What do the terms ‘gifted’ & ‘talented’ mean?
- Gifted learners are children who have abilities or talents in one or more curriculum subjects such as Maths or English that could be considered as well above average. The term gifted is usually applied to children who show an aptitude to these subjects and are able to (or have the potential to) work at least one National Curriculum level above Year Group standards.
- Talented learners are children who have abilities or talents in one or more of the creative arts like Music, Drama, Art & Design, Dance and PE (Physical Education) that could be considered as well above average.
Identifying a gifted child
Some of the most common characteristics of a gifted child in pre-school stages are as follows:
- Talking early in life and a wide vocabulary
- Learns more quickly than other children in their age group
- Has a thirst for knowledge and can concentrate on subjects they are interested in for long periods of time
- Asks insightful and perceptive questions
- Has an aptitude for problem solving
- Learned to read earlier than other children
It’s vital that gifted and talented pupils are identified in school or beforehand, as failure to recognise and encourage any abilities could lead to a child becoming withdrawn, developing disruptive behaviours, becoming bored or more frustratingly – not fulfilling their potential.
Parents with children who they believe are gifted or talented should discuss the abilities and needs of their child with their teacher and school. Schools have an obligation and responsibility to meet the needs of all their children, but if you feel your child’s talents are abilities are going unnoticed, you have a right to bring this to the attention of the school.
Your child’s school should set tasks and provide greater challenges to help your child develop their abilities. In addition, they could also offer or source further opportunities for your child to develop their skills outside of school hours. In addition, a formal assessment of your child’s skills should be made.
On some occasions it may be in your child’s best interest for the school to move them up a year, but it is important to consider that the school will not only take into account the academic needs of your child, but the emotional and social needs as well.
If your child’s school has failed to act on your concerns or you believe their abilities are not being encouraged, contact the expert education solicitors at Stephensons today.
Our education law team can offer advice and help to ensure schools identify and encourage the extra needs of gifted and talented children. For more information call us on 01616 966 229 or complete our enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you directly.