Academy Life
Gifted, Able & Talented

Gifted, Able & Talented

The Academy is committed to providing a rich and varied curriculum for all our students, such that they will feel challenged by their work and rewarded by their results. This commitment extends to ensuring that our gifted, able and talented students are stimulated and fulfilled. We aim to achieve this by encouraging self-confidence and independence in learning through a variety of differentiated class and homework tasks which promote the acquisition of skills, knowledge and understanding and which foster critical and creative thought.

Who are the gifted and talented?

The definition of giftedness most commonly used in this country was developed by Dr. Eric Ogilvie of Nene College, Northampton. He states:

To be regarded as gifted and talented is to be outstanding in general or specific abilities in a relatively broad or narrow field. Within this broad definition six areas could be considered:

  • Physical talent
  • Mechanical ingenuity
  • Visual and performing abilities
  • Outstanding leadership and social awareness
  • Creativity
  • High intelligence

(Ogilvie 1973)

We regard it as our prime responsibility to encourage all pupils to fulfil their potential and we will use every possible strategy to ensure that this is achieved for all.


A checklist can often help to focus on a child’s particular abilities although few able children exhibit all the characteristics on the checklist but it is often a useful starting point.

Gifted and talented children:

  1. Possess superior powers of reasoning, of dealing with abstractions, of generalising from specific facts, of understanding meanings and seeing into relationships.
  2. Have a great intellectual curiosity.
  3. Learn easily and readily.
  4. Have a wide range of interests.
  5. Have a broad attention-span that enables them to concentrate on, and persevere in, solving problems and pursuing interests.
  6. Are superior in the quantity and quality of vocabulary as compared with children of their own age.
  7. Have ability to produce effective work independently.
  8. Have learned to read early (often long before school age).
  9. Exhibit keen powers of observation.
  10. Show initiative and originality in intellectual work.
  11. Show alertness and quick response to new ideas.
  12. Are able to memorise quickly.
  13. Have a great interest in the nature of man and the universe (problems of origin and destiny, etc).
  14. Possess unusual imaginations.
  15. Follow complex directions easily.
  16. Are rapid readers.
  17. Have several hobbies.
  18. Have reading interests which cover a wide range of subjects.
  19. Make frequent and effective use of the library.
  20. Are superior in mathematics, particularly problem-solving.

(Department of Education and Science 1979)

How we identify the gifted and talented

Children with an exceptional talent or ability may have been identified at primary school through KS2 results but we are also aware of the late developer or the pupil who thrives when introduced to new subjects at secondary school and emerges as gifted, able or talented.


We ensure that our gifted and talented students meet challenges in all subject areas by adding more width (enrichment) and more depth (extension) to their curriculum.

A combination of principles is incorporated into our curriculum planning:

  1. Differentiation by outcome. This allows responses at very different levels to the same initial stimulus.
  2. Differentiation by input. The tasks for students may be varied both in terms of style and content. Different materials may be used by the most able.
  3. Differentiation by pace.  Gifted and talented students need the facility to proceed more quickly and in a greater depth.
  4. Differentiation by level.  We plan work for all National Curriculum levels of attainment, including level 8.


Our enrichment programmes provide a range of extension and enrichment opportunities for gifted, able and talented students and we are constantly developing the range of these activities which include visits to galleries and museums, art and design competitions, drama productions and musical performance. Some subject specific examples are detailed below.


Art and Design believes a rich and diverse extra-curricular programme is essential when planning for the needs of the artistically gifted, able and talented. Our open door policy after school allows pupils and students access to facilities and advice for art-work. The extensive, high quality GCSE and A Level work, displayed at the end of year in the Art and DT exhibition is outstanding and never fails to impress visitors to William Morris.

Design Technology and Construction

The gifted, able and talented design technology students are able to benefit from the outstanding facilities in Design Technology within William Morris.

Each year William Morris enters a team of gifted and talented students into the Greenwich Problem-Solving Challenge, which tests their skills and ingenuity in STEM subjects.

Design Technology organises an after school club designed to provide pupils with the opportunity to design and make a range of products, with a sustainable element. In addition to this we offer controlled assessment help sessions to enable the gifted, able and talented students to extend both their theoretical knowledge and their practical skill.  At the end of each year, our Year 11 pupils and A Level students exhibit their Design and Technology outcomes in the Art and DT exhibition.


Gifted, able and talented pupils with an aptitude for practical and who may go on to consider a career in the Construction Industry have the opportunity to use purpose built facilities to develop skills in bricklaying, carpentry and painting and decorating.

Food Technology/Catering

Open-ended tasks allow pupils to choose their approach to their work in Food Technology. Year 7 pupils work on the Licence to Cook initiative and follow the route most suited to their ability and are able to increase their knowledge of particular issues through extension work.

Enrichments in Food Technology include Future Chef and are open to all, to encourage them to develop more complex practical skills not always covered in lessons. We also run weekly Year 11 controlled assessment sessions. This is designed to help the gifted, able and talented students to extend their theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Our Year 11 pupils exhibit their controlled assessment at the Art and DT exhibition at the end of each year.


Drama encourages and develops potential and all pupils and students are introduced to stimulating and exciting writers. The gifted, able and talented students will be given more demanding and longer roles to learn and perform.

All pupils are invited to attend auditions for productions twice yearly. The performances are performed to an invited audience and are either performed in one of the Drama Studios or in the Main Academy Hall. All pupils who wish to participate and attend regular rehearsals are included with pupils taking responsibility for matters such as lighting, stage management, props, costume and makeup.

All pupils have opportunities to attend theatre performances of a very high standard as our proximity to London gives us access to the most exceptionally impressive performances with some of the best actors in the world.  It is essential for all students to develop their critical abilities and to learn from the great masters of this art.


Increasing use of the Internet and the Department website, Warwick Worldwide Web, has enabled students to work more independently and to develop their research skills.


The William Morris Music team believes that musically gifted, able and talented students should be given the opportunity to develop their skills by working with other able students on challenging pieces of music and projects. Both instrumental and singing tuition are available to those students who wish to develop their performing skills.

An extensive enrichment programme is in place and pupils who have an exceptional talent are encouraged to seek places in the Academy orchestra, band, African drumming and gospel choirs.

Gifted, able and talented have the opportunity to perform at various events through the Academy year including the Christmas Cabaret and Summer Variety Show.