At Wellfield School we recognise that all students of all abilities should be challenged to ensure:
- high achievement;
- the acquisition of skills that enable them to take risks;
- resilience that drives them to find solutions;
- the ability to be effective independent learners who know how to collaborate and communicate effectively with others safely across a range of media, digital and conventional;
- ingenuity and inspiration.
However, Most Able and Talented students (MATs) have specific learning needs, which we must address, and need opportunities that facilitate the above to meet their particular needs and enable them to meet like-minds. They often require a different type of support and experience without which their particular ability or gift may become a barrier to them experiencing success and achieving their full potential. By recognising and providing for those needs we ensure that we develop an appropriate curriculum which creates opportunities for extension, enhancement and enrichment activities and thereby allow our MAT students to flourish. Alongside this there is an extensive extra-curricular programme which offers MAT students the opportunity to access some very unique experiences which will enhance their love of learning.
We endorse the view that, “if a school looks systematically at its provision for the most able, then overall school standards will rise.” (Deborah Eyres, Able students in Ordinary Schools, 1992). We believe that a focus on the learning needs of our MAT students will enhance teaching and learning across the school and thereby raise attainment.
To provide a whole school commitment to MAT students, including a policy and action plan, leading to an ethos where high achievement is valued and success is celebrated.
- To identify MAT students, including exceptionally MAT students, understanding the characteristic differences between the bright, the gifted and the talented child.
- To provide a curriculum that offers breadth, depth, challenge and flexibility to meet the needs of MAT students.
- To provide a wide range of learning opportunities, teaching approaches and organisational strategies to meet the needs of MAT students ensuring that they work at higher cognitive levels.
- To ensure teachers have the skills to achieve excellence in meeting the needs of MAT students, facilitated by on-going continued professional development.
- To provide pastoral care of MAT students that includes their learning needs and their access to independent information and guidance.
- To raise aspirations and enable MAT students to develop their potential.
- To review progress of MAT students regularly to identify and support underachievement, ‘under-learning’ and disadvantaged students.
- To listen to and take account of the views of MAT students with continuous use of ‘Student Voice surveys and the recently established ‘MAT Student Council.
- To provide extension, enhancement and enrichment activities for MAT students to enable them to develop specific skills or talents and meet similar students regionally, nationally and globally.
At Wellfield we identify the top 5% of our students as Most Able young people and refer to them ‘Most Able’. These are the students who achieve or have the potential to achieve at a level significantly in advance of their peers in many areas of the curriculum, in a more limited range of subjects or in a creative area such as Art, Music, Drama or Sport.
The identification process highlights students with specific academic ability and those with creative, technical or sporting talents. Students who are identified as very able in one or two areas only or who have a particular talent are not necessarily identified on the Most Able list, but should be identified on subject specific lists. In addition we identify those who meet the following criteria:
That is those who:
- reach top MIDYIS scores of greater or equal to 126 and/or
- are talented in specific areas.
We use both generic descriptors which highlight the general characteristics of Most Able students and subject specific criteria. (see Appendix 1)
Identification of Most Able students
The identification process highlights students with specific academic ability and those with creative, technical or sporting talents. Students who are identified as very able in one or two areas only or who have a particular talent are not necessarily identified on the Most Able list, but should be identified on subject specific list.
We use both generic descriptors which highlight the general characteristics of Most Able students and subject specific criteria.
We recognise that there is no fool-proof, watertight method for identification and use a wide range of national attainment data and non-test evidence, including primary school recommendations, to identify Most Able students, able underachievers and students with a specific academic ability or talent in a specific area. (See Appendices 1 and 2).
The school has a list of More Able students, identified by the above criteria of whom the top 5% form the Most Able list for each year group. The list is reviewed continually but especially during the Autumn Term at the same time as students in year 7 are identified. However, identification is not limited to any particular point in the academic year but is flexible and recognises that giftedness can emerge at different stages and ages.
The Senior Head of Learning (SHoL) identifies students according to the criteria on entry in Year 7. The information is collated by the MAT Co-ordinator and is then circulated to the SLs and tutors to give them the opportunity for further comment.
All teachers and tutors receive a copy of the definitive school list (via the data system).
If you are looking for something specific and are unable to find it, please contact Mr Pearson (MAT Co-ordinator) who has responsibility for Most Able students in school.