Presentation about High Learning Potential

by Martina Rosenboom (DGhK) and Denise Yates (Potential Plus UK)

This presentation was made at Portoroz, Slovenia in October 2017 after the authors had participated in the first European Potential Conference in 2016.  The list of countries and the photograph were both based on those who took part in that inaugural meeting. More countries and other individuals have participated since then and became members of the HELP network.

How we got together

July 2016 -Circumstances often put our organisations in the position of:

  • having to respond to what is happening in the here and now
  • responding  to unhappy children and distraught parents
  • reacting to unhelpful government edicts

It is easy to forget that others working in his field are facing some of the same pressure and have already found some solutions to these issues. 

  • We already can communicate with each other via e-mails, newsletters, and phone calls
  • but discussion is much more lively and effective once we have met and discussed areas of mutual interest together

Many conferencedelegates say that ‘The best part is the bits between the sessions’. A two-day event will give us all time to talk with each other about whatever is currently demanding our attention.

Who we are

A collaborative network of European practitioners dedicated to enabling high learning potential (HLP) children to thrive, set up in October 2016 at a Potential Conference in Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK.

Connected by Potential Trust UK

2016: NGOs from six European countries

  • CTY, Ireland
  • DGhK, Germany
  • Fabulinus, Norway
  • Paideia Aristeia, Greece
  • Potential Plus, UK
  • STaN, Czechia

From left to right:

…and the network is expanding:

At the meeting in 2017 we got more participants:

  • Stiftung für hochbegabte Kinder, Switzerland
  • MATEHETSZ, Hungary -European Talent Center of Budapest, Hungary

Our values as participants in this network:

  • Developing positive partnerships, including the sharing of information and skills while recognising each other’s scarce resources
  • Collaborating with parents/carers, and professionals
  • Participating in an informal network where everyone can speak freely and confidentiality is respected
  • Respecting the different environments in which we live and work, each contributing what we can as individuals and/or as part of an organisation
  • Constantly striving to improve the quality of what we offer

What we are aiming for

Our Vision (the future we would like to see):

A society in which the educational, social, and emotional needs of HLP children are better recognised and met. 

To the extent that we manage to achieve this

  • we will not need to put so much effort into being the providers ourselves and/or
  • will have the capacity and resources to help more children and families

Our mission: To improve the quality of childhood for HLP children by:

  • Working to change society’s (mainly negative attitudes) towards HLP children
  • Encouraging and enabling all those involved in supporting HLP children (teachers, parents, carers, and others)
  • Encouraging HLP children to strive for personal excellence (the driving force of human progress)
  • Making the children feel it is safe to excel in interests and skills – academic, technical, practical, sporting,…
  • Creating and encouraging a team of ‘doers’ offering evidence-based practice
  • Collaborating with each other, and with others who share this vision

Some early ideas…

  • A European wide campaign to change the way these children are supported
  • Shared access to each others‘ services
  • Cross-country programmes – eg Summer Schools, workshops
  • Family exchanges, Pen-Pal intitiatives…