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PDF icon. Identifying and providing for giftedness in the early years (PDF, 1 MB)

Booklet by Barbara Allan (can be downloaded for personal use).  Anyone wishing to republish the booklet will need to seek permission of the author, editor and publisher.


Planning will usually begin from observations of the children’s interests, strengths, needs, and behaviours  (Te Whāriki) 

Provision for young, gifted children should take into account both their advanced knowledge in their area of high ability, and their faster pace of learning.

The curriculum will need to be adapted to account for both of these factors. This may include:

  • Providing resources usually targeted at older children
  • Providing more depth and complexity in tasks, to engage interest and provide challenge
  • Using questioning to encourage higher order thinking

Any modifications to the curriculum should be based on the individual student’s identified needs.  Do they need opportunities to build on their advanced language, mathematical ability, scientific knowledge, interest in current events, leadership skills, or the arts? Target your provision so that you are presenting the child with regular opportunities to deepen their understanding and grow their skills. 

Individual Education Plans are recommended for gifted children in early childhood settings, to ensure their particular learning needs are catered for (Allan, B. 2002). Note identified areas of high ability, and how you plan to cater for these. The IEP should be regularly reviewed and adapted, to suit the changing needs of the child. 


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