Exceptionally Gifted Children

The Ministry of Education (MOE) identifies the academically gifted and caters to the learning needs of the top 1% of the national cohort through the Gifted Education Programme (GEP), beginning at Primary 4. It also supports schools in the identification and development of a very rare group of exceptionally gifted students at the primary and secondary levels.

In meeting the needs of the exceptionally gifted, MOE is guided by the following principles:

  • These students should be in the Singapore school system.
  • They should receive a holistic education. Cognitive development should not be achieved at the expense of the development in the moral, social, physical and aesthetic domains.
  • The recommended interventions would be made within the constraints of existing resources.

TARGET GROUP

  1. Who is an exceptionally gifted child?

    An exceptionally gifted child is one whose intellectual ability is significantly advanced. Some common characteristics of exceptionally gifted children include:

    • Shows exceptional ability in a single domain but not necessarily in others, even at an early age;
    • Is able to relate to a broad range of ideas and synthesise them;
    • Is able to think abstractly at a very young age;
    • Grasps concepts quickly and demonstrates understanding by explaining in simple language or using examples;
    • Has an inquiring mind and always seeks to acquire new knowledge or pick up a new skill;
    • Will explore special interests, frequently in great depth;
    • Possesses an unusual capacity for memory;
    • Is observant;
    • Displays intense concentration when engaged in a task;
    • Reads widely and is fascinated with ideas and words;
    • Has an extensive vocabulary and expresses himself/herself well;
    • Shows a keen awareness of world issues such as global warming and would attempt to find answers or solutions to the problem.

    If your child demonstrates nearly all of the characteristics listed above, it may be an indication that your child is gifted. Even among the intellectually gifted, there is a range of abilities. Only a very rare number of children are assessed to be exceptionally gifted.

  2. How many exceptionally gifted children are there in each cohort?

    In a normally distributed population, there are about 3 such exceptionally gifted among 100,000 children.

  3. How can I get my child assessed for giftedness?

    You may send your child to a registered psychologist for assessment. Your child will be required to sit an individually administered standardised test of intelligence.

    The tests used should be recognised instruments for assessing giftedness. We recommend only the Stanford-Binet (SB-5) or Wechsler Intelligence Test (WISC-IV) be used for this purpose. The assessment should be conducted by a qualified professional who is familiar and experienced in the use of such tests in Singapore. To ensure that a suitable psychologist is engaged, you may wish to refer to the SRP* member directory found under SRP Registration on the Singapore Psychological Society website.

    Note: * SRP stands for Singapore Register of Psychologists


INTERVENTIONS/LEVELS

  1. What are the interventions recommended for an exceptionally gifted child?

    In each cohort, very rarely do we come across an exceptionally gifted child. However for the rare child, the possible interventions include:

    • Enrichment where the student learns topics which are taught in greater depth and breadth;
    • Self-paced instruction through online courses;
    • Subject acceleration where the student is placed at a higher grade level in a specific subject; and
    • Early school admission for children younger than Primary 1.

    1. FOR A CHILD WHO IS NOT OF SCHOOL-GOING AGE (I.E. NOT YET REQUIRED TO ATTEND PRIMARY 1)
    2. Parents can apply directly to the Gifted Education (GE) Branch, MOE, for Early School Admission to Primary 1. This provision is available to a child who is at least 5 years old and intends to attend a MOE school.

      Note: Only psychological assessments that have been conducted after the child is 5 years of age will be accepted. We suggest that you have your child assessed only after the child’s fifth birthday.


    3. FOR A CHILD WHO IS ALREADY IN PRIMARY SCHOOL
    4. Parents can apply for provisions through the child’s school. The school will then write in to GE Branch with the necessary supporting documents. GE Branch will assess the child to determine if special provisions should be offered on an individualised basis.


IDENTIFICATION/SELECTION

  1. What documents should the parent/school submit to GE Branch when requesting initial assessment?

    The following documents need to be submitted for initial assessment:

    • A letter of request for special provisions from parent or guardian, if the request is initiated by the parent/guardian. If the request is initiated by the school, the parent’s consent is required;
    • The child’s academic records since admission to the school;
    • Feedback from the relevant subject teachers (both current and previous): The feedback should include an assessment of the child’s ability as well as the child’s social-emotional behaviour and interactions with his/her classmates and teachers; and
    • Psycho-educational report as described in Question 3.

    The necessary documents must be submitted for an application to be processed.

  2. How long does it take to process the documents submitted?

    The processing of documents usually takes between 2 and 3 months. If additional assessment(s) or documents are required, parents will be informed.

  3. Which school should my child attend if my application for early school admission is successful?

    Parents can send their child to a school of their choice. Admission is subject to vacancies at the school.

  4. How can an exceptionally gifted child be supported?

    Should a child be identified as exceptionally gifted, a Personalised Education Plan (PEP) will be drawn up for him/her. Each PEP will take into account the child’s readiness for academic progression, as well as his/her social emotional development. The PEP is reviewed at the end of every semester.

  5. How will GE Branch support a child who is found to be not in the exceptionally gifted range?

    GE Branch will advise the parents and the school on educational options that they may wish to explore with the child.

  6. If I have further queries, who should I contact?

    You may write in to
         Gifted Education Branch
         1, North Buona Vista Drive
         Office Tower, Level 13
         Singapore 138675

    OR email:
         moe_gebr@moe.edu.sg