Gifted and talented students at school

This page includes advice for helping your gifted child learn at school.

You can also read our general information on gifted and talented children.

Starting school early

Some children may benefit from starting school early. However, this is is only one way of helping them have the right learning opportunities. Some gifted children get the same benefit from an enriched kindergarten program instead.

You should speak to your child's kindergarten and any other relevant professionals. They can give advice on whether it's best for your child to start school early.

Your child may be ready for school if they:

  • are socially mature, emotionally stable and confident
  • are comfortable around older students
  • show they're ready in reading and mathematics reasoning
  • act independently
  • are eager to start school and wants to be challenged there.

Partnering with your school

Research shows that gifted children have the most benefits when parents and teachers work together.

You can partner with your school by:

How your school can help

Speak to your school about your child's learning needs and interests. You can discuss how your child can be best supported. This may include:

  • personalised learning, such as daily challenges in your child's area of interest
  • giving your child opportunities to learn with students at the same ability
  • adapting the curriculum so they can study at the right level
  • having access to special facilities or workplaces to learn
  • other specialised programs, like science and maths centres or the model United Nations.

You may choose to send your child to a selective entry high school if they are high achievers. Or a specialised secondary school if they have advanced skills in a certain area.

Accelerated learning

This is where your child moves through an education program faster than usual, or starts a program when they're younger than usual.

Accelerated learning can happen in different ways, but the two usual options are:

  • your child learns with older students, like going up a subject or year level
  • your child stays in their usual classroom but has more advanced teaching and materials.

Speak to your school if you believe your child would benefit. You and the school should be confident that your child is socially mature and can face the challenge. You should also make sure you have the capacity to support your child when they need.

Moving to new schools or learning settings

Moving to a new school, learning setting or starting secondary school is a big change. It's a good idea to talk to your child about their fears, the probability of them happening and how you can help.

Speak to your new school's principal about your child's needs and how the school can help. Bring along any formal assessments and evidence of achievement. It's important that you and the school agree on the best way your child can transition into their new learning environment.

You can also read our tips on starting primary and secondary school.

If you feel your child has disengaged

Speak to your child's teacher to discuss the situation. Focus on:

  • if the teacher knows what level your child is learning at
  • if new or challenging material is being given out
  • finding any changes that may have caused your child to disengage.

The next step is to create strategies to resolve the situation. This could include:

  • a meeting for your family and school to share what they know about your child's learning and interests
  • the school arranging an assessment of your child
  • using extension learning at home
  • learning plans to help support more mature social and emotional behaviours.

If you have concerns at any stage, speak to your school.