What are ‘Gifted and Talented’ programs at school?

girl studying. 'gifted and talented' programs at school.

Schools often provide ‘Gifted and Talented’ programs to support the learning needs of different students.

‘Gifted and Talented’ programs come in many different forms.

What are ‘Gifted and Talented’ programs?

‘Gifted and Talented’ programs at school are special conditions designed to meet the educational needs of developmentally advanced students.

In NSW, the Department of Education has a ‘High Potential and Gifted Education’ policy.

It is aimed to “promote engagement and challenge for every student” and “support every student to achieve their educational potential, through talent and developmental opportunities and differential teaching and learning practices to ensure that their specific learning and wellbeing needs are met.”

Source: NSW, Department of Education, https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/high-potential-and-gifted-education/about-the-policy/high-potential-and-gifted-education-policy.

In Victoria, the Department of Education has a ‘Student Excellence Program’.

This program includes activities delivered during school hours and out of school hours.

‘Gifted and Talented’ programs are available for different levels of schooling including preschools, primary schools and high schools.

‘Gifted and Talented’ programs in school

Different schools provide ‘Gifted and Talented’ programs for students to meet a variety of advanced learning needs.

‘Gifted and Talented’ programs at school are commonly based on general high achievement across a wide range of subjects, or achievement in a specific area.

Some examples of ‘Gifted and Talented’ programs in school  include:

  • Accelerated ‘Gifted and Talented’ classes based on academic performance

  • Top classes in Maths, Science, English or other subjects

  • Sports programs, groups or teams outside of school hours

  • Selective schools

  • Skipping a grade or early entry into preschool, primary or high school

  • Advanced reading groups (usually in primary school)

Who can get into ‘Gifted and Talented’ programs?

‘Gifted and Talented’ programs are designed for students whose talent exceeds their age group.

This may be in any area including intellectual, creative, social-emotional and physical.

According to the Australian Curriculum, ‘Gifted and Talented’ students:

  • have individual learning needs, strengths, interests and abilities;

  • vary in their level of giftedness across and within learning areas;

  • vary in abilities and aptitudes demonstrated in a single area or across a variety of domains;

  • vary in level of achievement; and

  • exhibit different learning behaviours.

Source: Australian Curriculum, https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/resources/student-diversity/meeting-the-needs-of-gifted-and-talented-students/

Gifted and talented students may be identified by their teacher and placed in specific classes or groups.

Many schools also have a ‘Gifted and Talented’ program entry test to screen potential students.

Benefits of ‘Gifted and Talented’ programs at school

Students benefit from the specialised, rigorous and engaging learning models suited to their educational development.

maths on blackboard.‘Gifted and Talented’ programs at school.

Additionally, approximately 14% of ‘intellectually gifted’ children may also have a learning disability. Such students may benefit from the individualised approach to learning.


  • ‘Gifted and Talented’ programs at school come in many different forms.

  • ‘Gifted and Talented’ programs could be a part of school or outside of school hours.

  • ‘Gifted and Talented’ students are students whose potential exceeds those of their age group.

  • ‘Gifted and Talented’ students can be in preschool, primary school or high school.

  • Students can be gifted in general over a wide range of subjects, or in a particular area.

  • Many gifted students also have learning disabilities.

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information please see Choosing a School NSW 37 or Choosing a School VIC 34.


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