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Depth and breadth

Chemistry apparatus

Gifted and talented learners require opportunities that offer stretch and challenge. They like to understand 'the big picture'; to know the context and purpose of their learning. Investigative tasks where outcomes are not fixed or limited provide valuable and stimulating learning experiences.

These opportunities can be provided by offering experiences that provide breadth of learning and go beyond the prescribed curriculum.

Providing gifted and talented learners with these types of enrichment activities increases their experience outside of the school curriculum. Enrichment activities may include school provision or access to experts and classes outside of the school day. However, to make them worthwhile they must include content and experiences that sufficiently stretch learners.

Extension activities offer depth of learning. These encourage the student to work with either more complex tasks (i.e. which combine or apply learning objectives in less familiar contexts) or to provide them with a greater degree of complexity or abstraction.

Gifted and talented learners can also be presented with opportunities that accelerate their learning through content.

Gifted and talented learners should also be encouraged to work independently; to set their own tasks and to have a range of material and routes to work through. However, they must also be 'taught' and should not be left alone to work through set activities.

It is also important to encourage learners to reflect on their work, to clarify their understanding and to consider what they have achieved and their next steps.