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Gifted and Talented Pupils

Policy for Gifted and Talented Pupils

 

At St Mary’s School, we value all children equally and endeavour to ensure that each child should have the opportunity to realise his/her potential in a challenging and supportive environment. Our school will have, at any time, Gifted and Talented pupils, some of whom may be exceptionally able and this may be in one or more areas of learning. We believe that we can make a difference in enabling these children to achieve the greatest possible progress and recognise the value and importance of identifying and celebrating their achievements and successes. We are committed to the extension and enrichment of the curriculum, in order to ensure the holistic progression of the Gifted or Talented child.

 

Aims

  1. To recognise the needs of Gifted and Talented children within a framework of equal opportunity.
  2. To implement the procedures and strategies that will address the needs of an identified cohort of Gifted and Talented children.
  3. To ensure that Gifted and Talented children are motivated to achieve to the best of their ability and set standards of excellence as an example for others to follow.
  4. To provide opportunities for Gifted and Talented children to work at high cognitive levels and /or to develop specific skills.
  5. To foster a culture of achievement by creating a climate of learning and excellence throughout the school.
  6. To work in partnership with parents/carers to help them promote children's learning and development.
  7. To make use of links with other schools and the wider community to enhance learning opportunities.

 

 Rationale

All children need encouragement, guidance and support. All children will receive the education they are entitled to and if they require specialised or extra help because of a Gift or Talent, they should have the same entitlement as children who find learning challenging and difficult i.e. children with special educational needs.

 

All our children are individuals, unique in the sense that each child has special needs and requirements. Gifted and Talented children need to be identified, targeted, supported and challenged. Strategies need to be devised and implemented, and the children’s progress needs to be monitored (in much the same way as DSEN children). In other words, the Gifted and Talented children are entitled to have their needs recognised and addressed.

 

Definitions

There is no universal agreement on exactly what it means to be 'Gifted' or 'Gifted and Talented'. In reality, this terminology means different things to different people: academics, psychologists, teachers, parents and children themselves all have their own perception of what it means to be 'Gifted and Talented'.  Here at ST Mary’s we use the following guidelines:

 

More able children are those who have ability or abilities beyond the large majority of their peer group and consequently require a more challenging curriculum that is appropriate for the majority.

 

Gifted children are those who give evidence of high achievement capability in academic subjects such as English, Maths and Scientific skills that is well above their age related expectations.

 

Talented children are those that display ability beyond their peers in subjects such as sports, the arts, social abilities, humanities or physical ability.

Below are just some of the indicators of a Gifted and Talented child:

 

  • general intellectual ability or talent
  • specific academic aptitude or talent
  • visual and performing arts and sports
  • leadership ability
  • creative and productive thinking
  • mechanical ingenuity
  • special abilities in empathy, understanding and negotiation

 

Management of Gifted and Talented Provision

The Senco Mrs K Cooke has the overall responsibility for the Gifted and talented Coordinator role. The policy will be developed in collaboration with the SLT and Heads of Year to:

 

  • Identify children with high potential, recognising that whilst some are overt about their abilities, some may actively hide it and others may not readily be able to display their ability due to the need to develop higher order communication skills in English.
  • Improve motivation and attainment of our Gifted and Talented children by ensuring that benefit from a coherent, co-ordinated and distinctive teaching and learning programme, which will provide a consistent challenge and which will be responsive to their individual needs.
  • Encourage children in developing their personal skills as well as their knowledge and understanding.
  • Encourage high learner self-esteem so that children can be confident and yet critical, and evaluate their own learning.
  • Monitor progress and achievement and to set individual targets for identified children in accordance to school’s policy and practice.
  • Promote aspiration and excellence in all children. Develop links with King Edward’s School, local universities and also Oxford and Cambridge Universities to raise aspiration.
  • Provide a range of out of hour’s enrichment and extension activities (in school or Cluster activities).

 

Identification

A Gifted and Talented child will be identified using a variety of methods.  The specific procedure may vary depending on the child, but will include elements of the following:

 

  • Teacher nomination
  • Assessment results (SAT’s, test results, reading ages, etc.)
  • Peer nomination
  • Parental nomination
  • Previous setting nomination
  • Self-nomination

 

Only after consideration of all available evidence (based on previous performance and potential) will children be considered as Gifted or Talented.  Consultations with the Gifted and Talented Coordinator, class teacher, parents and child will take place to consider evidence and a decision will be made as whether to place the child on the Gifted and Talented register.  The school endeavours to identify any children who may have the potential to be Gifted or Talented but are currently underachieving.  Provision for these children will be adjusted to help them reach their potential.

 

Children in EYFS are identified for Gifted or Talented if they are functioning a whole band above their chronological age in either and /or the prime and specific areas of the EYFS curriculum.

 

The identification process is flexible for new children, newly-arrived children and those who were not identified, to allow for mis-identified children to move out and in of the cohort.

 

Staff should be aware of the indicators of underachieving children when identifying Gifted or Talented children.  The best in the class/target group are not necessarily eligible.  Gifted and Talented children are generally considered to possess the following characteristics:

 

  • Be good all-rounders
  • Show great intellectual maturity and enjoy engaging in depth with subject material
  • Actively and enthusiastically engage in discussions
  • Show a passion for particular subjects and seek to pursue them
  • Ability to memorise quickly
  • Superior powers of reasoning (DfE Checklist)

 

The School Register

Mrs Katie Cooke is to maintain a register for all Gifted and Talented children and to ensure that appropriate records are being kept.  All children who have been identified as Gifted and Talented are entered onto the school register and a copy is made available to all staff.  The area of ability is recorded with reference to the aspect or aspects in which they have a gift or talent.

 

Personalised Learning Journey’s

Each child identified with a gift in either Maths or English will have a Personalised Learning Journey (PLJ). This is a child centred document and details the child’s likes, dislikes, what they hope to achieve and what help they feel they need. A PLJ also details targets set collectively but driven by the class teacher and the provision decide to ensure that the child’s talent is nurtured.  At the end of each term, parent or carers are invited into school to meet with the Gifted and Talented Coordinator, class teacher and child to review progress and set new targets.

 

 

Provision: 

Teaching Strategies and Classroom organisation

Teaching styles for Gifted and Talented children should be open-ended and flexible. Gifted children tend not to respond well to ‘directed’ teaching and rigid learning structures. There is a need to allow the child opportunities to ‘take risks’ in their learning, and effective teaching for them will reflect this. Gifted and Talented children should be encouraged and given opportunities to think creatively and divergently.

In our school we have assessment for learning well embedded, along with provision for independent learning and thinking skills which will provide a positive learning environment for gifted pupils. A combination of the following methods of support will be given:

Enrichment 

Involves offering a wide variety of opportunities, both within and outside the curriculum, exposing the Gifted and Talented children to experiences not usually encountered as part of the curriculum. A range of school based enrichment opportunities and competitions allow Gifted and Talented pupils to develop their skills outside of the normal school timetable. Some of these are provided in collaboration with other local primary and secondary schools or businesses.

The Gifted and Talented Coordinator will source additional accessible higher level provision as appropriate. This should enable talented children to mix with like-minded peers and access specialist coaching and teaching. From there a route through to national and international competition and coaching can usually be found. Opportunities like this can be life changing and parents of gifted pupils are encouraged and supported in enabling them to attend. Achieve today – Excel tomorrow is part of the St Mary’s motto and we have high aspirations for our children, both during and after their time here. 

Extension

Developing a deeper understanding through encountering more complex resources and materials, tackling more challenging questions and tasks, demonstrating higher levels of thinking, and presenting increasingly sophisticated responses.

 

Acceleration 

Involves fast tracking Gifted and Talented children in some subjects through the curriculum and through specialised study support, this:

  • Increase pace of learning
  • Adds challenge
  • Increase motivation
  • Raises the expectations of pupils, teachers and parents
  • Can add flexibility to the curriculum creating space for enhanced learning

 

Homework

In accordance with school policy, homework should be set for our Gifted and Talented children that stimulates, enriches and extends their learning in school.

 

Pastoral Care/Parental support

St Mary’s School provides a strong personal and academic support through a well-developed structure. The role of mentors is an established and effective aspect of current practice.

 

It is acknowledged that parental support is crucial to the access of additional provision. Effective communication with parents will take place through face to face meetings, parent evenings and letters. The school aims to actively encourage and support parents as partners in their children’s learning. For example in helping them access opportunities for their child and giving advice on how they can support their development at home.

 

Transition

The needs of Gifted and Talented children will be considered and met during transition within the school and to secondary schools. This will be supported by the child’s PLJ’s and the links which are developed with local secondary schools including the grammar school. Transition to secondary school is considered by the Gifted Coordinator, Head of Year 6, the Year 6 teachers and the relevant secondary school(s). 

 

Monitoring and Assessment

On-going assessment, recording and reporting is in accordance with current whole school policy. St Mary’s School has a well-established practice of effective target setting for all children in English and Maths. Year groups/class teachers will continue this practice by enabling all children, including our Gifted and Talented children, to be involved in their own progress. Review and progress against targets will take place on half termly basis by the SLT.

 

It is the responsibility of the member of SLT and the Heads of Year to ensure that the entitlement of the Gifted and Talented children is met within the teaching groups.

The Role of SLT/Gifted and Talented Coordinator

  1. Provide adequate resources to ensure that the Gifted and Talented children receive a high quality education that meets their needs within the school framework
  2. Develop appropriate, accessible database systems for collecting, disseminating and recording information about the Gifted and Talented children
  3. Monitor and evaluate the development of the policy in identified areas of the curriculum to ensure that children are correctly identified, that adequate provision is made for them and that their progress is regularly monitored
  4. Ensure HOY’s along with the SLT fulfil their responsibilities towards Gifted and Talented children by regular monitoring and evaluation (on a half termly basis). They also need to ensure that weekly lesson plans show differentiation to cater for the varying levels of ability within each class/target group and promote a variety of teaching and learning strategies
  5. Provide opportunities for staff development, as required, in order to raise awareness and develop skills in identifying, developing teaching and learning strategies and providing resources for Gifted and Talented children.

 

The role of the Phase Leader

Phase leaders are responsible for ensuring that class teachers have the resources and knowledge to provide for Gifted and Talented children in their care. Also, the role is to support teachers and teaching assistants to develop good practice in the classroom. This includes more creative teaching and learning, quality feedback and monitoring and the use of visual resources and kinaesthetic learning.  They will also ensure appropriate reading material and spellings go home, creating opportunities for exciting use of computing and more speaking & listening, with a focus on debate for the Gifted and Talented children. The opportunity to enter children for Level 6 SATs is made available for those children who are ready and need to be challenged.

 

The Role of the Class Teacher/Target Group Teacher

  1. Ensure that weekly plans reflect the whole school policy and include class/target group and homework activities that are differentiated to meet the needs of all children (including Gifted and Talented children)
  2. Provide children with opportunities to extend their skill by regularly promoting problem solving, open ended and investigative activities
  3. Recognise that setting more work for children is not necessarily beneficial. Gifted and talented children are more inclined to respond to higher level work that is more challenging, rather than more work of a similar level that is likely to be resented
  4. Incorporate opportunities within the curriculum to make use of computing, including use of the internet
  5. Ensure that PLJ’s are up to date for gifted children where necessary.

 

Progress for development and review

This policy and the success of the school’s provision for the Gifted and Talented children will be reviewed annually by the Gifted Co-ordinator and ratified by the Full Governing Body or a committee as directed by the Chair of Governors. The Full Governing Body shall then ratify the policy upon the recommendation(s) of the committee.