Skip to main content
Saskatoon Public Schools
Inspiring Learning
How might I know if my child is gifted?

What is giftedness?

In simple terms, giftedness refers to displaying exceptional ability or uncommon promise. Giftedness is not fixed, nor is a student gifted in all areas.  Many gifted students have areas of great strength and other areas that are average or require extra supports.

How might my child be identified as gifted?

In Grade 4 and Grade 8, a combination of a standardized test score, teacher observation, and student writing is used to help identify students who might benefit from SAGE programming. Students may be invited to elementary or secondary programs, or be offered other supports. If your child is offered a program spot and declines, other opportunities like differentiation, mentorship etc. may be available to provide additional support in the home school.

Some students may also be considered twice-exceptional, which means having two special needs. In the case of giftedness, a student might be both gifted and have a learning disability, for example. Students who are twice exceptional may need supports from more than SAGE to support their success, but they are welcome in programming for the gifted. 

Why do we offer special programs for gifted students?

Like other students with special needs, gifted students need methods of instruction and environments that ensure they are appropriately challenged.  When they do not have those challenges and supports, gifted student may experience disengagement, isolation, or lack of appropriate academic growth.

Bright children are often successful in a regular classroom – top achievers in their class, leader among peers, etc. A regular classroom environment typically meets the needs of bright learners. Gifted learners are often not successful in a regular classroom and may need an alternative learning environment to address their specific learning and social-emotional needs. Read more about the Characteristics of Giftedness

Bright Child​* ​Gifted Child*
​Knows the answers ​Asks the questions
​Interested ​Extremely curious
​Pays attention ​Gets involved physically and mentally
​Works hard ​Plays around, still gets good test scores
​Answers questions ​Questions the answers
​Enjoys same-age peers ​Prefers adults or older children
​Good at memorization ​Good at guessing
​Learns easily ​Bored. Already Knows the answers
​Listens well ​Shows strong feelings and opinions
​Self-satisfied ​Self-satisfied. Highly critical of self (perfectionist)

 Characteristics of Bright vs Gifted Students from Janice Szabos

*Please note: this is not a list of absolutes. A gifted student may demonstrate some of the traits of a bright student, and a bright student may have some of the traits of a gifted student.  Students may demonstrate gifted characteristics in certain disciplines and not in others.  The purpose of the list is to provide a general sense of observable characteristics a teacher or parent might see that can be associated with giftedness.