'Gifted and talented' is a term used in schools to descrive children who have the potential to develop significantly beyond what is expected of their age. 'Gifted' refers to those who have abilities in one or more academic subjects while 'talented' refers to those who have skills in a practical area such as music, sport or art. 

Teachers and parents can identify gifted children through their own observations and instincts, test results and work quality, with schools having to register gifted and talented pupils. Gifted children tend to:

  • develop speech and vocabulary early
  • ask lots of questions and be very curious
  • read early
  • learn quickly
  • have a good memory
  • be good at puzzles
  • enjoy problem-solving and reasoning

Schools are required to provide more challenging lessons and other opportunities for gifted and talented children, and this may often involve more freedom to learn at their own pace and more guidance to nuture their all-round intellectual development. Some of your school's strategies may include:

  • accelerating your child into a higher year group
  • giving your child more challenging work in class
  • matching their personalities and learning styles with teachers
  • matching them with older or younger pupils with similar interests or abilities to enhance the learning of both
  • developing independent negotiated programs of studying led by a pupil's interest and skills

As a parent, you can also encourage your child if they have been identified as gifted and talented. This may include nuturing their interests and talents; playing games with them, such as Scrabble, Boggle or Articulate; and providing extra classes, personal tutors, after school clubs and the ability to go travelling. 

If your child has been identified as gifted and talented we've a number of resources to help you understand your child's needs and reach their potential.