Category Archives: CTYI

CTYI Parents’ Coffee Groups

CTYI Saturday classes for 6 to 13 year olds are due to start up again at DCU on Saturday 1st February and at other venues around the country on Saturday 8th.

Coffee at CTYIMany families drop off their children and come back later but many travel long distances to these classes. As explained on our CTYI support group page , these 2.5 hour sessions are a great opportunity for parents to exchange stories and have a chat over coffee. Not alone is it nice for those who are waiting around to have company, but most parents of gifted children run into problems at least occasionally, which are peculiar to their child’s giftedness. At such times, it can be very helpful to meet others who understand the issues and can offer support and advice. We all have a lot in common!

We are currently putting together arrangements to facilitate groups at as many CTYI venues as possible, but the success of each one depends on participation from parents. If you would like to be involved in a coffee group at your CTYI venue, please get in touch either with us directly at info[at]giftedireland.ie or through CTYI who can put you in touch with us.

Teachers Needed for Study of Gifted Education in Ireland

Survey

The Irish Centre for Talented Youth (CTYI) at Dublin City University has commissioned the Centre for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary to conduct some research around the area of teaching gifted students in Ireland. This will be the first research of its kind and we hope it will lead to the development of better provision both for gifted students and  for their teachers.

The Irish education system currently makes no specific provision for gifted students. Indeed, the term “gifted” is one often avoided, with “exceptionally able” being preferred by the NCCA when drawing up its draft guidelines in 2008. The fact that gifted education is a distinct area of education and psychology elsewhere in the world is often not appreciated here and, apart from Dr Colm O’Reilly of CTYI, we have no resident experts in the field.

Despite a lack of training, recognition or support, many individual teachers recognise that gifted students often need extra or different support in order to do well in school and are doing their best to provide this within an already hectic system.

We know teachers are busy, but we would really appreciate it if you could help by completing one of the surveys linked to below, one for Principals and one for Teachers. There are no difficult or trick questions, but we believe you’ll find it interesting and thought-provoking. It should take about 20 minutes to complete and the password requested at the start is wm.  It is hoped to have completed surveys back by Friday December 4th.

 
This survey will be distributed to all schools directly from CTYI shortly. They have asked us to raise awareness of it in the meantime.
Please spread the word among your colleagues.
Thank you! 
 

Evanna Lynch Launches Book at CTYI

Evanna Lynch at CTYIThere was great excitement at CTYI/DCU last Saturday evening for the launch of Words To Tie To Bricks, an anthology of works by the students of the creative writing class of Summer 2013. Not only were these teenagers there to see their work published in print, the book was to be launched by CTYI alumna, Evanna Lynch, aka Luna Lovegood of Harry Potter fame.

The highlight of the evening was Evanna’s speech. Having begun by saying she was no good at public speaking, she went on to deliver a wonderful message to the young people in the audience and one which merits sharing further.

Reading the book which she had been invited to launch, she was struck by the depth of the subject matter and the intensity of emotions expressed. As had been remarked by previous speakers, it was hard to believe the authors are so young. Then she remembered back to when she herself was that age, attending CTYI and beginning her acting career with the Harry Potter films. She too used to write, although she claims she rarely finished anything! People frequently remarked that she was too young to be writing what she wrote, too young to be acting; always too young for what she was doing, feeling or thinking. After a while, she began to feel as though she was wrong to be doing these things at all and felt somehow uncomfortable about it.

Now, in her early twenties, the message has become “you should be doing this” and “you should be doing that.” She is suddenly no longer considered too young to have such talent, but is expected to challenge herself and achieve more. Looking back, she says the constant message that she was too young was, in a way, quite damaging. It made her question herself and her ability and it prevented her from really enjoying doing what she loved.

Her message to young people is not to pay too much attention to those who tell you that you are too young. If you have a talent and you enjoy using it and developing it, then embrace it, be proud of it and really enjoy it now.

This is no ordinary book of poems and prose written by a bunch of teens, It is really well-written and a pleasure to read. If in doubt, take a look inside. Not alone that, but all proceeds go to St Michael’s House,  who provide vital community-based services for people with intellectual disability. What a wonderful way for the students of CTYI to use their talent. Please support them and St Michael’s House by buying a copy of the book. You will find links to all versions here, so no excuses!

Words To Tie To Bricks