Gifted and Talented Policy
This policy was most recently updated during April 2016:
Riverside School seeks to provide a secure and challenging environment that stimulates the development of all pupils, ensuring that no “ceiling” is put on achievement. The school recognises that there are pupils who have a very high general ability across the curriculum (gifted) or who have a talent in a specific area. These pupils must be identified, challenged and supported in order to ensure that their individual needs are met both within and outside the curriculum.
The aim of this document is to support inclusion by ensuring a consistent approach to the identification, provision and support of the more able, gifted or talented pupils in our school. To achieve this, we aim to:
- Have an agreed, shared definition of the terms ‘more able’, ‘gifted’ and ‘talented’ and ‘exceptionally able’.
- Promote a consistent approach for all members of staff to cater for more able, gifted and talented pupils.
- Identify more able, gifted and talented pupils at the earliest possible opportunity (especially when they transfer from another school).
- Provide stimulating learning experiences for all pupils that encourage independence and autonomy, and support pupils in using their initiative.
- Provide opportunities for pupils to work at higher cognitive levels.
- Provide opportunities for all pupils to reveal and develop their potential abilities.
- Provide opportunities for pupils to develop specific skills and talents.
- Encourage pupils to reflect on the process of their own learning and to understand the factors that help them to make progress.
- Foster the development of a well-rounded and balanced individual, both intellectually and socially.
- Encourage pupils to be open to ideas and initiatives presented by others, thus promoting the importance of citizenship and collaboration.
- Work in partnership with parents / carers to help them promote their children’s learning and development.
- Make best use of links with other schools and the wider community to enhance learning opportunities.
At Riverside we identify children as being gifted if they are performing at a ‘deepening level’ which is above the expected level for their National Curriculum year group in one or a number of different curriculum areas. This identification will also be made in conjunction with discussions with the class teacher; taking in to account a combination of some of the following characteristics:
- Facility with language use
- Logical reasoning ability
- Imagination and creativity
- Ability to link concepts and ideas
- Ability to question ideas and concepts
- Wide reading
- Wide general knowledge
- Excellent memory skills
- Ability to engage in problem solving
- Interpersonal skills
- Emotional Intelligence
- Bodily/kinaesthetic skills
- Rapid assimilation of material
- Focused concentration on specific tasks
- Musical ability
- Keen observation
The specifically talented will show a range of these characteristics in a particular subject area such as music, drama or art.
The school will identify pupils who have the potential to be gifted and talented and are underachieving in all or some curriculum areas. A list of these pupils by class group will be maintained as the Gifted and Talented Register. The school will seek to find strategies to meet the individual needs of these pupils.
The school uses a range of agreed criteria and sources of evidence. These may include:
- Diagnostic testing
- Information provided at all points of transition, both external (for example, primary to secondary) and internal
- Standard Assessment Tests, including SATs
- Reading tests
- In-school monitoring system
- Subject specific criteria for identifying the most able
- Staff recommendations and observations
- Information from parents, carers and other outside agencies
- Information from peers
The school keeps records of those pupils who show particular or overall high ability within the curriculum. It is recognised that pupils develop at different rates, therefore the number and members of the identified group of pupils will change over time. Staff should actively use all available information to inform planning and pupil progression.
- Setting by ability within subject areas when applicable.
- Differentiation and extension within individual teachers’ planning, to provide challenge for gifted and talented pupils within the curriculum.
- Withdrawal for specific activities that allow gifted and talented pupils the opportunity to work together on challenging and enriching tasks.
- Involvement of gifted and talented pupils in extra-curricular activities that extend the boundaries of the curriculum.
- Acceleration is not usually recommended because there may be social difficulties through differences in levels of maturity. It should be possible to address the needs of these children within the appropriate year group. However, there will be times when it will be appropriate for children to work with older children, through curricular activities and through visits to secondary schools. Withdrawal groups can be used but these must be done sensitively. Mentoring is valid and to be welcomed.
The school will liaise with local secondary schools to provide information on Gifted & Talented Pupils.
Within the classroom, the learning culture should:
- Be pupil centred, valuing and utilising pupils’ own interests and learning styles.
- Encourage the use of a variety of resources, ideas, strategies and tasks.
- Encourage metacognition, or ‘thinking about thinking’.
- Provide a secure learning environment where risk taking is valued.
- Provide a challenging learning environment, allowing pupils to access the higher order thinking skills.
- Involve pupils in working in a range of settings and combinations: as individuals; in pairs; in groups; as a class; cross-year; cross-school; inter-school.
- Encourage pupils to ask questions of themselves, of their peers, of adults, and of ideas.
- Encourage target setting that involves pupils in their own learning and progress.
- Celebrate creative and original thinking.
- Ensure that homework extends the learning of the individual pupil, encouraging independence and self-motivation.
Outside the classroom, the school will actively seek:
- Opportunities for able, gifted and talented pupils to take part in enrichment activities outside school, for example: Cluster link days; Challenge Days; Masterclasses; mentoring younger pupils; peripatetic music teaching; sporting events; dramatic productions; competitions; residential courses.
- Collaboration with outside agencies that provide guidance, ideas and support for able, gifted and talented pupils, for example: NACE; NAGC; National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth.
- Involvement of adults (parents, local businesses, University) with abilities and knowledge in specific areas, in order to motivate and inspire able, gifted and talented pupils.
- Opportunities for able, gifted and talented pupils to participate in Gifted and Talented Summer Schools.
Co-ordination, monitoring and review:
The Headteacher has specific responsibility for identifying and monitoring the progress of able, gifted and talented pupils in the school. The co-ordinator is a member of the Leadership Team, and liaises with other Leadership Team members, with the staff, and with parents. Monitoring is closely linked with progress reviews and the annual reports to parents. Records of identified able, gifted and talented pupils are regularly reviewed through monitoring data and teacher recommendations.