Able, Gifted & Talented Policy
At Westward School we are committed to providing a secure and stimulating environment for all our pupils.We value excellence, recognise achievement and celebrate the success and effort of all our children, encouraging strong role models. Our excellent teaching and learning aims to maximise opportunities and develop the children’s confidence so they can challenge themselves and take risks. We believe in treating pupils as individuals, providing an education that is suited to their particular needs and abilities. This is especially relevant with children identified as able, gifted or talented, regardless of their gender or background.
To ensure these pupils reach their full potential, it is important to adopt and implement appropriate policies and practices to fulfill their educational and social needs. Their specific talents and skills need to be nurtured by providing them with either the opportunities to work at high cognitive levels in academic areas or a chance to aspire for creative or physical excellence, whilst still ensuring the holistic needs of the child are met in order to provide a well rounded education. We believe a strong, gifted and talented programme is vital to support the ethos of Westward as it promotes increased performance across the board, lifting the aspirations of pupils, teachers and support staff.
The DCSF (Department for Children, Schools and Families) defines able, gifted and talented 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.
Able learners are defined as those who have abilities in one or more subjects in the statutory school curriculum, other than art and design, music and PE. They have the capacity for, or demonstrate, high levels of performance in an academic area. This also includes children who are leaders or role models and who display outstanding leadership and/or social skills.
Gifted children are defined as those with an innate ability, who present a natural, outstanding aptitude or competence for exceptional performance.
A talented pupil is one who demonstrates high levels of achievement with a specific ability in a non-academic area, including art, music, sport or the performing arts.
IDENTIFICATION OF THE GIFTED & TALENTED
The identification of gifted and talented pupils is a process in which the whole teaching and support staff participate, as well as parents, carers and the children themselves. The process starts as soon as children enter Westward and is reviewed constantly. Before identifying any child as gifted or talented in any area, we aim to ensure that all children have had the opportunity to learn and succeed in this area. This makes the identification process fairer. A register of able, gifted and talented children is kept by the Headteacher (See appendix 1) but talents and abilities emerge at different times due to developmental issues and, as new opportunities arise, therefore, inclusion in the cohort is not permanent. If it is perceived by parties that inclusion is no longer beneficial, pupils may be moved off, either temporarily or permanently.
Identification must also be based on ability, not on achievement. Some children can “underachieve” for a variety of reasons such as:
- Peer pressure
- Behaviour problems
- Special educational needs
- Reluctant learners
All staff need to be aware of this and look for “hidden talents”. Both qualitative and quantitative information can be used for identification purposes.
It is worth remembering that gifted and talented pupils can be:
- Good all-rounders
- High achievers in one area
- Of a high ability but with low motivation
- Of good verbal skills but with low writing skills
- Very able but with poor social skills
- Keen to ‘disguise’ their skills.
PROVISION FOR THE GIFTED & TALENTED
At Westward the main focus is to improve the provision for able pupils in day-to-day teaching and learning. There are three basic ways of meeting the needs of gifted and talented pupils; accelerated, enrichment and extension.
Accelerated consists of enabling pupils to access work which would typically be for older pupils. This can occur through moving pupils up a year group or through simply giving them work which would usually be given to older pupils. At Westward we focus on enrichment and extension as the two main strategies for meeting the needs of gifted and talented pupils but we would also use acceleration in exceptional cases.
Enrichment consists of broadening a pupil’s education. This can consist of enabling a pupil to study aspects of a topic that there would not normally be time to study or it can consist of adding extra subjects to the curriculum.
Extension occurs when pupils are encouraged to develop more sophisticated thinking and reasoning skills.
Opportunities for extension and enrichment are built into all our schemes of work across all curriculum areas.
TYPES OF PROVISION
- All classrooms include a challenge corner with activities to promote auditory, visual and kinesthetic learning
- Teachers have high expectations
- Teaching is personalised, pacy and challenging
- Tasks are designed to take account of levels of existing knowledge, skills and understanding and are differentiated appropriately
- There are planned extension opportunities or open-ended tasks that promote higher order thinking skills
- A variety of grouping is used effectively, e.g., setting, mixed ability, etc.
- There is access to higher level tests for assessment
- Enrichment of learning
SCHOOL BASED PROVISION: VARYING ACCORDING TO SUBJECT AREA & COVERED USING A VARIETY OF METHODS
- Shared celebration of children’s achievements
- School clubs including sports, arts, music
- Specialist teachers
- Enrichment opportunities including specialist days
- Intervention groups
- Opportunities to learn a variety of musical instruments
- Opportunities for performance
- Workshops with other schools
OUT OF SCHOOL PROVISION
- To access summer schools/Saturday challenges where appropriate
- To help children find support, training and clubs for more diverse talents
- Opportunities to enter national schemes/competitions
- Ensure close secondary liaison
PROCESS FOR REVIEW & DEVELOPMENT
The able, gifted and talented leader, with the support and active participation of the whole staff, is responsible for:
- Updating and reviewing the information record of children on the gifted and talented register and monitor their progress
- Ensuring liaison with parents where necessary
- Reviewing the policy
- Monitoring provision
- Identification of any suitable mentors for pupils
- Provision of any necessary resources
- Keeping up to date with information to do with the AGT and feeding back to the staff
- Developing links with agencies or organisations that support AGT
- Consulting with the Proprietors, Senior Management Team and staff.
Policy updated :January 2017