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A Policy for Gifted, Talented and Able Pupils

This is an example policy put together by our group of schools.


We recognise the need to provide equality of opportunity for pupils of all abilities in order to maximise their potential. We are committed to helping all our pupils to develop their personalities, skills and abilities, both intellectually and socially and to providing teaching which makes learning challenging and enjoyable.

We feel it necessary to formulate an explicit policy for more able and gifted and talented pupils that encourages the identification of the variety of specific needs of this diverse group and attempts to make greater provision for these needs.

We acknowledge HMI research that indicates that where successful provision is made for gifted and talented pupils, there is an increase in the standard of work and level of achievement of all pupils. We also acknowledge NFER research (Dec 2003) that concludes that most (and perhaps all) of the strategies of curriculum management suggested for use with able children may work effectively for all pupils.


  • To ensure that more able pupils are provided with an appropriate, challenging, stimulating and enjoyable education, based upon high teacher expectations (see Teaching + Learning Policy)
  • To offer children opportunities to develop their specific skills and talents through provision of opportunities and guidance that is sensitive to their ways of learning and allows potential to be turned into performance
  • To provide equality of opportunity for children, enabling them to reach their intellectual, personal, social, creative, physical and emotional potential (See Equal Opportunities Policy)



We acknowledge that there is no fixed nationally or internationally accepted definition of ‘gifted’ and ‘talented’ and ‘more able’ children. Part of the difficulty with creating a definition is that able pupils…

‘…are a diverse and disparate group’

- Research Centre for Able Pupils, Oxford Brookes University 2002

We have agreed a definition of gifted and talented pupils in line with DfES EiC guidance that incorporates the following…

  • ‘Gifted’ pupils are defined as those who exhibit superior academic performance in one or more curriculum subjects
  • ‘Talented’ pupils are defined as those who exhibit enhanced creative talents in sport or through musical or artistic abilities

We are also agreed that there are gifted and talented pupils who have the potential to achieve – yet, for whatever reason, are currently underachieving.

We will utilise this definition in identifying a cohort of the 10% of the most able pupils in our school (see EiC guidance).

We have agreed to define the ‘more able’ child as the child who works in the top third of each class; this will enable us to target both classroom and extracurricular subject specific provision most effectively.

High ability has often been categorised in six areas:

·        Physical talent (sport)

·        High intellectual ability

·        Mechanical ingenuity

·        Acquisition and command of language

·        Outstanding leadership and social awareness

·        Creativity

·        Visual and performing abilities

·        Vocational ability (KS4)

What does ‘very able’ mean? (the DfES uses the term ‘gifted & talented’). There is no nationally agreed definition, these are a few of the many definitions used:

  • The top 10% of the ability range (DfES)
  • Illuminates your life but ruins your lesson? (NACE)
  • 40% of your pupils may have “marked aptitudes” (Denton & Postlethwaite)
  • Pupils with a range of gifts & talents or the top 5-10% of all rounders (EiC)

Able children often display some of the following characteristics:

  • Often learns new ideas and concepts quickly, or may already know most of what they are being asked to learn
  • May show a dislike of repetition of concepts and of closed tasks
  • Inclined to choose unusual methods of working
  • Often reluctant to record things if they see no purpose in doing so
  • May be creative on offering ideas and solving problems
  • Often shows an unusual and well developed sense of humour
  • May resent the imposed restrictions of the timetable if interested in a task
  • Displays curiosity and asks more questions
  • May tend to perfectionism
  • Often capable of higher levels of thinking
  • Shows more analytical thinking and reasoning
  • May have particularly wide vocabulary and be verbally fluent
  • May show an interest in ideas and concepts which are expected from an older group of pupils
  • May show high levels of sensitivity and empathy
  • May show unusually extroverted or introverted behaviour
  • Persistant, resourceful and highly motivated
  • Highly artistic or musical
  • Original, imaginative, creative

Some of these characteristics and behaviours enable children to fit in well with standard classroom methods of delivering the curriculum and some may often be at odds with it. When identifying able children, we need to consider whether the measured performance through standard tests and assessments of a child may have failed to reflect their true potential due to their difficulties fitting into the classroom situation.

Some of the characteristics of possible under-achievers are: 

  • Anti-school, apparently bored, restless and inattentive
  • Absorbed in private world
  • Outwardly self sufficient
  • Poor social relations with peers and teachers, emotionally unstable
  • Tactless and impatient with slower minds
  • Friendly with older pupils
  • Self critical
  • Orally good though written work is poor



In accordance with DfES EiC guidance, we will identify a gifted and talented pupil cohort comprising 5-10% of pupils in each relevant year group. We intend that our G+T populations will be broadly representative of the school’s population in terms of gender, ethnicity, disability and social circumstance. Identification will take into particular account such factors as motivation, personality and home background when identifying potential underachievers (see Equal Opportunities policy).

          We will utilise a range of identification tools and will use both quantitative hard data evidence and a wide range of qualitative information;

  • quantitative data including the results of national curriculum assessments (tests and teacher assessments), public examinations and other available test data, such as standardised ability tests; and music, art and sporting assessments;
  • qualitative information including teacher assessment and nomination, pupil observation and the examination of pupils work, subject specific checklists and referral from those closely involved with the child.       

Our identification processes will be reviewed regularly and pupil performance will be monitored appropriately (see Assessment Policy).

We will need to consider carefully what weighting to give to the different elements involved in identifying able children. The Excellence in Cities guidelines suggest:

…in general, children who score highly across a range of data and information will be strong candidates for inclusion in the cohort. However, other children with different profiles should also be considered including:

  • Pupils who achieve highly on tests of potential, but are failing to achieve in school-based assessments. These are classic underachievers. They may be affected by any combination of peer pressure, dislike of writing, lack of interest in curriculum, opportunities at home, parental encouragement, immaturity and/or a summer birth-date.
  • Pupils who obtain high scores on non-verbal tests. These pupils frequently have only average linguistic ability but high non-verbal ability. Since the school curriculum favours linguistic ability, these pupils will need particular care if they are to maximise their potential.
  • Very creative pupils whose creativity is apparent to all but is not measured in the range of assessments used.
  •  The outstanding individual who refuses to perform to order, or is too young for a useful formal range of assessments.
  • Pupils who perform well, but only outside the school environment (e.g. some children may have musical talent the school does not know about, or work successfully on self initiated projects at home)
  • Pupils with very poor or underdeveloped presentation and recording skills.

In determining a cohort of 5-10% decisions will also need to be made on

  • The mix of those with proven achievement and those with potential
  • The mix of those with all round ability and those with strengths in one or two areas
  • The mix of those with academic ability and “all rounders” (two thirds minimum) and those with talents
  • The mix of qualitative and quantitative information to be used



In school 

In accordance with Excellence in Cities guidance, we are committed to creating, implementing and monitoring a distinct teaching and learning programme for our gifted and talented and more able pupils. This programme is specifically designed to cater for the identified, specific individual learning needs of our cohort of children. The programme will be distinct and discernibly different from that followed by pupils who are not part of the cohort, recognising that distinctiveness and difference can be achieved through effective use of differentiation in all settings and exploiting opportunities for curricular flexibility.

We are ready to adopt a range of organisational approaches in response to the pupils’ needs and aspirations in order to provide the optimum teaching and learning conditions for our G+T pupils.

We intend to offer our G+T children appropriate support, challenge and equality of opportunity in all aspects of their school life. Opportunities for curriculum enrichment (breadth) and extension (depth) are written into schemes of work and specific provision is made explicit in differentiated curriculum planning.

In creating a more challenging classroom environment, possible strategies include:-

  • High expectations of possible achievement
  • Organisation – grouping, setting, support staff, use of ICT, etc, to enable working with pupils of like abilities
  • Differentiation – to ensure that tasks for able pupils are sufficiently demanding and access work at an appropriate starting point
  • Enrichment – building enrichment and extension activities into existing lessons and, possibly, in different or additional lessons
  • Acceleration or fast-tracking to enable pupils to make much more rapid progress than their peers
  • Open-ended questioning and activities
  • Developing higher-order thinking and learning skills
  • Self evaluation, reflection and target-setting
  • Individual work or withdrawal, if appropriate
  • Providing pastoral support, including strategies for time management and study skills and where appropriate, involving learning mentors or classroom assistants
  • Using ICT to extend and/or personalise activities – offering a wider range of resources or activities
  • Allow the display of childrens’ knowledge in a  variety of forms – presentations, pictures, music, dance, videos, web pages, etc
  • Opportunities to display learning to others
  • Out of class extension and enrichment activities that could include opportunities for problem solving activities and collaborative learning
  • Additional resources to allow opportunities for self-supported learning
  • Creative opportunities with time and space to experiment
  • Opportunities for children to use their abilities for the benefit of other pupils/staff/whole school/community

Out of school Provision

G+T children are able to access a range of after-school clubs (some of which are specifically catering for them) ‘Out of School Hours Learning’ initiatives, Summer schools, Master classes and Cluster Club initiatives.

Where a G+T child has a particular ability or exceptional talent in a subject not catered for in either the National Curriculum or through after school activities, the school will endeavour to facilitate and encourage the child’s ability through outside school contacts.


Staff roles and responsibilities

Gifted and Talented Coordinator

  • To lead the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the school’s provision for G+T pupils
  • To lead the preparation/updating and implementation of an effective whole school policy on support for able pupils
  • Compile and update register of gifted and talented children within the school
  • Inform staff of new initiatives and research via INSET and other training
  • Monitor and evaluate teaching and learning of gifted and talented pupils in conjunction with Headteacher and SMT
  • Liaise with class teachers and curriculum coordinators re G+T children
  • Provide appropriate resources to extend and enrich the curriculum
  • Monitor the provision of appropriate extracurricular activities
  • Liaise with other G+T coordinators
  • Liaise with learning mentors to address the needs of disadvantaged able pupils
  • Raise awareness of the potential of gifted and talented children within the school and to act as the ‘champion’ of the gifted and talented pupils
  • Provide a first point of contact for parents, pupils and others with an interest in the initiative (including governors)
  • Report on progress and provide specific information to the Headteacher, governors and G+T Strand Coordinator

Class teacher

  • Provide challenging tasks and a curriculum differentiated through extension (e.g. access in own class to schemes of work for the year above) and enrichment (e.g. open ended investigations, games)
  • Support the identification of gifted and talented pupils, including  underachievers
  • Liaise with the G+T coordinator in relation to the academic, social and emotional needs of G+T pupils
  • Liaise with parents

Headteacher and Senior Management Team

  • The allocation of appropriate funding from the school budget
  • Facilitate communication and agreement amongst staff concerning G+T children
  • The provision of appropriate INSET
  • Ensure integration of G+T provision with School Action Plan
  • Support alignment of G+T Policy with other school policies


  • The allocation of appropriate funding from the school budget
  • Provision of named G+T Link governor


Action Plan

 Possible priorities…

  • In conjunction with the G+T strand coordinator, carry out a yearly audit of G+T provision in order to inform the school G+T action plan.
  • Carry out a regular review of the G+T register, in consultation with all those involved with G+T children.
  • Audit existing provision of resources in classroom and clubs and address such issues accordingly.
  • Assess staff training needs and plan opportunities for disseminated information and address staff through staff meetings and INSET.
  • Develop links within the Excellence in Cities cluster, helping to coordinate cross school activities
  • Liaise with G+T Strand Coordinator
  • Identify all areas for development for the school in relation to G+T provision, and plan effective strategies to impact provision successfully.