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An Introduction to Gifted and Talented

by David

Schools in the UK are obliged to meet the needs of all their pupils but what if you believe that your child is unusually intelligent?

In England the Department of Education defines Gifted learners as those who have high abilities in one or more academic subject such as maths or English and Talented learners are those who have high abilities in practical or creative areas.

Gifted and Talented children tend to show the following traits:

– Talk early
– Have a wide vocabulary
– Read early
– Have a vivid imagination
– Are good at puzzles
– Learn quickly
– Have a good memory

Early identification of Gifted and Talented students can help prevent later under achievement.  Identification methods can include nomination by parents, carers, peers, teachers or the student themselves, observation or by school-wide processes.  Students who are classed as Gifted and Talented come from all socio-economic backgrounds and all levels of physical ability.

If you believe that your child could be Gifted and Talented, speak to their class teacher.  The school will also have a dedicated teacher who oversees implementation of the school’s Gifted and Talented policy.

Gifted children often need more support at school however, this does not always mean more structured learning.  Pupils may require more freedom and guidance from teachers to avoid switching off, or becoming disruptive due to boredom.  Schools may consider moving the child into the next year or group.  It is vital to consider the student’s emotional and social development in tandem with their other abilities. There is an old Government handbook that gives guidance (but it’s a little out of date).

Educational technology can provide Gifted and Talented children with personalised learning that challenges them.   Technology like Emile can provide differentiated content and assignments, for example maths resources where questions that become easier or harder depending on the students’ responses and can stretch children further. For a free trial of Emile click here.

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