Gifted Education Provision

What Makes a Student Gifted?

"Gifted students are students who were born with a heightened intensity of experience impacting on all aspects of their development – social, emotional, intellectual and ethical. Their intensity makes them potentially capable of exceptional levels of performance in one or more areas of learning but can also potentially lead to difficulties in achieving social and emotional adjustment. Provision for gifted students caters for all these factors."
Dr Rosemary Cathcart: New Zealand leader in the field of Gifted Education.


Lynfield College provides an atmosphere where the wellbeing of students is maximised and everyone is encouraged to reach their full potential.

Gifted Education Provision students are given more challenging academic tasks and opportunities than mainstream students. This work is regarded as being instrumental in advancing learning, building confidence in personal abilities and widening horizons for future learning and aspirations.

Our gifted learners are supported by independent classroom teachers providing extension activities, access to competitions, extra-curricular activities and diverse learning programmes. These students follow an enriched curriculum with a particular focus on developing higher-order thinking skills. We aim to foster their creativity and critical thinking in a supportive and inclusive environment.

Gifted new entrants are identified via transition information provided from intermediate schools, beginning of the year asTTle testing scores, enrolment information and individual teacher observation. In addition, there are ongoing identification measures in place for other year levels.

Students are provided with a range of opportunities, both within and outside of the classroom, to broaden and deepen their knowledge and acceleration in key areas. Each year all Junior classes also benefit from involvement in cross-curricular projects.


Gifted students from Lynfield College consistently win or rate highly in regional, national and international events and competitions. 

Lynfield College Robotics teams regularly do well at regional interschool competitions during the VEX Robotics competition season. Many of our teams compete at the National Championships, where every year we have one more teams qualify to compete at the World Championships in America. Our Robotics teams have won New Zealand championships and multiple awards at the World Championships in the United States. 

Gifted students are also encouraged to take part in the Debating Programme. Lynfield Debating is well respected in the Debating Community. We’ve produced a number of top debaters who compete at regional, national and even international level. This extends their general knowledge and helps them to develop the ability to form arguments: a crucial skill used in exams. Students also develop strong oratory and critical thinking skills to support their learning and build confidence. Lynfield debating teams have enjoyed tremendous success at all levels in recent years. Last year we were Auckland Schools' Debating Junior Open Championship winners.

Giftedness in sport is carefully nurtured through mentoring to allow students to balance their sport and academic commitments as well as enjoying being a teenager.

Gifted students are widely involved in the Music department. Students participate in regional and nationwide competitions, with a large amount of success. Recent accomplishments include the Youthtown Songwriting National Winner, Smokefree Rockquest Auckland Central Region winners, and KBB Silver awards.

Talented students in Drama, Art, Dance, Fashion and Design are welcomed and encouraged to contribute to the College’s annual production. Opportunities for students to submit their writing to a number of national publications are also promoted.


The Academic Council is a forum where student representatives can meet and explore avenues to enhance and celebrate the academic life of the school.

Two Academic Captains are elected to lead the council. Student representatives from Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 and staff representatives meet every week. The Council recognizes and supports academic excellence by presenting outstanding scholars with certificates during assemblies. They also collaborate to provide a range of exciting  intellectual challenges for students throughout the year.


Each year opportunities are provided for students to participate in a range of extra-curricular activities, often in collaboration with outside providers. Such examples include, the annual student conference hosted by Academy Conferences, the Tournament of Minds challenge, where teams compete regionally and nationally, and the Maths Olympiad.  

Ministry of Education Gifted Learner Awards (Tukuna kia rere), recognise diversity in giftedness and support students to develop their potential across a range of fields, including the arts, performance, sport, and culture. Since their inception in 2019, a number of our gifted students have benefitted from these awards, primarily for development and enrichment of sporting potential – notably track, hurdles, triple jump, discus and shotput.

Each year opportunities are provided for students to be involved in cross-curricular initiatives. Our gifted students get to choose from a wide variety of projects to explore areas of interest and potentially work directly with other members of the community.

We also offer annual Lynfield College Sports or Creative, Innovative Scholarships to students showing potential in their chosen fields.


Lynfield College has a record of high achievement in New Zealand Scholarships. In 2022, 16 scholarships were awarded across a range of disciplines, including; Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Classical Studies, Design, Economics, English, Physics and Statistics. Special congratulations to Shaan Manilal for being awarded scholarships in Biology, Economics and Statistics, and to Yanyu Huang for  scholarship awards in Calculus, Chemistry and Statistics.

This is a fantastic result and indicates the high achievement for this group of students. Top academic achievers at Lynfield College also have a history of success in the scholarships awarded by tertiary institutions. In 2022, 13 such awards were granted across six providers.


Junior and Senior Gifted Programme students are encouraged to participate in school, national and international competitions. At Lynfield College students are offered the opportunity to participate in the following:

  • Japanese Language Proficiency Test
  • ICAS Competitions (Computing, English Writing, Science)
  • New Zealand Youth Jazz Orchestra Auditions
  • University of Otago Junior Mathematics Competition
  • Casio Mathex Quiz
  • The Casio Victoria University Senior Mathematics Competition
  • Auckland School Geography, History, Classics and Business Quizzes
  • National Quiz competitions in Geography and History
  • National Flash Fiction Writing Competition
  • History Debate
  • New Zealand Young Physicist Tournament
  • Model United Nations Conference
  • The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme
  • CETA Accounting and Economics Pursuit and International Business Challenge
  • International Olympiad in Informatics Monetary Policy Challenge Competition
  • Brain Bee and Science Fair
  • New Zealand Spelling Bee
  • Analytical Chemistry Competition
  • Word Up! Competition
  • Auckland Uni Economics Competition
  • The New Zealand Hospitality Challenge
  • New Zealand National Culinary Fare Competition
  • Auckland Community Theatre Trust Inc. AMI Showdown Competition
  • ‘Play it Strange’ Secondary Schools National Song Writing Contest
  • Matariki Song Writing Competition
  • Auckland Goethe Society Quiz Night and Auckland Goethe Society Examinations
  • Vocabulary Olympics
  • New Zealand Lions Young Speechmaker Contest
  • Auckland Schools’ Debating Competition and New Zealand Schools’ Debating Competition
  • New Zealand Biology and Chemistry Olympiads
  • The Newmarket Young Fashion Designer Award
  • Hokonui Fashion Design Awards and Bernina Young Designer Awards
  • Auckland Chinese Bridge Speech and Essay Writing Competitions
  • Language Perfect World Championships
  • Secondary Schools Barista Competition at MIT
  • VEX Robotics Competition
  • Next Top Engineering Scientist Competition
  • Auckland Regional Secondary School Japanese Speech Competition


Gifted Education Programme Coordinator: Tess Morrison.

191 White Swan Road, Mt Roskill, Auckland 1041
Telephone (09) 627 0600, Extension 551, Email: