Westward School

Information for Parents of Able, Gifted and Talented Pupils

HOW SHOULD WE AS A SCHOOL BE SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD?

As a School, we have a responsibility to meet the educational needs of all our pupils. In respect of able, gifted and talented pupils, we are expected to:

  • Have a teacher with the special responsibility for these children in School
  • Put into practice a School policy for able, gifted and talented pupils
  • Identify able, gifted and talented pupils and ensure all staff are aware of their specific learning needs
  • Provide suitably challenging work/activities in lessons
  • Support access to extra-curricular opportunities beyond the School day
  • Work in partnership with parents/carers. 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT MY CHILD’S PROGRESS?

Sometimes you may feel unsure of whether your child is working at the pace appropriate to their ability. Where you have concerns it is important to communicate them immediately with us. The most effective approach is to:

  • Contact the class teacher to discuss concerns. Agree necessary action and arrange to meet later in the term to review progress
  • You may contact the School’s Gifted & Talented Coordinator to discuss any matters or seek further advice

Gifted and talented describes children and young people with one or more abilities developed (or with the potential to develop these abilities) to a level significantly ahead of their year group (i.e., their actual class).

  • Gifted learners are those who have abilities in one or more academic subjects such as Maths and English
  • Talented learners are those who have particular abilities in sport, music, design or creative and performing arts.

Gifted and/or talented children may display some of the following characteristics:

  • Is intensely focused
  • Asks insightful questions
  • Sees beyond the obvious
  • Provides creative and original solutions
  • Has a great intellectual curiosity
  • Learns easily and readily
  • Shows initiative and originality
  • Possesses unusual imagination.

This list is not exhaustive nor does it mean a child is necessarily gifted if he/she displays some of these features.

IF YOU THINK YOUR CHILD IS GIFTED AND TALENTED, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

  • Contact us and discuss your child with their class teacher in the first instance
  • Share information with your child’s teacher and his/her strengths, interests and achievements including any particular gifts/talents that he/she is developing out of School. Sometimes exceptional abilities are evident only outside the school setting and it is important that we know about this
  • Discuss with us how we intend to support your child - in most cases we will be able to provide everything your son/daughter needs, just occasionally it may be necessary to point you to external support or opportunities
  • It is also important that your child has access to any additional out-of-school opportunities such as clubs and holiday schools that may be provided by Westward or external agencies
  • Ask questions - especially if you don’t understand.

HOW CAN I SUPPORT MY CHILD?

  • Set aside each day to talk with your child
  • Encourage him/her to sample new activities
  • Use the environment to provide a broad range of experiences, e.g., visits to galleries, museums, sports centres
  • Provide resources to support learning at home, e.g., Internet, visual stimuli, books, maps
  • Make sure your child has the opportunity to make friends including those who share his/her interests
  • Read all you can about giftedness and talent and learn about the characteristics of gifted children
  • Take the time to develop positive relationships with the staff at Westward and ask what they do to support gifted and talented pupils
  • Encourage your child to participate in extra-curricular activities at School and beyond including summer schools and distance learning activities
  • If your child complains about being bored, take the comments seriously and seek a solution with your child, and contact us if appropriate
  • Seek out other families with gifted or talented children
  • And finally, make sure your child also has time to relax and play!

WHERE CAN YOU GET FURTHER INFORMATION AND SUPPORT?

www.nagcbritain.org.uk The National Association for Gifted Children provides a wide range of advice for parents/carers including information on national networks.

www.aquila.co.uk A fun magazine for lively minded children aged 8-13.

www.gridclub.com Lots of ideas to support able pupils.

www.nace.co.uk A range of publications.

www.mensa.org

www.masterclasses.co.uk

 

Policy updated :January 2017