Gifted And Talented Policy

Introduction

In our school we aim to provide a curriculum that is appropriate to the needs and abilities of all our children. We plan our teaching and learning in such a way that we enable each child to reach for the highest level of personal achievement.

This policy helps to ensure that we recognise and support the needs of those children in our school who have been identified as ‘gifted’ and ‘talented’ according to national guidelines.

Gifted and talented learners are defined as those children with one or more abilities developed to a level significantly ahead of their year group or with the potential to develop those abilities.

In this policy, the term ‘gifted’ refers to those pupils who are capable of excelling academically in one or more subjects, such as Literacy or Numeracy.

The term ‘talented’ is used for those pupils who excel in practical skills such as art or sports. Approximately, 10% of our children are identified as gifted or talented on the school’s gifted and talented register. This register is reviewed at the end of every academic year.

At BIGS, we respect the right of all children in our school, irrespective of differences in ability, to access a number of areas of learning and to develop the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes that are necessary for their self-fulfilment and eventual development into active and responsible adults.

The mission statement of our school talks of valuing the individuality of all our children. The aims of our school make specific reference to teaching and learning that takes into account the needs of all children. They also identify the commitment to giving all our children every opportunity to achieve the highest of standards. This policy guides the way in which this will happen for our gifted and talented children.

Aims and Objectives

Through this policy we aim to provide the following for all gifted and talented learners at BIGS:

  • Their individual needs are recognised and supported.
  • They can develop to their full potential.
  • Opportunities are offered for them to generate their own learning.
  • They are challenged and their knowledge, understanding and skills are developed through the work set for them.
  • They are encouraged to think and work independently.

Identification of Gifted and Talented Children.

We use a range of strategies to identify gifted and talented children. The identification process is ongoing and begins when the child joins our school. Each child’s pre-school record gives details of their achievements and interests in particular areas. Discussions with parents and carers enable us to add further details to these records.

Children undergo initial assessments within the first half-term of joining our classes. This gives information about their developing skills and aptitudes across the key areas of learning. We discuss each child’s assessment information with their parent or carer and use this information when planning for individual needs. As the children progress through the stages, we assess them regularly and identify children as being gifted or talented.

As the children progress though the school they are assessed frequently to ensure that adequate progress is being made. The children undertake national tests as outlined. The information from these tests is compared with a range of national and LA data in order to make sure all groups of learners, including gifted and talented, are making appropriate progress.

Teachers also carry out assessments in Literacy, Numeracy and Science at the end of each half-term. The results of these assessments are recorded on class trackers, which are contained in the class assessment folder. Gifted and talented learners are clearly identified on these trackers.

Assessments in the other subjects are carried out at the end of each unit taught and recorded. Teachers discuss the children’s progress with parents at the thrice yearly Parents review mornings and report every term on each child’s progress.

When identifying gifted and talented pupils, teachers need to carefully consider:

  • Quantitative data e.g. half-termly assessments
  • Qualitative information e.g. examples of pupils’ work.
  • Rate of progress e.g. value added data.

Aptitudes in Literacy and Numeracy

Gifted children in Literacy are identified when they:

  • Demonstrate high levels of fluency and originality in their conversation.
  • Use research skills effectively to synthesise information.
  • Enjoy reading and respond to a range of texts at an advanced level.
  • Use a wide vocabulary and enjoy working with words.
  • See issues from a range of perspectives.
  • Possess a creative and productive mind and use advanced skills when engaged in discussion.

Gifted children in Numeracy are identified when they:

  • Explore a range of strategies for solving a problem.
  • Are naturally curious when working with numbers and investigating problems.
  • See solutions quickly without needing to try a range of options.
  • Look beyond the question in order to hypothesise and explain.
  • Work flexibly and establish their own strategies.
  • Enjoy manipulating numbers in a variety of ways.

Teaching and Learning Style

Teachers in our school plan carefully to meet the learning needs of all our children. We give all children the opportunity to show what they know, understand and can do, and we achieve this through careful differentiation when planning for children’s learning. Differentiation to challenge and extend gifted and talented learners is clearly evident on teacher’s planning in all subjects.

Children meet a variety of organisational strategies as they move through the school. Each strategy supports all children in their learning and gives due regard to gifted and talented learners. Examples of organisational strategies include: working in a group with other gifted and talented / higher attaining pupils, working in a mixed ability group to promote peer teaching and, in some cases, acceleration to a higher year group for a specific subject.

We offer a range of extra-curricular activities for our children. These activities offer gifted and talented children the opportunity to further extend their learning in a range of activities and to acquire skills in new areas. Opportunities include a choice of sporting and craft clubs.

Learning is also enriched through regular homework activities linked to the work being undertaken in classes. This offers teachers a further opportunity to set the work at the level of individual children and establishes a firm link between home and school.

Management Strategies

One teacher co-ordinates the provision and practice within the school for gifted and talented children. The co-ordinator’s role includes:

  • Ensuring that the gifted and talented register is up to date.
  • Monitoring teachers’ planning to ensure that suitable tasks and activities are being undertaken by gifted and talented children across all curriculum areas.
  • Regularly reviewing the teaching arrangements for gifted and talented children.
  • Monitoring the progress of gifted and talented children through termly discussions with teachers.
  • Supporting staff in the identification of gifted and talented children.
  • Providing advice and support to staff on teaching and learning strategies for gifted and talented children.
  • Liaising with parents, governors and LA officers on issues related to gifted and talented children.
  • Monitoring the gifted and talented policy on a regular basis.
  • Carrying out classroom observations of teaching and learning for gifted and talented children.
  • Termly evaluations of written work by gifted children.
  • Collecting samples of work from gifted and talented children in order to demonstrate the standards that they are achieving and to inform the process of identifying gifted and talented children.