Highly Able, Gifted and Talented Students


Our approach

We recognise that our highly able students need access to broad, balanced and challenging curriculum opportunities to enable them to reach their true potential. With this in mind, we develop the curriculum for them. We achieve this by offering activities that extend and enrich their learning and promote high attainment and good progress.

Where appropriate, students will move through their learning at a faster rate than their peers. Particularly able students may be able to take additional awards and/or qualifications.

Students on the highly able register will be supported to reach their full potential through high-calibre, differentiated tasks and activities in daily lessons and enrichment activities.

More Able, Most Able, High Ability or Gifted and Talented?

Over the last 10 years, language has been ‘interchanged’ depending upon the agency describing a group of students; ‘More Able’, ‘Most Able’ and ‘High Ability’ all refer to the same group of students.

Higher Ability (More Able/Most Able)

  • Students (at Year 6) who achieve a high scaled score in English and Maths and also are deemed as exceeding expected progress in writing.
  • Students (in the absence of Year 6 data) who demonstrate the ability to achieve the above in their first assessments in Year 7 or in equivalent tests.
  • Please note that if a student demonstrates this ability as they progress through secondary school, they are added to the list.

Gifted and Talented

  • Students with one or more abilities developed to a level significantly ahead of their year group, or with potential to develop those abilities, for example in sport or the arts.

There is a difference between a student who performs at a high level across English, maths and traditionally academic subjects, and a student who excels in a specific area e.g. Art or PE. We therefore hold two registers; one of higher ability students and one of gifted and talented students. Whilst the Department for Education no longer make this differentiation, we feel that it is an important one to retain in order that we can support our Gifted and Talented students to achieve their potential.

Curriculum Enrichment

Teachers often set optional extension activities for students, so do keep a look out for these on our homework app My Child at School. Many of them are for all students, and some are aimed specifically at the More Able. 

Below are examples of curriculum enrichment that students have had access to recently:

  • STEM Club
  • Creative Writing Club
  • History Heroes
  • Classics Club
  • Level 3 Edexcel Algebra Award (Year 11)
  • UKMT Maths Challenge
  • Philosophy Debate Club
  • Sign Language Club
  • Medical Society (aimed at supporting students who are considering careers in medicine)

Moving through the school

  • At Year 6 transition time, we talk to primary school teachers and junior school Headteachers about the Highly Able and Gifted and Talented students that are starting school with us.
  • At Year 9, we ensure that Highly Able and Gifted and Talented students make appropriate options choices for Key Stage 4. The English Baccalaureate is presented to students as a good pathway through the GCSE years. 
  • During Years 9-11, students are given tailored advice regarding future options and pathways.

Target setting and tracking

The school provides students with stages and targets for their attainment, and monitors the progress of its students.  Higher Ability or Gifted and Talented students are likely to have higher individual stages/targets in some subjects. This ensures that they have an appropriate level of challenge, and reach their full potential.  At whole-school level, the attainment and progress of students are tracked against other RET schools and nationally, and the relative performance of specific groups of students, including the More Able, is scrutinised as part of this process.

Extra-Curricular Activities Suitable for Highly Able Students

The school offers a range of extra-curricular activities and trips that are suitable for highly able students and assist in extending their learning. 

Awards Outside School

We recognise that our students come from diverse backgrounds, they may have achieved qualifications or certificates in various disciplines – sports, music, languages etc. If this is the case for your child please let the school know of their most recent achievements and keep your child’s tutor and/or Head of Year updated. Those with ABRSM qualifications or the equivalent may be entitled to ‘points’ equivalent to GCSEs which can help with university applications (Grade 6 onwards)


Highly Able Students and Social Mobility

There is national evidence to suggest that children from backgrounds that are financially stable and have had members of the family attend university are more likely to send their highly able child to university and that the child is more likely to secure higher wages and stability in adulthood. We work to ensure that able students from all backgrounds are given support to access further and higher education and therefore equal chances to succeed.