Learning Extension / Gifted

The students at The Harbour School are a diverse group of exceptional invidividuals. To meet the needs of the academically advanced and twice-exceptional learners among them we have a robust Learning Extension Program. To learn more about our philosophy, please read this blog by Dr. Jadis Blurton.Learning Extension works in conjunction with parents and teachers to arrange for appropriately challenging instruction, extracurriculars, school-based activities, and alternative curricula options. The Program leverages each students’ unqiue strengths to meet their highest possible potential. 

Learning Extension Coordinators oversee each individual student’s Learning Extensions Plan (LEP). They  work in direct consultation with classroom teachers and the wider Learning Support Team. They also support enrollment in Full Steam Ahead (FSA), AP Courses, SUPA Partnership, John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY), or other relevant programs. 

At The Harbour School we believe that students who are gifted or academically advanced need just as much support and attention as those who are struggling. Our Learning Extension Program is carefully crafted to reflect this belief.

Full Steam Ahead

Full Steam Ahead (FSA) is the core module of the Learning Extension program. It takes a three-pronged approach to supporting academically mathematically advanced students. Firstly, it provides subject-specific accelerated content. No two advanced students are advanced in the exact same way, and exceptional instruction for gifted students therefore requires individual differentiated instruction. Secondly, it features independent and group project work that culminates in course-end exhibitions. Finally, it facilitates goal setting and monitoring of progress, keeping our academically advanced students appropriately challenged, supported, and engaged. Coursework completed through the FSA program is added to the student’s Learning Extension Plan.


For advanced readers and writers, Learning Extension offers the Literacy Extension & Acceleration Project (LEAP). LEAP is an additional project-based program that does not replace regular literacy classes. It offers students the opportunity to pursue an extended writing project in a specific form that matches their interests, such as dramatic writing, journalism and media, narrative writing, or poetry. The project aims to develop collaborative skills, critical thinking, expert communication, and advanced literacy. It culminates in the publication of LEAP project work on The Leap Blog or The Black Dolphin Chronicle, giving our young writers a sense of accomplishment in addition to their newly honed skills with words. 


The Learning Extension Program actively seeks out new and varied opportunities for challenging its students. Contests and competitions are key examples of this, and THS students regularly participate in the American Mathematics Competition and the Caribou Contest for Math, and the Hong Kong Budding Poets for Literacy, among others. We also work with external opportunities available to high ability students such as the Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education and John Hopkins CTY.

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