What is Giftedness

Giftedness is involuntary – a natural gift. It gives no cause for claims of elitism.

Out of every hundred children, approximately five can be classified as “gifted”, yet only a small proportion may be identified as such in school.

The following are some signs of giftedness:

  • an early interest in their surroundings
  • a high level of curiosity
  • a large vocabulary
  • a good memory
  • the ability to talk early and fluently
  • the ability to read early – sometimes self-taught
  • a questioning attitude
  • high expectations of oneself and others
  • a thirst for knowledge
  • the ability to concentrate for a long time
  • creative ability
  • artistic ability
  • leadership ability
  • overly sensitive / emotional

Some may be very lonely because their interests do not match those of their peers. They may have difficulties at school because of their unconventional behaviour and questioning attitude. They can become distressed through frustration and boredom, or through imbalance between their intellectual and emotional development. They may deny their intelligence and underachieve so as to become more acceptable to their peers. They may become troublemakers.

We need to recognise and cater for gifted children to ensure this does not happen.

For further information on identifying gifted children, see Links as well as those available on the NZAGC web site.

Eligibility for Joining Explorers

Parents/guardians may personally recommend that their children be eligible for membership of Explorers. Simply provide some evidence of the following details to the Membership Secretary with your application, showing why you consider your child is gifted.


  1. Specific information about the child’s learning, social behaviour or development indicating ability in the gifted category, e.g. reading well at three years of age.
  2. Examples of the child’s work, e.g. writing, art, maths.
  3. The ability to competently handle curricula standards set for an age two years or more above the child’s age.
  4. Some formalised testing that indicates the child is working or able to work at or above the 95th percentile; e.g. school reports or tests, extra-curricular activities, etc.