At Felsted Primary School we believe in providing the best possible provision for pupils of all abilities. Children deserve an education that challenges and motivates them to achieve their full potential and become independent learners. We plan our teaching and learning so that each child can aspire to the highest level of personal achievement. The purpose of this policy is to help to ensure that we recognise and support the needs of those children in our school who have been identified as ‘More Able’, ‘gifted’ and ‘talented’ according to national guidelines. In the national guidelines the terms are distinguished as follows:
Department for Education (DFE) defines able learners as:
“Those children and young people with one or more abilities developed to a level significantly ahead of their year group (or with potential to develop those abilities).”
They can be identified in any year and amount to 7-10% of the school population, although we do not attempt to manipulate individual cohorts to ensure that this is so. Provision will be made for these children within the normal class teaching, but sometimes we will provide enrichment or extension activities to promote their skills and talents still further including activities and visits to other DEEP schools or working with outside organisations.
More Able learners are defined as those who have abilities in one or more subjects in the statutory school curriculum. They have the capacity for, or demonstrate, high levels of performance in a subject area. This also includes children who are leaders or role models and who display outstanding leadership and/or social skills.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
As a school our aims are:
- To provide a challenging curriculum, which is broad and balanced, appropriate to the needs of the child and which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, social and emotional development of pupils within the school.
- To encourage individuals to develop inquiring minds, self-esteem, self-discipline and positive attitudes which enable them to reach their full potential.
- To support all aspects of every child’s achievement, seeking to ensure that such achievement is valued.
- To create a safe, positive and supportive atmosphere where every individual is a valued member of our school.
- To have high expectations of behaviour, attitude and personal endeavour.
- To equip each child with the skills they need in preparation for life in a fast changing world.
IDENTIFICATION OF THE MORE ABLE CHILDREN
The school uses a range of strategies to identify More Able children. The identification process is ongoing, and begins when the child joins our school. We liaise with pre-schools to obtain details of achievements and interests in particular areas. Discussions with parents and carers enable us to add further details to these records.
Children undergo baseline assessment within the first half-term of joining our reception class. This gives information about their developing skills and aptitudes across several areas of learning. We report each child’s Foundation Stage profile to the parents and use this information when planning for individual needs. We also liaise with local pre-schools to identify children who could possibly be classed as More Able.
As the children progress through the school, we assess them regularly to ensure that they are making the sort of progress that we are expecting of them in their personal targets.
The children take national tests in Year 2 and Year 6, plus other assessments during Year 3, 4 and 5. Teachers also make regular assessments of each child’s progress in all subjects of the National Curriculum. We compare the information from these tests with a range of national and Essex County Council data, in order to ensure that each child is making appropriate progress.
Each teacher regularly reviews the children’s progress and this is recorded on pupil tracking grids. Teachers also have regular ‘Pupil Progress’ Key Stage meetings and meetings with the Headteacher and other Senior Leaders to discuss individual children. Teachers discuss the children’s progress with parents and carers at the Spring Term learning consultation and report on the year of each child’s progress in July.
CHARACTERISTICS OF AN ABLE CHILD:
More able pupils are a diverse group and their range of attainment will be varied. They are more likely than more pupils to:
- think quickly and accurately
- work systematically
- generate creative working solutions
- work flexibly, processing unfamiliar information and applying knowledge, experience and insight to unfamiliar situations
- communicate their thoughts and ideas well
- be determined, diligent and interested in uncovering patterns
- achieve, or show potential, in a wide range of contexts
- be particularly creative
- show great sensitivity or empathy
- demonstrate particular physical dexterity or skill
- make sound judgements
- be outstanding leaders or team members
- be fascinated by, or passionate about, a particular subject or aspect of the curriculum
- demonstrate high levels of attainment across a range of subjects or within a particular subject or aspect(s) of work
- are able to use a high level of mastery in order to work with the curriculum objectives taught
It is important to recognise that not all More Able pupils are obvious achievers and need enrichment and extension activities to promote their talents further. Many actually under achieve – their potential is masked by factors such as frustration, low self-esteem, Special Educational Needs, lack of challenge, and low teacher/parent expectations. At Felsted, we are committed to ensuring that the provision for the More Able children is personal and fully provided for.
APTITUDES IN ENGLISH AND MATHEMATICS
More Able children in English are identified when they:
- Demonstrate relatively high-level of fluency and originality in their conversation;
- Use research skills more effectively to synthesise information;
- Enjoy reading, and responds to a range of texts at a more advanced level;
- Use a wider vocabulary and enjoy working with words;
- See issues from a broader range of perspective;
- Use more advanced skills when engaged in discussion.
More Able children in Mathematics are identified when they:
- Explore a broader range of strategies for solving a problem;
- Are more curious when working with numbers and investigating problems;
- See solutions more quickly, without needing to try all the options;
- Look beyond the question in order to hypothesis and explain;
- Work more flexibly and establish their own strategies;
- Enjoy manipulating numbers.
TEACHING AND LEARNING
Our teachers plan carefully to meet the learning needs of all our children. We give all children the opportunity to show what they know, understand and can do and we achieve this in a variety of ways when planning for children’s learning, such as by providing:
- A common activity that allows the children to respond at their own levels;
- Mastery challenges to extend those of higher ability;
- An enrichment activity that broadens a child’s learning in a particular skill or knowledge area;
- An individual activity within a common theme that reflects a greater depth of understanding and higher level of attainment;
- The opportunity for children to progress through their work at their own rate of learning.
Children are familiarised with a variety of organisational strategies as they move through the school. These strategies can be used by all children, but give due scope to higher achievers.
Felsted Primary School offers a range of extra-curricular activities for our children. These activities offer our More Able children the opportunity to further extend their learning in a range of activities. Opportunities include a range of clubs including a variety of sports, cooking and choir.
The children will also have the opportunity to experience a range of educational visits that further enrich and develop learning.
DISADVANTAGED MORE ABLE PUPILS
As with all pupils, the school is committed to ensuring that More Able children are fully challenged and achieve their potential through quality first teaching. Due to the allocation of additional funding and the accountability this brings, the school will ensure that disadvantaged More Able pupils are provided with opportunities to not only access and embrace the curriculum but to experience learning and life skills that will develop their whole being as a child. Experiences can include additional sports, music, arts or simply new
experiences that may not be available to help them because of financial constraints or difficulty. Our aim is to help our children grow existing talents and help them identify new ones. These opportunities can be provided in and/or outside of school hours.
MONITORING AND REVIEW
The SENCo will hold responsibility for More Able. The SENCo will, along with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), provide feedback to the Governing Board on an annual basis through data analysis sessions. The monitoring may also include feedback from parents/carers, through parent consultation and children, as well as regular classroom observations of teaching and learning, and evaluations of children’s written work.
Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations
- DEEP - Dunmow Excellence in Education Partnership
- DfE - Department of Education
- SLT - Senior Leadership Team