Identifying gifted and talented is a particular challenge for international schools where there is a high proportion of English as an additional language (EAL) students.
Often a student’s literacy level becomes the key factor in judging their overall potential but it is important to be able to measure a student’s cognitive ability level across different areas, not just the verbal component. This is particularly important for students with a spatial bias, who are capable of excelling in science, technology and maths (STEM subjects) but whose ability may have gone undetected.
Equally it is important to identify to what extent a student is being held back and how much literacy support they require to reach their full potential.
Top tips for identifying ‘hard to spot’ and 'gifted and talented' students
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, International Community School, Amman
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