G&T Policy

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Rationale

At SCWA we are totally committed to providing an engaging and challenging curriculum for all our pupils. We recognise that provision for our most able pupils needs to be fully integrated into all teaching practice to ensure high standards of teaching and learning are established and maintained across the curriculum. At SCWA, provision for the gifted/able and talented pupils is a question of equity – as with all other pupils, they have a right to an education that is suited to their particular needs and abilities. The main focus should be to create appropriate opportunities to challenge, support and encourage all pupils in an environment which celebrates excellence. Whilst enrichment extra-curricular activities will play a part in the provision, the main focus must be on providing suitably challenging learning opportunities within the everyday curriculum. Gifted/able and talented pupils need access to broad, balanced and challenging curriculum opportunities; we aim to develop the pupils’ specific skills and talents to allow them to function at higher cognitive levels.

We believe that the gifted/able and talented child needs just as much support, guidance and encouragement as any other pupil. Each pupil has the right to be treated as an individual and be given the appropriate support socially, emotionally and intellectually. At SCWA supporting gifted/able and talented pupils is the responsibility of every member of staff. This policy is intended to provide a guide for staff, governors, parents and pupils to the provision for those pupils in our community who are identified as Gifted/able (achieving high KS2 levels in Eng, Maths and Average) and/or Talented (achieving above expectations in art, drama, music, MFL, technology, P.E or a vocational skill).


Identification

Identification of the gifted/able and talented pupils needs to take into account the structure of the mini schools within the Academy. The traditional gifted cohort has therefore have divided into two categories, Able and Gifted.

Gifted

Applies to those pupils with Average KS2 Sub-level of 5C* or above and also Level 5c or above in both English and Maths at KS2

Able

Applies to the top 5% of the two comprehensive schools Ashdown and Sherwood

*this parameter may change according to the context of the year group e.g. Year 7 (2012/2013) the criteria is 5b

An able pupil can be identified using a variety of methods, Year 5 Banding, KS2 Data, CAT score of 125+ in the verbaland/or quantitive, and/or non-verbal categories, GSCE grades, MidYis, Yellis/ALIS, teacher identification, peer/self and parental recommendation, primary school recommendation and evidence of day to day performance in lessons/activities. Each school will maintain its own gifted/able register; Heads of Schools will be responsible for ensuring the correct pupils are identified and the process of identification is regularly reviewed and pupil performance monitored.

There are FOUR different categories within the Gifted register:

  1. RED – KS2 Av Level 6+ (plus Level 5c or above in the English or Maths). Pupils in this group are our ‘exceptionally able’ pupils.
  2. GREEN – KS2 Av Level 5a  (plus Level 5c or above in both English and Maths)
  3. YELLOW – KS2 Av Level 5b (plus Level 5c or above in both English and Maths)
  4. BLUE – KS2 Av Level 5c (plus Level 5c or above in both English and Maths)

It is important for all staff to differentiate between the different sub-groups in their mark-books so they can adapt their planning to meet the needs of every pupil.

Talented

Very high ability, potential or attainment in sporting, leadership or creative subjects , across all mini schools: Arden, Ashdown, Delamere, Sherwood, 2012 Sports Centre and William Morris. Pupils will be identified as ‘talented’ for sport if they compete at local or national level in at least one sport

Talented pupils may not fulfil the academic criteria of able and gifted pupils, but display a particular talent in art, drama, music, MFL, technology, P.E or a vocational skill. They will be identified by teacher identification, assessment data, parental recommendation, primary school recommendation, evidence of day to day performance in lessons/activities, performance in activities beyond school, eg sport/drama etc. Each school will maintain its own talented register, Heads of Providers and Heads of Schools will be responsible for ensuring the correct pupils are identified and the process of identification is regularly reviewed and pupil performance monitored.


Policy in Practice

Provision for the gifted/able pupils and talented pupils

At the heart of the provision for gifted/able and talented pupils is what happens in the classroom. The challenge for teachers is meeting the needs of every pupil to ensure their full potential is fulfilled. Teaching styles for gifted/able and talented pupils should be more open-ended and flexible. Gifted/able and talented pupils tend not to respond well to more ‘directed’ teaching and rigid learning structures. There is a need to allow them to ‘take risks’ in their learning, and effective teaching for them will reflect this. All pupils, but particularly gifted/able and talented pupils ought to be encouraged and given opportunities to think creatively and divergently. Within the Academy, identified pupils will benefit from an extensive enrichment programme, a wide range of extra-curricular activities, off-site challenges, off site visits, master classes, workshops, school based responsibilities, buddy systems for working with younger pupils, university visits and in class challenge.


Planning for higher order thinking/questioning: Bloom’s Taxonomy

The best known approach to the teaching of higher order thinking skills is that of Bloom (1956). Bloom identified different levels of thinking which he placed in a hierarchical order:

  • Evaluation (high)
  • Synthesis (high)
  • Analysis (high)
  • Application (middle)
  • Comprehension (low)
  • Knowledge (low)

It is every teacher’s responsibility to incorporate a range of analysis, synthesis and evaluation tasks and activities into their planning and delivery of lessons.

Bloom’s Taxonomy should be used to inform all planning; planning for gifted/able pupils should largely focus on the higher level learning skills (analysis, synthesis and evaluation) as this is what will ensure challenging lessons that engage pupils. Low level thinking skills are very easy for gifted/able pupils. Tasks that are too easy can lead to poor behaviour as pupils become bored, disinterested and unfocused.  Whilst there is a place for low level thinking skills in building up knowledge, they should not form the main activities for any lesson. Questioning is a key part of every lesson. Questions should be incorporated into lesson plans that also challenge gifted/able pupils. Questions should be structured to middle and higher level learning skills. Low level questioning is needed to reinforce knowledge recall but should not be the main structure of questioning in any lesson.

Below is a guide that all staff should use to inform their planning and questioning

Knowledge – LOW LEVEL

The ability to recall previously learnt material (e.g. remembering a rule/theory)

Activities Skills/Questions for learning (examples)
Tell What five things are the most important?
Recite Describe them to the person next to you
List List the key characters in chapter two
Memorise Write your list, turn it over, repeat it, try again
Find Look for five examples of alliteration
Summarise in your own words List five key things and explain each in your own words
Locate Where in the book would you find..?
Name Name at least six different characters

Comprehension – LOW LEVEL

The ability to understand previously learnt material (e.g. explaining a rule/theory)

Activities Skills/Questions for learning (examples)
Restate What do you think is happening here?
Explain What do you understand by? Can you provide an example of what you mean…?
Give examples Can you give three examples of..?
Summarise In no more than three sentences can you outline the main points..?
Translate What might this mean?
Edit Using cut and paste tool, can you ..?
Draw What three things are the most important about..?
Can you distinguish between…?
Describe What was the main idea…? Who was the key character…?

Application – MID LEVEL

The ability to convert learned material to concrete situations (e.g. applying a rule/theory to life)

Activities Skills/Questions for learning (examples)
Demonstrate Plan and deliver a presentation to
Based on what you know… What is the most important for your chosen audience?
Model How can you best demonstrate your understanding?
Apply Do you know another instance where…?
Classify Can you group by characteristics such as…?
Demonstrate How would you show that…?
Construct From the information given, can you develop a set of instructions about…?
Relate Would this information be useful if you had a…?

Analysis – HIGH LEVEL

The ability to breakdown material to recognise how it is organised (e.g. identifying the relationship between parts of a whole)

Activities Skills/Questions for learning (examples)
Investigate What information is needed? Where will you get it?
Classify Organise the data using flow chart/concept map
Categorise List the data in categories for a given audience
Compare and contrast List arguments for and against, compare them
Relevant and irrelevant Choose a target audience: list R & Is for them
Facts and opinions Separate into fact and opinion using a Venn diagram
Fallacies What assumptions are being made? Why?
Analyse; What are some of the problems of…?
Recognise and explain What was the turning point in…? What was the problem with…? What is the result of…? What are the benefits of…?

Synthesis – HIGH LEVEL

The ability to use facts to create new theories or make predications (e.g. invent a new product)

Activities Skills/Questions for learning (examples)
Create Can you create new use for…?
Compose Can you develop a proposal which would…?
Invent You need an effective labour saving device for
Construct Using appropriate materials based on your research, produce
Combine Your audience needs a multi-media presentation
Forecast Using all the evidence available, can you see a possible solution to…?
Formulate As a result of analysis of data give the cost-effective solution to
Argue the case for Listen to the evidence, summarise, critique, choose and recommend
Predict Based on the evidence and your intuitive feelings, say what you think is likely to happen when…? What would happen if…?
Imagine Being as unconventional as you like try to…Envisage a situation whereby… How many ways can you…?

Evaluation – HIGH LEVEL

The ability to judge/assess the value of given information based on specific criteria and come to a conclusion (e.g. the relevance of material to the purpose)

Activities Questions for learning
Prioritise Re-order with a justification
Rate Design a mechanism to evaluate the importance of
Grade/rank Devise a hierarchy of significance
Critique Discuss the relative merits in relation to
Judge Following your critique, say which is better and why.. Judge the value of…?
Recommend What is the best option? List five reasons How could you improve…?
Criticize Is there a better solution to…? How effective are…?What would you do differently…? What is there still to find out…?
Justify Can you defend your position about…? How would you have handled…? What changes to…would you recommend?
Recommend How would you convince someone that…?

There are a number of different ways that teachers can differentiate for gifted/able and talented pupils. These include :

  • TASK: Set classwork tasks, based on prior attainment, which include problem solving investigations and the use of higher order thinking skills. Set homework tasks that involve in-depth research on more open ended and complex aspects of the topic.
  • OUTCOME: Set tasks, which follow common stimuli, but are assessed using personalised criteria for the gifted/able and talented pupils.
  • RESOURCES: Set common tasks, but encourage the use of a wide range of challenging resources, which require advanced reading and research skills for the gifted/able and talented pupils.
  • PACE: Allow gifted/able and talented pupils to spend less time on core activities and more on challenging extension tasks.
  • DIALOGUE: Include higher order questions in class discussions targeted specifically at the gifted/able and talented pupils.
  • GROUPING: Set gifted/able and talented pupils together for specific tasks, where they are expected to perform at a higher level.
  • ROLE: Set a common classwork task, but give individuals different roles with gifted/able and talented pupils adopting roles that require more problem solving and decision making.
  • INPUT: Set a common task, but give the gifted/able and talented less detailed instructions.  Give gifted/able and talented pupils a task and ask them to plan their own activities.
  • SUPPORT: Set a common task, but provide more or less support. Gifted/able and talented pupils could provide support for other pupils; they may also need specific support in areas of their own weakness.
  • INFORMATION: Allow gifted/able and talented children access to both different information and different amounts of information.

In class provision includes:

  • enrichment/extension
  • working with others of like ability
  • differentiation/acceleration
  • differentiated homework
  • promotion of independent learning opportunities
  • subject leaders/ambassadors
  • providing challenging questions
  • including a range of imaginative and creative activities
  • ensuring pupils know how to progress to next levels/grades within individual tasks and whole units/topics

Out of class provision includes:

  • working with older pupils/peer mentoring
  • Extended “Challenge” work
  • enhancement/additionality
  • out of hours support
  • enrichment days/visits/residential
  • musical, sporting opportunities
  • providing extra materials at a deeper or more complex level

There will be an expectation that a pupils ‘talent’ will develop and grow, and the Academy has a responsibility in supporting this growth; pupils will therefore receive points for achievements such as representing the school, school productions, exhibitions, outside gradings (with evidence) etc. Evidence will form part of a ‘talented’ pupil assessment.SCWA is committed to providing a range of sporting, music, drama and art opportunities outside of the school curriculum time. Various challenges and activities are organised for gifted/able and talented pupil in order to encourage pupils to engage and work with pupils of a similar ability.


Monitoring the Gifted/Able and Talented

Our Gifted/able and talented register is shared with all service providers at SCWA. This includes the addition of any casual admissions throughout an academic year.

In addition to normal school procedures for monitoring and reviewing performance Heads of Providers and Schools will conduct a yearly review of all pupils’ performance on the gifted/able and talented registers. Following this review pupils/parents and carers will be contacted and an action plan agreed for the following year. Underperforming pupils will not be removed from the register between key stages.  Identified staff will be responsible for monitoring the achievement of gifted/able and talented pupils after each half termly data drop.  Follow up will involve various methods such as learning visits, book looks, pupil questionnaires and interviews and parent involvement.  The Academy will regularly review the achievement of specific groups of pupils to ensure there is no significant underachievement of gifted/able and talented pupils.

Casual Admissions

As part of pupil’s integration programme all casual admissions will be screened to see if they should be added to the gifted/able and talented register. This is the responsibility of the Head of School to which they belong.

Parents

The gifted/able and talented programme will be a three-way partnership at all times. Parents will be informed that their child has been placed within the Gifted/able and Talented cohort, the criteria for how this has been determined and the details of Academy and school based interventions and enrichment opportunities as previously outlined.

Governors

The Academy Board should be kept up to date with developments via the Heads of Providers and Heads of Schools. The Academy Board should be consulted on any significant policy changes.


Conclusion

The gifted/able and talented will be monitored throughout every pupil’s educational journey at SCWA. At all times the wellbeing of the individual pupil belonging to the cohort will be paramount. The key concept to the gifted/able and talented programme will be opportunity, challenge and enrichment. The gifted/able and talented programme will impact on and be embraced by the whole curriculum in order to be effective. Curriculum delivery will be flexible with differentiation at its heart. Opportunities for enrichment may be offered within and beyond the normal.