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How to spot the class genius

TEACHERS will get tips on how to spot the Leonardo da Vincis of the future in a video to be sent to all primary schools.

The film is part of the Government's gifted and talented programme, which seeks to identify and stretch the most able 5 to 10 per cent of pupils.

It will show teachers how to spot bright five to 11-year-olds by the way they speak, listen, read and write.

A spokesman for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority said: "The video will aim to address what the characteristics of outstanding children are and what provision should be made for them.

"It will capture children's sustained talk, working in groups and in drama activities."

Pupils at a school in Newcastle have already been filmed. Other schools will be visited and the video will go out early next year.

Nearly pound;3 million of the pound;29m gifted and talented budget has been allocate to primaries for 20002001.

Four hundred primaries in deprived areas targeted by the Government's Excellence in Cities programme are now selecting bright Year 5 and 6 children to take part in accelerated learning, study support and programmes to help them transfer to secondary schools.

"World-class" tests in maths and problem-solving will also be available from September for the most able nine and 13-year-olds.

Pupils in schools in Chicago will sit the tests next week to establish international comparisons and determine what constitutes "world class".

The programme is part of the Government's drive to avoid "one-size-fits-all" schooling.

But the effectiveness of such programmes has been questioned. A recent report by Birmingham University suggested accelerated learning in maths may encourage short-term gains at the expense of long-term growth.

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