Defining the Gifted and Talented student

There are many definitions of gifted and talented and there are a number of related terms. Schools across the country represent a broad range of contexts, and the way in which schools define their Gifted and Talented pupils, and the provision which they make, will be determined to an extent by their context, their ethos and their vision and values. Making effective provision for Gifted and Talented pupils should be seen:

  • Within an inclusive framework
  • As part of meeting the needs of the range of learners within the school Community
  • As a vehicle for raising the expectations of all pupils, staff and parents
  • As a way to develop exciting, innovative approaches which have the potential to reach a broad range of learners.
  • As a way to provide opportunities in order to allow all pupils to discover as well as to develop their gifts and talents.

These principles sit within most school or local authority vision statements which may refer to places where…

“Everyone who lives, works and learns….has the lifelong opportunity to achieve their potential”

…and where they…

“Encourage creative thinking and provide opportunities to try out their ideas and challenge what we do and how we do it.”

Making effective provision for Gifted and Talented learners within an inclusive Performing Arts framework is a challenge which has led to exciting developments within many schools and learning communities.

Gifted and Talented students, regardless of age, gender or the area in which they are gifted or talented, have unique social, emotional and intellectual needs.  The terminology used to define “Gifted and Talented” pupils has been widely discussed and can become a contentious issue. However, semantics should not become a barrier to providing for the needs of this group of pupils.

The excellence in cities definition identified:

“Gifted” learners as those who have abilities in one or more subjects in the statutory school curriculum other than art or design, music and P.E.

“Talented” learners as those who have abilities in art and design, music, P.E.

or performing arts such as dance and drama.

Another definition is:

“Pupils who achieve, or have the ability to achieve, at a level significantly in advance of their peers. This may be in all areas of the curriculum or in a limited range.” Professor Deborah Eyre, Director of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth.

The terms “more able” and “most able” are also used, often interchangeably.

DCSF (May 2008) defined the group supported by the National Programme for gifted and talented education as: “Children and young people with one or more abilities developed to a level significantly ahead of their year group (or with the potential to develop those abilities).”

In no more than 3 sentences explain your definition of the gifted and talented student in your subject area / phase and bullet point between 4 and 8 aspects of teaching and learning that relate to their specific needs and/or the challenges that face you in teaching them.


You may be interested in the following Creative Education Courses:

PE: Stretching the Gifted and Talented

Stretching Gifted and Talented Pupils in Design and Technology

History: Challenging the Gifted and Talented at KS3 and 4

Developing the Role of the Gifted and Talented Coordinator

Stretching More Able Students in the English Classroom

This is just a selection of our Gifted and Talented portfolio.  For the full range visit our website or call 0800 881 8185