Is your child gifted?
There is no universal agreement about what the term 'gifted' means and its definition can vary from culture to culture and even from school to school. The current Coalition Government is currently reviewing the Department for Education's stance on gifted and talented issues but until it redefines this, the current definition of a gifted and talented child is one with one or more abilities developed significantly ahead of their year group or with the potential to develop these abilities. For more information, visit http://www.education.gov.uk
Confusion over the best way to define giftedness makes the identification of a gifted child potentially very controversial. To help parents explore whether their child could be gifted, Potential Plus has developed a free online tool which can be found at http://www.potentialplusuk.org as well as an assessment service to help parents and carers support their child in the right way.
Gifted Children and School
'Gifted and talented' is a term used in schools to describe children who have the potential to develop significantly beyond what is expected for their age. 'Gifted' refers to a child who has abilities in one or more academic subjects, such as English or Maths. 'Talented' refers to a child who has skills in a practical area such as music, sport or art.
Schools are required to provide more challenging lessons and other opportunities for gifted and talented children. As well as your child's class teacher, you should talk to the teacher specifically responsible for gifted and talented pupils.
Gifted children often need more support at school but not necessarily more structured activities. They may need more freedom to learn at their own pace and more guidance.
The National Association for Gifted and Talented Children runs a support network to help parents - www.nagcbritain.org.uk
If your child if gifted at reading, you won't need to encourage a love of reading but you may encounter problems meeting demand!
Join a library so your child has access to limitless books
Keep on reading aloud with your child but introduce open ended questions e.g. do you think this story could have ended in another way?
Interactions that build on your child's interests and keep the child engaged in the story session are likely to be most productive
Your child doesn't need to relearn the steps of learning to read, however, watch out for areas of relative weakness in their skill patterns