning.
We have seen over the time that the most engaging factors for motivating gifted kids are:
• Giving the children the right to vote, and interact with adults from an equal stand but with respect, and in a positive manner
• Trainers are facilitators, not dictators & kids learn from their attitude what it is to be in love with the subject and how to express gratitude, thankfulness, care and respect, among others
• Classroom rules are voted, every question has value, all children have a right to express their opinion, „no comparison” to another, each speaks in his own name with „I”, everyone assumes his own development here, we are here for ourselves, not for our teachers or parents, but to build our curiosity, we are not superior to anyone, we are just here to develop a positive learning experience where everyone can learn; everyone has gifts- which are yours? how well do you know yourself- know thyself!; you are free to accept the truth of another, or dispose of it, you decide; potential is like a flower, it grows with water and sun: exercise and care, time x effort; use every opportunity to express yourself, and love yourself for who you are, no matter your mood
• Children have a lot of freedom on movement in the room
• They each get a positive remark – feedback on how they perform each day on no –matter what subject, leaving home with a sense of completion
• Every teacher looks at the child with an eye that every child can reach his potential, with an admiring and loving attitude and we learn to accept and value our moods, even if they are bad, or misconduct takes place, we learn from it- we sit and learn from it, it is a moment of pain, but it is useful for learning
• No competition between kids, it is just a game; we learn that this is just a setting, we don’t give grades; autoresponsibility – if you got it wrong, you raise your hand, no punishment involved, etc
• Clearing: leaving all emotional luggage behind, by talking it through at school, on the spot – in group, or in individual
• Tailoring the course according to the level of understanding of the child on levels of difficulty – from easy, moderate to very difficult, and let the child develop through the levels according to his pace
• What approaches can you use to provide for creative thinking and independent learning in your classroom?
We use the best approaches to develop creative divergent thinking. HOTS are developed all over the curriculum – a focus of the teacher is the Higher Order Thinking Skills model and the Question matrix, with open ended questions especially from the quadrant 3 and 4 (Synthethis and Analysis – Predictability, Probability and Imagination questions), which are based on scenario building, of „what if”, which build creativity and develops imagination), and introducing in the curricula the Lessons of Thinking from DeBono (CoRT – Cognitive Research Trust). Each teacher has to introduce the Question Matrix in the respective curricula, and also set time for building mind-maps and teach children how to build mind-maps, and set time for reflection on what we have learnt today”, and “what have you learnt new about your colleague/colleagues or yourself”; get them reflective on why are we learning this today. A good strategy is to let the kids ask questions one to another and to also become teachers one to another (Whole Brain Teaching methods/ Learning Pyramid) – children need to set time to think about what they are doing and why, experimenting, doing a task and manipulating the language to achieve a goal (Metacognosis – Thinking about thinking), „why did i pick this?” „why did i do it?”, „what do I need to do further?”. Developing creativity comes also from a different set of activities which include, learning trough sensory-exploration and fun experimenting, creative writing, thinking with both hemispheres (Kinesthetic development), cross-age grouping- we have seen that younger kids are more creative and they learn with more fun and freedom of expression, while the older can learn and share a new level of maturity in thinking, a different attitude and personality. Other activities encouraging creativity: filed trips, workshops of deconstruction of things (computers, etc), teach in 5 minutes – create your own materials and teach; having exercises based on limited materials and a lot on improvisation; create your own experiment, your own invention, your own task, etc. Encouraging children to productive creative thinking means involving them into setting a creative environment where there is a basket for new ideas, building metacognition (thinking about our thinking by asking questions, and reflect critically on what is being said, thought, done or culturally accepted- language awareness, cognitive awareness, social awareness, cultural awareness), We have seen a great method for independent thinking – the SOLE method developed by Sugata Mitra – which support the development of the child into an independent researcher. This builds a lot of capabilities in the child, including reflection, time management, mind-mapping, organisation in the team, team playing, organization of data, capabilities of scientific investigation, Paul’s ladder, elements of critical thinking (what is a hypothesis, conclusion, deduction, point of view, interpretation, inference, concepts, implications, etc) and abilities to ask scientific reasoning questions „What do I know?”, „What do I want to find out?” „How can I find out?” Building an independent learning stems a lot from a learning environment where the setting is around teaching each child to take ownership of the learning and record and log his/ her learning, goals, progress. In this way, the child learns how to keep an activity agenda, a time-record, a goal –record. These all allow for a great and exciting experience for the gifted child, which in the ends leads to a an experience of flow, which builds further on excitement and fun for learning.

What is next? What can you do after the school ends? What is the diploma offering?

Leonardo Gifted School is a school exclusively dedicated to highly gifted children. It is a specialised school to meet their needs. This is a tremendous chance for a child to learn in an environment which respects from the start the special needs of the child and supports the child in developing an autonomous being, an independent thinker and a healthy emotional behaviour. This is the right kind of school for a gifted child.. Click here for more info.