Tags: Curriculum Manager | Gifted and Talented | Teaching & Learning Coordinator | Teaching and Learning

If you are looking for a resource portal for enhancing your gifted and talented (G&T) provision, then this site is a good starting point. It brings together materials from the key G&T organisations all under one roof, and covers the core G&T issues, including identification, enrichment, extension, acceleration and differentiation.

If you were after a refresher on the core issues, then head to the ‘G&T basics’ area of the site. This outlines what gifted and talented means, looks at how to identify G&T students, and how to then decide on the best support for them. This area of the site also includes links for further advice on each of these three topics from such organisations as the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), the National Association for Gifted Children, and Westminster Institute of Education at Oxford Brookes University.

There are various ways you can access the resources gathered together on the site. Potentially one of the most useful is the common questions archive. Here you will find a list of the most frequent problems and dilemmas faced by G&T educators. Click on any one of these and you are directed to a list of resources designed to help answer your queries on that issue. Common questions range from ‘I’m a G&T coordinator at a secondary school. Where do I go for guidance?’ and ‘How do I assess and monitor the gifted and talented at secondary level?’ to ‘I would like help with formulating a whole-school policy on G&T teaching’ and ‘I want information on accelerating KS3 students’. For example, click on the first of these and you are presented with a list of 58 resources. You have the option of sorting these by category to make it easier to pinpoint the ones of most interest to you. Categories you can use for ordering the list are: subject, key stage, teaching focus, contexts, support type, resource type, and price. For example, if you order them by teaching focus, then top of the list is an introduction to the concept of acceleration, followed by a report from the American National Association for Gifted Children looking at the reasons why schools can fail to help the most academically able students reach their potential. Order them by key stage and the first two entries are an extract from a book on thinking skills relevant to KS3, followed by a link to articles on the Literacy Trust’s site relating to G&T education at KS3 and KS4.

You can also browse the resources by subject area, by key stage or by teaching focus. Topics in the teaching focus section range from assessment, cultural and gender issues, and motivation and self-esteem, to personalised learning, targeting underachievers, and using ICT. The final way to access the resources is via the search engine. Here you can select a range of criteria on which to search to narrow your focus more specifically. The site is also an information point on the quality standards (QS) for gifted and talented education developed by the DfES and the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY). QS is designed to provide schools with a self-evaluation tool to identify strengths and weaknesses in their current G&T provision and from there make improvements. To help you get to grips with the best way to use the quality standards, you can access the QS forum. There were various discussion forums going on when we visited the site, including one on the classroom quality standards, one on self-evaluation tools and one on other issues relating to institutional or classroom quality standards.

The site also includes information directly relevant for parents, and a page of information for students, that curriculum managers can use to help them give appropriate support to each of these two groups.

If you looking to inject new thinking into your gifted and talented policy, to refresh your provision, and provide more appropriate targeted support, then this site promises to provide you with resources to help you with this — as well as support you with a myriad other issues you are looking to explore to sharpen up your current approach to gifted and talented provision.

This article first appeared in Curriculum Management Update – Mar 2006

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