Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about giftedness
What must be taken into consideration when skipping a grade?
Skipping a grade level is a well-researched and generally recommended intervention if the necessary requirements are met by the child and the child’s environment. However, skipping a grade is a relatively strong intervention in a student’s school career and thus also involves risks in individual cases. Careful preparation and educational guidance must always be provided when students are skipping grades. In addition to the child’s aptitude and academic achievement, his or her social situation and social skills should also be taken into account when assessing the prerequisites for grade acceleration, for example: Does the child have friends in class, does he or she socialize easily? The situation in the prospective new class must also be taken into account. The entire process should be jointly coordinated with the teachers of the class the child is leaving and the new class as well as with the parents and the child in question; under no circumstances should skipping a grade be “carried out” until all the people involved are completely in agreement.
Initially, it is advisable to arrange an introductory phase during which the child can take part in the lessons of the higher class on a trial basis. It is important to explain to the other students in both classes what is happening, why the child is changing classes, and that this is a perfectly normal situation. This trial phase can be communicated to younger children in particular as an “internship” in such a way that a return to the former grade will be easily possible if necessary. After children have skipped a grade, it is important to continue providing specific supervision over a period of time to ensure that they become acclimated and integrated as well as catch up on any learning material deficits.
Careful preparation and educational guidance must be provided when students are skipping grades.