St. Colmcille’s Boys’ National School, Chapel Lane, Swords, Co.Dublin K67 WP65

(01) 8405132

St Colmcille's BNS

Ní neart go cur le chéile

Exceptionally Abled



At St Colmcille’s BNS, we are committed to providing an environment which encourages all pupils to fulfil their potential.


An exceptionally able pupil is one who is in the top 5% of the population (an IQ of 130+, 98th percentile), and has the capacity for or demonstrates a high level of performance in an academic area or in a non- academic area such as:

  • Visual and / performing arts or sports
  • Creative and productive thinking
  • Leadership ability

Identification of Exceptionally Pupils

  1. An exceptionally able pupil will be identified using a variety of methods. The specific procedure will vary according to subject area, but will include elements of the following:
    • Teacher referral
    • Assessment results
    • Parental/ guardian referral
    • Identification by a previous teacher, previous school, external agency or organisation
  2. From 1st Class onwards, pupils who score on or above the 96th percentile on the Drumcondra Reading and/ or Mathematics tests will then sit the NRIT so that their IQ can be ascertained.


An exceptionally able child is likely to show some of the following characteristics:

1.       Have at least one area of outstanding ability whether

a. a very advanced attainment.

b. very advanced ideas or interests.

c. very advanced oral skills.

d. very advanced creative or artistic skills.

*2. Usually learns easily and is able to handle complex information.

*3. Superior in quality and quantity of vocabulary as compared with children of his own age.

4. May have ability to do effective work independently, showing perseverance and good attention.

5. May show alertness or a quick response to new ideas.

6. May have unusual imagination or originality.

7. Very advanced or rapid reader and may have learned to read early.

8. May be socially very mature or may have poor social skills

9. May have an outstanding sense of humour.

10. May have very good verbal ability, but have poor writing skills.

11. May have low motivation

12. May have short attention span

13. May have a learning disability which masks their achievements

14. May be keen to disguise their abilities

A child showing many of these characteristics, but not those marked with an asterisk is likely to be an exceptionally able pupil who is underachieving educationally.

Record Keeping

A record is kept of all pupils who have been identified as exceptionally able. The area of ability is recorded with reference to which aspect(s) are exceptional. These records are reviewed on a regular basis.

Provision for Exceptionally Able Pupils

It is recognized that exceptionally able children have special needs and schemes of work in the various curricular areas should reflect this fact. Opportunities for extension and enrichment are built into all schemes of work, and each curricular area will have a reference to the exceptionally able.


Classroom differentiation

The class teacher is responsible for differentiation within the classroom. Tasks and resources are designed to take account of levels of existing knowledge, skills and understanding. It is recognised that unnecessary repetition of work is de-motivating.

School-based provision

This varies according to curricular area and/or specific talent, and is covered using a variety of methods such as:

  • Sports teams
  • Enrichment opportunities
  • Opportunities for performance
  • Specialist teaching

Information is passed on the parent(s) of exceptionally able pupils with regard to the programmes at the Irish Centre for Talented Youth @DCU