Gifted & Talented Event Design

Exploring Our Event Logic


Aspire More Able – Thinkers in Education design activities to develop ability, task commitment and creativity – the Joseph Renzulli model for Giftedness (1978,1986). We have found it to be particularly successful when activities are introduced as ‘real-life’ problems for teams to solve within the scenario.

During an event, activities allow teams to earn ‘credits’ for their team ‘fund’. Pupils are given the option to consult the teacher (at a cost to the team), but must determine their own routes forward based on the information provided. Competition between teams, results in their preference to think about and discuss the problems set, rather than call on the teacher to explain the answer.

Multiple and progressively difficult targets are set for each task, with correlating rewards. Strict deadlines ensure there is a careful balance between time pressure and time for exploration.

Most importantly, each activity requires pupils to use causal and correlation reasoning to construct their own models for ideas and concepts introduced. Their conceptual understanding is guided by carefully structured questioning, ‘open, closed, speculative, analytical, discriminatory and problem-solving’ to progress through the levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. Pupils need to remodel and evaluate their ideas, with reference to new information or evidence obtained.

The content is delivered through whole-team, small-group and individual challenges. This ensures that the dynamics of the group constantly change. Pupils may need to teach their peers one moment and learn from them the next. Every action has a consequence and, because of the storyline, pupils genuinely care about the outcome.

Single-day events allow pupils to demonstrate their abilities in new contexts. However, five-day events are particularly effective in developing a multitude of subject-specific and transferable skills1. Teachers should consider delivering such an event to meet the requirement to provide ‘five days ofEnterprise’ to full effect, as a focused week or as single days throughout the year. The extra time allows a multi-layered approach to be taken, so delivering a huge range of interrelated experiences.