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Gifted and Talented Children in the Early Years
This book, along with others in the QEd series, provides simple and practical advice for early years educators working with children who may be gifted or talented.
The book deals with why the issue of giftedness and talent has recently become important and suggests a means of identification along with some suggestions for planning the Foundation Stage curriculum to include the needs of children with such abilities. There is also a chapter which provides a framework for looking children's learning styles as well as alerting the reader to some of the emotional issues related to bright children. There is a section on behaviour, since these very able children can sometimes be difficult to manage in the early years because of their idiosyncratic styles of learning and ability to grasp new concepts.
The book suggests that although gifted and talented children do not fall within the remit of the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (DfES, 2001), they would benefit from individual education plans and careful monitoring and support from the SENCO and interested members of staff within the early years setting.
As with all QEd Publications, the book provides simple and practical advice. It shows how to work successfully with other professionals and parents. A mention of other strategies which might be useful could also have been included (e.g. brain-based learning and accelerated learning strategy) but additional information is provided to enable the interested reader to further their knowledge.
Reviewed in Support for Learning, 2005
I need to admit that I approached this book with some reluctance. A growing discomfort at labels generally, but G&T specifically (what are the others then?) leads me to reject such compartmentalisation of pupils. However, I found much in this short book of use. The tables constructed by the author to support the identification of different intelligences could support teaching and learning by indicating strategies and processes that may lead to enhanced success for all.
Some of the suggestions are both practical and useful. The whole class ideas provide a framework of useful ideas to focus thinking regarding ways of challenging and supporting pupils who have specific learning strengths. The chapter informing on working with families is short and more directed at identifying parental concerns and points of view than supporting early years settings to work with them.
A short book that is easy to read and would be useful to those in early years settings.
Reviewed in SNIP, 2004