What is High Learning Potential?

Different people may know this by different names such as ‘gifted and talented’ or more able. However, like an increasing number of children, families and organisations, we prefer the term High Learning Potential as it highlights the potential of these children and young people rather than their defining them only by their current levels of achievement.

A child or young person with High Learning Potential is likely to have exceptional abilities, including the ability to attain highly (though not necessarily academically), but may, for whatever reason, not be attaining at the level they could reach. They may also have dual or multiple exceptionalities (the potential for high attainment together with a special educational need or disability).

However, we also recognise that many children or young people (or their parents or teachers) do not know if they have High Learning Potential, so looking at characteristics such as those listed below can help:

  • Learns rapidly
  • Extensive vocabulary
  • Excellent memory
  • Reasons well
  • Strong curiosity
  • Compassion for others
  • Vivid imagination
  • Long attention span
  • Concern with justice and fairness
  • Emotionally sensitive
  • High energy level
  • Perfectionist
  • Questions authority
  • Perseverance in interests
  • Wide range of interests
  • Good at puzzles
  • Ability with numbers
  • Judgement mature at times
  • A pronounced sense of the ridiculous
  • A quirky or grown-up sense of humour
  • Intense
  • Morally sensitive
  • Prefers company of older children and/or adults
  • Keen observer
  • Early or avid reader
  • Highly creative

Do you know a child or young person who displays a number of these characteristics and have done from an early age? They may well have High Learning Potential. If they do, we believe that they would benefit from activities which enable them to explore and challenge them and through which they can make new friends ‘on the same wavelength’.

If you would struggle to afford the kind of activities that would interest, enthuse and challenge your child, why not apply for a Questor Bursary? Over the past forty years we have supported hundreds of children through our Questor Bursaries who then become Questor for life!

We do not ask for evidence that your child has High Learning Potential or Dual and Multiple Exceptionality. We believe parents and carers know their children and know what could fuel their passion for learning.

However, one of our partners, Potential Plus UK, a national charity which has been supporting children with High Learning Potential, their parents and educators since it was established in 1967, has a free online questionnaire. Complete this to explore the common characteristics that could indicate whether your child has high learning potential.