Education Advice Sheets

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Potential Plus UK has a wide selection of advice sheets covering many of the issues likely to face parents and carers of a child with high learning potential.

Members can access all of our advice sheets and download them free of charge by logging in. Non-members can purchase downloadable advice sheets at £3.60 each.

See our Parent Advice Sheets Page for more advice sheets on subjects such as: assessments, developing skills and social and emotional issues.

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PA302 – Home Education

Education provided outside a formal school system is primarily known as Home Education within the United Kingdom. The legal situation in the UK with regard to home education can be summarised in the phrase: “education is compulsory, schooling is not”. Currently, there are an estimated 60,000 children being home educated in the UK and this figure is growing each year. This advice sheet is an introductory guide to home educating a child with high learning potential and provides information on some of the most popular methods used when home educating.

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PA303 – Flexi Schooling

Flexi Schooling describes an arrangement between a parent/carer and the school where their child is registered so that they can attend part time. For the rest of the time, the child is home educated or could attend an event in which they are talented. Agreement to Flexi School is at the discretion of the Head Teacher of the school at which the child is registered. This must be obtained before Flexi Schooling can begin. There are a growing number of children taking up this option and this Advice Sheet outlines how to go about it and its advantages and disadvantages.

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PA304 – Working Memory – Tapping Potential

This advice sheet explores the concept of working memory and outlines the findings of recent research that show that working memory capacity may be able to predict potential far more effectively than IQ tests.

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PA305 – Inspiring a Child’s Motivation to Learn

Research has shown that if a child is motivated at an early age this tends to continue to develop up to and beyond adolescence. As there are aspects of the child’s environment that can have a significant impact on children’s motivation to learn – both positively and negatively– parents can help by providing a better environment.

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PA306 – Finding a School for a High Learning Potential Child

Finding a school for a high learning potential child, whether at the start of their school career or later on, can be a difficult process. Parents may be aware that the child has some specific needs but are not clear which school will provide for these. Below are some pointers about what to look for in a school, followed by some questions to ask a prospective school.

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PA307 – Working in Positive Partnership with Schools

Many parents feel that teachers should be left to get on with the job of educating children. However, because every child is different, the teaching role is much easier when parents work in partnership with the school. This advice sheet is aimed at parents and gives advice about how to work in positive partnership with school.

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PA308 – Fast-Tracking (Acceleration)

Acceleration is the term used when a child works at a level beyond their chronological age. It is not only acceptable but one of the most effective interventions to ensure that high learning potential children are challenged in their learning. Many high learning potential students benefit greatly from some form of acceleration but there are several implications for the child and the school.

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PA309 – Transition (Moving Schools)

Changes at school can be difficult for any child and many children with high learning potential can be sensitive to change and new situations. Whether it is moving up to senior school, moving from one Key Stage to another, or moving to a new area, it is a good idea to be prepared for this big step. If your child is due to change schools soon, this advice sheet will help you and your child to make that transition with confidence.

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PA310 – The Low-Down on Enrichment

Enrichment is an essential part of good provision for children with high learning potential and is an educational strategy that can work well for them. This advice sheet is aimed at parents of high learning potential children and explores what enrichment is, why it can be good for high learning potential children, how schools approach it and how to enrich a child’s learning.

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PA311 – Mentor and Buddy Programmes

Mentor and buddy programmes can really benefit children with high learning potential. This advice sheet is aimed at parents of children with high learning potential and explains what they are and how to go about requesting support of this type.

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PA312 – Alternative Education Options for Children with High Learning Potential

Children with high learning potential (HLP) often thrive under less conventional approaches to education. This advice sheet considers the circumstances under which parents and families may wish to take an alternative approach to education and outlines the different options that may be available to enable children with high learning potential to flourish in education.

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PA314 – Handwriting Difficulties and Alternative Ways to Demonstrate Learning

Children who have difficulty with handwriting can be misunderstood in school. Because their ideas, opinions and knowledge are not demonstrated on paper, it can be assumed that they have no knowledge or have not learned from the lesson. These children should have the opportunity to also present their knowledge in other ways to enable them to become free of the bind of writing.

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PA315 – Meeting with the School

This advice sheet has been written by Potential Plus UK to help parents to prepare for school meetings. Meeting with the school to ensure that a child’s needs are met is an essential part of supporting children with high learning potential. With this in mind, we have put together some useful guidance to help achieve a positive meeting with the school.

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PA316 – Developing Fine Motor Skills

High learning potential children often have many advanced skills, in conjunction with other age-appropriate or delayed skills. One area that can sometimes be delayed is the development of fine motor skills. This advice sheet is aimed at parents and carers of high learning potential children and gives advice about developing fine motor skills and activities to improve these in children with high learning potential.

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PA317 – Sensory Input for Sensory Seekers

It is well established that children with high learning potential often have some sensory issues, and a common result of this is sensory seeking behaviour. A sensory seeker is under responsive to sensory information and seeks additional sensory input to stay alert, register and process the sensory input needed, so they appear fidgety and may fiddle with or chew things. This advice sheet is aimed at parents and carers of high learning potential children and gives advice about what sensory seekers with high learning potential need.

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PA318 – Proprioception Activities

It is well established that high learning potential children often have some sensory issues. Proprioceptive activities can be used whether the child is over-responsive, under-responsive or sensory seeking to provide sensory feedback about where the body is in space. These activities are calming and sensory-organising to a child with sensory issues. This advice sheet is aimed at parents and carers of high learning potential children and gives information and advice about proprioceptive activities for high learning potential children with sensory issues.

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PA319 – Education and Exceptionally Able Children

Very high learning potential children, especially those with identified ability in the exceptionally or profoundly categories, are likely to have significantly different educational needs compared to their peers. Their advanced abilities in comprehension and cognitive ability mean that regular classroom challenge appropriate for their age rather than their ability will not provide the rigour needed for them to develop essential learning skills and derive satisfaction and achievement. This advice sheet is aimed at parents and carers, as well as teachers and professionals, and gives information and advice about supporting the education of very high learning potential children.

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PA320 – Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy

High learning potential children benefit greatly from practising higher order thinking skills on a regular basis as these require more cognitive processing. They generate more interest from high potential learners and will challenge their thinking more. Educational tasks can be designed to take account of higher order thinking skills to make them more challenging. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a well-known way of explaining thinking skills. This advice sheet is aimed at parents of children with high learning potential to explain about higher order thinking skills and to give guidance about how tasks can be made more challenging using the framework.

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PA321 – Using Thinking Skills in Science

Bloom’s (Revised) Taxonomy can be used to make science learning more challenging for high learning potential children who have already mastered, or can very quickly and easily grasp, the lower order learning activities. This advice sheet is aimed at parent of children with high learning potential and gives suggestions for activities at every Bloom’s Taxonomy level for several science topics, as well as a Bloom’s Experiment Form and suggestions for tasks at each level so bespoke activities can be created.

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PA322 – Using Thinking Skills in Maths

Bloom’s (Revised) Taxonomy can be used to make science learning more challenging for high learning potential children who have already mastered, or can very quickly and easily grasp, the lower order learning activities. This advice sheet is aimed at parent of children with high learning potential and gives suggestions for activities at every Bloom’s Taxonomy level for several mathematics topics, as well as a table with suggestions for tasks at each level so you can create your own activities for other topics.

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PA323 – Using Thinking Skills in Literacy

Bloom’s (Revised) Taxonomy can be used to make literacy learning more challenging for high learning potential children who have already mastered, or can very quickly and easily grasp, the lower order learning activities. This advice sheet is aimed at parent of children with high learning potential and gives suggestions for activities at every Bloom’s Taxonomy level for reading, writing and spelling, as well as a table with suggestions for tasks at each level so you can create your own activities for other topics.

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PA324 – Helping HLP Children Develop Self-Regulation Skills

Self-regulation means taking control of one’s own learning through planning, monitoring and evaluating. It helps us to continue to work towards a goal despite setbacks and to reflect on how we could improve next time. This advice sheet is based on information from the University of Connecticut’s Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. It is aimed at parents and carers of children with high learning potential.

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