There is a common misconception that gifted children usually do well in the classroom. However, it is not necessarily true that a gifted child will be a high achiever. A gifted child is often defined as having an IQ in excess of 130; this is two standard deviations above the norm. However, this does not necessarily mean a child will be successful at school; it can mean that a gifted child is not well suited to the pace of a regular school curriculum – and the more gifted the child the more of a mismatch can occur.  Gifted children can even be at risk in the normal classroom. Additionally, gifted students are not always the easiest to teach and can sometimes make for challenging situations in the classroom. Of course, some gifted students do achieve well at school – every child is different. Here you can find the top myths that relate to gifted education and what gifted children really need in the classroom.

It is advantageous to find a school that is committed to its gifted students. During their training teachers are not required to learn about the specific needs of gifted children, so it is worthwhile asking a school if they have staff who are either trained in giftedness, or have a passion for learning more about the subject, and are proactive in doing so. Gifted children often need a differentiated curriculum, and may need to be extended in various areas. See the page on acceleration for further information.

In Western Australia you will find schools that are academically selective, in that they only accept children who have passed an entrance exam. Some schools offer full time gifted streaming, and there are also part-time gifted pull-out and extension programs available in both primary and secondary schools. You can find more information on academically selective schools and gifted programs on the Education in WA page.

Hopefully, through reading these pages relating to education, and the links provided for further reading, you’ll discover that educating a gifted child can sometimes be a joy, sometimes be a challenge – but it is rarely boring!


What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child. – George Bernard Shaw