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Identifying Gifted and Talented Students at BBA

Who is a ‘Gifted’ or ‘Talented’ student?
What Gifted and Talented means will be vary depending on the subject area. Gifted and Talented will not look the same in different learning teams, so identifying G & T students is a matter for the professional judgement of class teachers and team leaders.

What ‘Gifted and Talented’ isn’t:

  • A student who simply works really hard and applies themselves.
  • A student you really like.
  • A student who is really well behaved.

A G&T student may display all of these characteristics, but on their own they are not sufficient. Likewise, a student could be considered to be Gifted or Talented despite being disruptive or lazy. Gifted and Talented students MUST show signs of being exceptionally able at a particular discipline and these are categorised thus:

A. Intellectual (Maths, English, Science, Geography, History, Languages)
B. Artistic/Creative (Art, Drama, Music)
C. Practical (Technology)
D. Physical (PE)
E. Social
F. Not presently reaching potential but could be G &T

Once we identify a student as G&T and report on this, the student cannot be removed from the register. It is therefore vitally important that our identification is accurate and precise.

Below is a General Checklist – non subject specific – of certain traits or characteristics that may be displayed by a student in order to be considered Gifted or Talented. It comes from a document by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Republic of Ireland. A student does not need to fulfil all of these criteria; it is a matter of professional judgement. Some Learning Teams will also have their own checklists for identifying G&T students in their subject areas. As G&T looks different according to subject areas, this is good practice. TheGeneral Checklist for identifying exceptionally able students across the curriculum is as follows:

Exceptionally able students may:
Be able to pose problems and solve ingeniously Show good insight into cause-effect relationships
Easily grasp underlying principles and need the minimum of explanation Quickly make generalisations and extract relevant points from complex material
Have mental speeds faster than physical capabilities and so are often reluctant to write at length Prefer to talk rather than write and often talk at speed with fluency and expression
Be reluctant to practice skills already mastered, finding such practice futile Have exceptional curiosity and constantly want to know why
Be inventive and original when interested Ask searching questions which tend to be unlike other students’ questions
Often see the unusual rather than the convention relationships Possess extensive general knowledge, often know more than the teacher and find usual reference books superficial
Display intellectual playfulness, fantasise and imagine and be quick to see connections and to manipulate ideas Read rapidly, retain what is read, and recall detail
Listen to only part of the explanation and appear to lack concentration or even interest but always know what is going on Have advanced understanding and use of language but sometimes be hesitant as they search for and use the correct word
Leap from concrete examples to abstract rules and general principals Have quick absorption and recall of information, seem to need no revision and be impatient with repetition
Be keen and alert observers, note detail and be quick to see similarities and differences See greater significance in a story or film and continue the story
See problems quickly and take the initiative Jump stages in learning and often be frustrated by having to fill in the stages missed
Become absorbed for long periods when interested and may be impatient with interference or abrupt change Persist in completing activities when motivated
Often set very high personal standards – be perfectionists Criticise constructively, even if sometimes argumentatively
Want to adapt and improve institutions, objects, systems e.g. can be particularly critical of school Be philosophical about everyday problems and common sense issues
Be perceptive in discussion about people’s motives, needs and frailties Daydream and seem lost in another world
Show sensitivity and react strongly to things causing distress or injustice Often take a leadership role
Empathise with others and be very understanding and sympathetic Have a keen sense of humour in the unusual and be quick to appreciate nuances and hidden meaning
Express their own feelings Attribute ideas to others
Be self-effacing Reflect on their own performance
Give inventive responses to open-ended questions Be confident and competent
Be unwilling to accept authoritarian pronouncements without critical examination and want to debate and find reasons to justify the why and wherefore Be more than usually interested in ‘adult’ problems such as important issues in current affairs (local and world) evolution, justice, the universe etc.
Appreciate verbal puns, cartoons, jokes and often enjoy bizarre humour, satire and irony