Supporting Gifted Learners

Learn about different options for supporting the education of gifted children in Tasmanian Government Schools, including Early Entry to School.

The success and wellbeing of gifted students is very important. Find out more about what we mean by ‘gifted students’

Schools and teachers must provide learning which is different for gifted and highly able students. There is help available for teachers to meet the needs of gifted and highly able students.

Parents and carers can get information about this from their school. There is also a fact sheet for parents and carers about how Gifted and Highly Able Students are supported in Tasmanian Government schools.

Supporting Gifted children in the early years

From birth some children regularly do things that show they are progressing quicker than other children their age. This can be in one or more areas of development.

Parents and carers are often the first to notice that their child is progressing quicker than other children. Research shows parents are the best source of information about their child’s progress, interests and learning style. Parents and carers have an important role to play as their child’s first teacher.

Supporting Gifted Children in the Early Years (985KB, PDF) has more information about gifted young children.

Applying for Early Entry to School

Children who are identified as gifted may apply to start school at a younger age. This is called ‘Early Entry’.

All applications for early entry to school are reviewed by the Early Entry to School Cross Sectoral Placement Committee.

Parents and carers who want to find more about giftedness in young children and early entry to school should read Early Entry to School Frequently Asked Questions (202KB, PDF). 

If you are thinking of applying for your child to start school early you need to:

  • read the Early Entry Guidelines (1027KB, PDF) to find out how to apply.
  • contact the school principal to talk about it. Make sure you do this early in the year before you think your child should start school.

After you have spoken with the principal, you need to complete an application form:

The application from should be given to the school by the end of August.

A psychologist must use the WPPSI IV test to find out your child’s level of cognitive development, and complete a form to include with your application:

Make sure the principal has seen your child’s birth certificate and signed the application form.

All applications for early entry to school are to be emailed to gifted.highlyable@education.tas.gov.au. Late applications are accepted.

Families and schools will get a letter from the Early Entry committee in October to tell them if the application is approved. This allows time for children to start pre-kinder if granted early entry.

Acceleration

Year level acceleration is another name for grade skipping. There is a process for Principals and schools to use when skipping a grade might be helpful for a gifted learner. Acceleration of Gifted Students Procedures (543KB, PDF) explains how acceleration works. Questions and more information should be directed to your school principal.

Learning area or subject acceleration is for students who have a particular strength. This means the student learns at a higher year level of the curriculum in one or two areas. But stays with their age appropriate grade.

Gifted Online Courses

Gifted Online courses are for gifted and highly able students. These courses are free to all schools. Courses are Prep to Year 10. Gifted Online programs are delivered by teachers who are very experienced in challenging gifted students.

Learners log into Canvas to find their learning. Canvas is an online learning management system. Teachers and learners can talk to each other online. Learners can do their course at school and home.

It is up to each school which students are offered places in Gifted Online courses. Students will do their course for 1 hour per week, while at school. Extra learning can be done at home.

Class Teachers and In School Teachers are also able to log in and see:

  • student participation levels
  • discussion posts
  • student learning submitted
  • feedback given to students and
  • all the course content.

To find out more about Gifted Online courses please talk to your child’s class teacher.

There is a fact sheet about Gifted Online courses with more information about what students can learn.

Competitions

There are lots of competitions for students to show their talent and skills. Some competitions that Gifted students may like to enter are:

  • The Young Archies Awards is for portrait painting. Awards are presented in year levels for students between kindergarten and Year 12.
  • What Matters Tasmania is a writing competition for students in Years 5 to 12. Students write an opinion essay about what matters to them.
  • The Frank MacDonald Memorial Prize is a history competition for Year 9 students. This competition helps promote the meaning of the ANZAC spirit. Students create an essay or audio-visual presentation.

More details about competitions are available on the Awards and scholarships for students page.

Support for parents and carers of gifted children

The Tasmanian Association for the Gifted (TAG) provides support and regular activities for parents of gifted children.

Support for teachers

The needs of gifted and highly able students are all very different. They have strong interests, strengths and weaknesses. Extended Learning for Gifted Students Procedures (1018KB, PDF) outlines the roles and responsibilities for schools and the DoE to make sure gifted students are challenged.

The Manager for Gifted and Highly Able is able to work with teachers and schools. Sessions can be arranged by school leaders or principals.

School leaders, teachers and psychologists working with gifted and highly able students can do professional learning. A free full day course is held each year in March to help teachers understand giftedness. The course is called Gifted Insight.

There is a learning community of teachers who get monthly updates on:

  • Teaching resources for gifted students
  • School holiday programs
  • Digital resources
  • Conferences & workshops
  • Professional learning
  • Competitions.

A self-paced Canvas course is available to all teachers at any time. The course is called Support for Extended Learning. Teachers will find information on:

  • Identifying gifted students
  • Learning plans
  • A library of resources
  • Differentiation
  • Mentoring
  • Twice exceptional students
  • Under achievement
  • Growth mindset
  • Social and emotional development.

How to find out more

To find out more about supporting gifted and highly learners able please email your questions to gifted.highlyable@education.tas.gov.au.