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Stretching Gifted and Talented students

“Yeah, that kid at the back who finishes work early and is bound to get an A no matter what I do, I think they’re a G&T kid”

– Once upon a time that was the extent to which teachers identified and planned for G&T students. Like all things in education, thankfully that is not longer the case.

Supporting G&T students…

But what do you really need to do to support a Gifted and Talented individual?

And how, amongst the other 20+ kids in your class can you effectively support them?

The answer is in planning, and perhaps refreshing your memory of some teaching tools you use which have become second nature to you, with a little re-adjustment they can REALLY work for you and your G&T students, as well as the class as a whole.

I was recently observed teaching a GCSE ICT class (Using the new Ofsted criteria) and I’m happy to say the outcome was positive.

As with all observations an area to develop was identified and for me it was ‘what was I doing to stretch my G&T students?’

Starting from scratch (again)

So I’ve gone back to the beginning and re-read current thinking on those bright sparks in classes and have looked at ways (quick, simple but effective) to support and challenge them.

“Question everything”

First area of G&T support that I have identified to work on personally is my use of questioning in my lessons (I’m looking at adding a box to my own lesson plans to make sure I plan these in advance of every lesson rather than think of them on the spot).

To this end I discovered a useful store of support materials HERE at the Teacher Tools website. Including guides on Q&A, PowerPoint presentations to use in staff training and some really useful tools to take straight into a lesson. Check out the rather brilliant ‘in the classroom’ area of support materials!

It may seem obvious, and some teachers are bound to turn their noses up straight away “I’ve been doing this for years” – I can here some say, but to my mind good teachers are as open to brushing up on familiar concepts and ideas as we want our students to be!

Admitting you need to re-read something to better understand it is an admission of a thirst for knowledge not an admission of a lack of it!


For example: Blooming brilliance…


We all remember it, we all know as teachers we covered it during training, and I’m sure it’s second nature to a lot of us, but it really doesn’t hurt and shouldn’t bruise the ego to look at it again.

Ask yourself do you use it to guide your questioning in the classroom as often as you should? Or once did?

Outcome:

Starting this week ALL my lessons will have more planned questioning in them, and I’m putting the reminder of Blooms up in my classroom to share it with the students (again). It’s the basics, but every so often we need the refresher! Don’t we?

Hope this was a useful ‘bitesize’ read. There will be much more on G&T to follow as I develop my own tools further, I’ll share them here.

So, this week – is “Questioning to stretch” week in my classroom 🙂


What about you?


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