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Issue 472, 5 November 2001

Testing times

Maths tests devised by the school of education to encourage gifted children have their first live run this month, with further tests to be held next year.

The tests, part of the government’s Excellence in Cities programme, aim to identify talent in maths and problem solving, to help raise aspirations and ensure that children with exceptional ability are given the necessary encouragement and support.

Team leader Professor Diane Shorrocks-Taylor said: "The tests are for pupils aged nine and thirteen and they seem to really enjoy doing them. They are designed to use knowledge the children already have, but require a high level of insight and understanding in the way that knowledge is used."

The project now has a strong international dimension, with the USA and Australia among several countries running the tests as part of an international collaboration to raise standards in schools. Additional materials will also be developed to support teachers in their everyday work with talented pupils.

For more information, see the world class arena website

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