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Gifted and Talented/Most Able Identification

There are four important elements to the identification process:

    1. The use of tests
    2. Parent feedback
    3. Pupil feedback
    4. Teacher identification

     

The Use of Tests

Objective test results can be useful in identifying gifted and talented pupils, although the results need to be used carefully. Pupils can under perform in tests, particularly those who are under-achieving and disaffected.

Some schools have found it useful to use ability based tests such as NFER Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs). These tests aim to measure verbal, quantative and non-verbal reasoning skills. The information can be used alongside Key Stage test results and teacher assessments.

Whilst testing does have a role to play in the identification of gifted and talented/most able pupils it should usually only ever be one element in a wider identification process.

 

Parent Feedback

It can sometimes happen that pupils develop interests and hobbies outside of school which teachers are not aware of. In some cases the development of such hobbies and interests can be an indicator that a particular pupil may well be gifted and talented/most able.

 

Pupil Feedback

Allowing pupils the opportunity to contribute observations about their own strengths and weaknesses, and also those of their peer group, can be an effective way of involving them in the identification process. It can also provide useful insights which can help in the identification of underachieving gifted and talented/most able pupils.


Teacher Identification

Teachers have an important part to play in the identification process. A class teacher or subject teacher may be well placed to identify those pupils who are highly attaining or have the potential but may not be achieving well at the moment.

Teachers often have a shrewd idea about the relative strengths and abilities of many of their pupils, but research has shown that 'quieter' pupils, or those who do not so readily manifest their abilities, are sometimes less likely to be identified as gifted and talented.

The process of discussing and drawing up a school's own checklist of qualities which very able pupils might be expected to exhibit, can be an extremely effective way of ensuring that staff are clear and consistent in their understanding of the concept.