Identifying Gifted and Talented Students

It is estimated by The Sutton Trust that 15% of highly able children fail to achieve results in the top 25% at the end of their GCSEs. These are ‘hard to spot’ children. We asked a panel of experts at our recent National Assessment Conference for their top tips on uncovering who these children are and this is what they told us.

Top tips for identifying ‘hard to spot’ pupils

  • Work hard to uncover strengths and weaknesses pupils may be hiding by engaging them every day
  • Increase the questioning of pupils in the classroom on a particular topic to test knowledge before moving on to the next
  • Change pupil attitudes: address reasons why a pupil may be ‘reluctant to have a go’
  • Use pupil assessment data which is well tailored and regularly reviewed to pick up patterns of learning
  • Use cognitive ability tests to uncover potential that can be masked by a lack of confidence
  • Use the progress triangle: Identify needs, track needs, measure progress

Uncovering Potential

With the CAT4 Cognitive Abilities Test my teachers have a profound insight into every child’s academic ability, beneath and beyond the veneer of what is, for the majority of our cohort, a significant EAL barrier. This data is, more often than not, a liberating force, unleashing the potential of young learners for whom English really is the only obstacle.
Matthew Savage, Deputy Head of School, Bromsgrove International School, Thailand

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