More able and talented pupils


Section 1: Introduction

The usual concept of ‘More Able and Talented’ according to education psychology is restricted to a small percentage of children – possibly as low as 2%. Therefore the figure of 20% should be considered as one that must include those pupils identified previously as bright/gifted and no special attention needs to be given to many of these children in the broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum delivered by Treganna and Tan yr Eos.

Much of this policy can be seen as specifically relevant to the top 2% of the school’s pupil population and their parents and teachers. The following criteria may be used to differentiate between the bright/gifted child and the really able or talented child:

Bright ChildMore Able and Talented Child
Shows interestIs very inquisitive
Usually has good ideasAlways has good ideas and sometimes lateral ideas that can seem initially to be strange
Knows most of the answersKnows most of the answers and begins to ask questions
Answers questions appropriatelyAsks questions but then begins to elaborate
Needs frequent repetition to master a skillOnly needs to be repeated once or twice to master a skill
Understands ideasDevelops concepts
Enjoys company of peersPrefers company of adults
Understands meaningsDraws conclusions
Copies correctlyProduces original work and designs
Technician/operatorCreator/inventor
Absorbs informationHandles information
Can remember wellRemembers well and assumes intelligently
Makes comments on seeing how something is doneExtremely astute
Pleased with the work producedVery self-critical and sets him/herself extremely high standards
Enjoys sequential direct problemsFlourishes on complexity

The School’s Aims and Objectives states that we seek to:

  • Encourage every pupil to recognise and achieve their true potential, i.e. to have a positive
    attitude towards lifelong learning and be able to show enterprise.
  • In order to achieve this aim the true nature and potential of the More Able and Talented child must be identified before appropriate provision may be made. However, it is not easy to identify every able and talented child. For the purpose of identifying and supporting, more able and talented children may be grouped in the following ways:-
  • Generally talented – excel in everything that they do and enjoy their success – easily
    identified.
  • Talented with a special ability in one area, e.g. mathematics or science, relatively easy to
    identify as they also tend to be academically able and successful.
  • Encourage every pupil to recognise and achieve their true potential, i.e. to have a positive
    attitude towards lifelong learning and be able to show enterprise.
  • In order to achieve this aim the true nature and potential of the More Able and Talented
    child must be identified before appropriate provision may be made. However, it is not
    easy to identify every able and talented child. For the purpose of identifying and
    supporting, more able and talented children may be grouped in the following ways:-
  • Generally talented – excel in everything that they do and enjoy their success – easily
    identified.
  • Talented with a special ability in one area, e.g. mathematics or science, relatively easy to
    identify as they also tend to be academically able and successful.

Environmental and hereditary factors influence the expression of ability and high achievement. With the real support of parents and the school most pupils will develop selfconfidence and aspire to achieve their inherent potential.

MAT pupils, due to their nature may suffer from low self esteem and work pressure. The School handbook includes advice for parents and pupils dealing with this 

Section 2: Aims

The Aims of the School are:

  • To ensure that the school’s policy includes focus on the needs of More Able and Talented children
  • To develop whole school strategies to identify, teach and support the More Able and Talented so as to nurture their ability for learning and thinking creatively without restriction
  • To ensure that these methods are used, or modified, in each class/subject area
  • To ensure that there are clear rules and responsibilities for More Able and Talented children within the school and the LEA, giving special attention to the
    i) Senior Management Team (SMT);
    ii) Designated teachers (Sian Powys) with specific responsibility for More Able and Talented children;
    iii) Designated Governor (Kathryn Walters) with specific responsibility for More Able and Talented children.

Section 3: The Need for Early Identification

Able children have a great appetite for information and it is vital to identify that need as soon as possible so that parents and teachers can provide the level of support required to enable them to develop their talents. The referral, assessment and identification of More Able and Talented pupils may come from a variety of sources e.g.

  • Request from teachers following observations, assessments or the use of checklists;
  • Request from the pupil;
  • Request from a parent;
  • Request from peer group;
  • Request from managers;
  • Request from DHA or GP;
  • As a result of information from another school (e.g. nursery school);
  • Following general testing of Foundation Stage pupils and external and internal tests in the Junior Department;
  • Following diagnostic tests;
  • Following individual interviews or questionnaires;
  • Following evidence from out of school activities;
  • Following tracking and observation of individual pupils.

Like many other children, More Able and Talented children may often fail to fulfil their potential and as a result they may encounter many difficulties. Early identification, assessment and provision is very important for any able/talented child for the following reasons:

It can reduce the difficulties that they could encounter when intervention and provision is provided. Typically the difficulties include:

  • Low confidence and self-esteem:
  • High level of frustration and self-blame;
  • Poor study skills;
  • Social isolation and feeling misunderstood and different to their peers;
  • Avoiding academic organisations;
  • Problems with concentration;
  • Living in their own little world.

The process begins by co-ordinating with our feeder Nursery schools. The teacher with responsibility for Nursery liaison visits our feeder Nursery schools to meet with prospective pupils and teachers during the term before they transfer to the primary school.

During the first term all reception class pupils are assessed. The identification of pupils that require support is predominantly based on the baseline tests results. Specific requests for support from various sources, including parents, teachers etc, are also considered.

Section 4: Strategic Provision: Enhance and Extend

  • Enhance: ensure that the content of the curriculum is rich in quality
  • Extend: ensure that the content of the curriculum extends and expands understanding and experience

Teachers will ensure that More Able and Talented pupils are appropriately challenged, modify the amount and/or scope and content of the tasks they are given. The pupils will have opportunities to read, write and talk about their work and to participate in discussions and/or work with other pupils.

Teachers will set targets and track progress in consultation with the ALNCO using a range of observations/internal and statutory tests.

Some pupils will be supported in the classroom and a small number will be taken out of classroom for more assistance in other areas e.g. language and maths squads.

The Curriculum

There is not a detailed, standard curriculum for More Able and Talented children because their needs are very individual. The emphasis is on developing work based on targets in order to:

  • Meet the needs of individual children;
  • Build on their individual strengths;
  • Encourage development in areas which need support.

For every pupil the school curriculum is well structured, incorporates differentiation and creates an environment within which they can flourish. However, it is essential to remember that More Able and Talented children can be many years ahead of their peers academically but still remain similar to their chronological age emotionally and socially.

The school uses core subject co-ordinators to identify and provide for the able child in foundation academic subjects. Provision may be made for pupils showing exceptional ability in other areas and can be encouraged by the wealth of partners that work closely with the school to provide experience and training in areas beyond the day to day curriculum of the school. Our partners include:

  • CRICC (Clwb Rygbi Ieuenctid Cymry Caerdydd)
  • Urdd Gobaith Cymru a variety of sports including swimming, cross country, cricket; Ffwrnais Awen Drama Club, cookery and art competitions
  • Dragon Sports (an excellent series of activities held in the school and external activities with the aim of providing pupils with a strong foundation in many sports)
  • The LEA’s music service and CAVMS or County youth orchestra. Tuition in many musical instruments is provided within school hours

Menter Caerdydd:

Llanover Hall
Llanover Hall Activities

Chapter
Chapter Centre

Iechyd Da Club
Yoga for Children

School Clubs and Activities

  • Art and Craft Club
  • Urdd Club
  • Performance Club
  • Netball Club
  • Running Club
  • Cricket Club
  • Dance Club
  • Overnight visits to Tan y Fron, Llangrannog
  • Urdd Activities
  • Cooking
  • Sports
  • Eisteddfod

MAT Library
The school has established a library containing Welsh and English language books for the More Able and Talented pupils. This library is located in the ALNCO’s room. Pupils on the MAT record will come to borrow or return books during the morning or afternoon reading period. A record is kept of all the books that the pupils borrow. Reading can be one of the most pleasurable leisure activity for children generally, and more so for More Able and Talented individuals, and the selection is sure to appeal. However, sometimes more guidance will be needed to find the books most suited to their abilities and interests.

Questionnaires
The child’s voice is very important. Individual and class questionnaires are used to selfevaluate and gain information about how the child learns. Children benefit by assuming control of their education. Teachers benefit from learning about the way children like to learn.

Transition
We always ensure who the pupils that are on the More Able and Talented register are known to other schools to which they might transfer. A specific form is provided by Ysgol Plasmawr in May so that the strengths of the More Able and Talented pupil can be noted in order to facilitate effective transition and consistency in provision. The forms are completed jointly by the class teacher and ALN Co-ordinator. A meeting is arranged between the head and deputy head of Year 7 and the Plasmawr ALN Co-ordinator at the beginning of June in order to discuss MAT pupils.

Membership of NACE WALES
The school is a member of NACE (National Association for Able Children in Education) and therefore any member of the teaching staff may seek the advice of NACE officers – this includes free telephone consultations or a letter regarding any individual child.

Section 5: Roles and Responsibilities

A) Role of the LEA: Partnership Co-ordinator with Responsibility for MAT – Julie Elliot

  • Motivate and provide strategic support for a continuous improvement programme in order to raise standards of teaching for More Able and Talented pupils from the initial planning to provision

B) Role of the Governors

  • Ensure that there is a focus on More Able and Talented pupils in the school
  • Have an overview and responsibility for providing for More Able and Talented pupils within the school and ensuring that there are sufficient resources
  • The appointment of a governor to have special interest in More Able and Talented pupils shows the priority given by the Governing Body to this area
  • The governors with responsibility for More Able and Talented pupils are Mr Alun Davies and Mrs Denise Williams
  • Attend training in relation to education for More Able and Talented pupils

C) Role of the Headteacher/Senior Management Team

  • Plan and manage effectively am approach towards procedural excellence i.e. ensure that designated objectives are met against agreed parameters in respect of quality, timescale and cost. These objectives should address the needs of the individual and the school by setting and achieving specific targets in the school’s development plan
  • Allocate a proportion of the budget to the teaching and learning of More Able and Talented pupils
  • Assist in mapping and exploring skills and roles within the school and then provide appropriate INSET to staff and monitor performance
  • Review the curriculum annually so that it maintains continuity, development, scope and balance
  • Have a strategic role in promoting co-operation and joint-working between departments and across the whole curriculum in respect of More Able and Talented pupils
  • Ensure that bright and talented pupils are discussed in Staff/School Improvement meetings and good practice and experiences are shared amongst staff
  • Begin a whole school policy of rewards and recognition for exceptional work and/or progress. N.B. Public recognition of the work of More Able and Talented pupils should occur bearing in mind that some are shy and very introvert and it can be detrimental to their self-confidence if they have to go to the front to receive praise or a prize
  • Improve parents’ understanding of how they can support their child’s education e.g. by holding a Reading Evening, Mathematics Evening, meetings for new parents. These evenings are supported with additional guidance on-line

D) Role of the ALNCO

  • Provide training for school leaders, teachers and support staff to assist and enable them to meet the needs of MAT pupils
  • ALN staff are trained and are familiar with identifying and assessing additional learning needs and contacting external agencies, and therefore the ALNCO is responsible for coordinating the whole school in respect of More Able and Talented pupils. The ALNCO advises the SMT on INSET needs
  • Work with the class teacher to set targets and strategies for meeting the needs of More Able and Talented pupils
  • Use data to track the progress of MAT pupils
  • Coordinating Maths and Language squads when appropriate
  • Liaise with NACE and cascade relevant information to members of staff

E) Role of the Subject Coordinator

  • Ensure that consideration is given to the More Able and Talented pupils and that reference to them is made in school policy dealing with teaching and learning and in schemes of work and development plans
  • Appraise the provision within the classroom for More Able and Talented pupils in the annual planning and development cycle
  • Assist staff to plan and build on current skills and devise clear, relevant and achievable targets for More Able and Talented pupils
  • Refer cases of bright and talented pupils to the ALNCO
  • Ensure that More Able and Talented pupils are discussed in staff meetings or key stage meetings, and best practice and experience are shared amongst staff
  • Make use of the results of learning evaluation for staff professional development

F) Role of the Teacher

  • All members of staff must be committed to improve the provision for More Able and Talented pupils – and most importantly, all staff must be able to support each other and in turn receive support from the SMT
  • Assist in identifying and referring More Able and Talented pupils that need support tothe Subject Coordinator/Key Stage Coordinator ALNCO
  • Assess personal development needs in relation to professional development
  • Provide a variety of opportunities and teaching methods, e.g. whole class, group, oneto- one, teaching on another site e.g. allotment
  • It is important to provide activities that use advanced thinking skills strategies e.g. plan challenging open ended questions
  • Set tasks that involve problem solving and detailed research
  • Allow MAT pupils to by-pass the basic skills that they have mastered in order to concentrate on enhanced and extended learning
  • Systematic training for advanced reading skills, research skills and a range of recording skills
  • Provide resources that require advanced reading skills and research skills. This is an integral part of bilingual education. For example, cross-language activities enhance reading skills and understanding
  • Differentiating homework. The school operates a traffic light system where the pupils chose the appropriate level
  • Participate in making teaching more effective in relation to subject content and teaching method and by doing this enhance the pupil’s education
  • Facilitate learning by using a variety of appropriate and meaningful activities that include pupils in the learning process
  • Help pupils to make sense of and interpret information and events in order to process the experience and create information
  • Set clear aims and communicate them to every pupil at the beginning of the lesson
  • Ensure that More Able and Talented pupils have access to the curriculum by providing the situation where each pupil’s experience of content and skills corresponds to his/her learning scale and that alternative, differentiated learning materials and strategies are used
  • Discuss targets and strategies with the pupil that has been identified as MAT

G) Role of the Parents/Guardians

  • Advise and share ideas / strategies with parents so that they can support their child’s education more effectively
  • Ensure effective communication between parents and the teacher so that information about the child’s special talents or interests can be shared.

The More Able and Talented child:

  • Asks many questions and learns quicker and easier than others
  • Has a very quick memory and good powers of recall
  • Shows good ability to observe and reason, and see interrelationships and to generalise from the few facts provided
  • Is an imaginative or creative thinker
  • Is a very good independent worker
  • Is very inquisitive and able to concentrate for long periods of time on topics of interest
  • Is good in seeing, making, drawing, building or designing although poor at speaking, listening and writing, i.e. they are talented with ‘visual-spatial’ skills and can display remarkable mechanical and artistic ingenuity. N.B. Good hand-eye coordination is an indication of this range of skills
  • Enjoys problem solving, often by-passing the intermediate stages in a discussion and making original associations
  • Well ahead in mathematics, especially problem solving, possesses unusual imagination that can be highlighted in the way they respond to questions
  • Possesses strong willpower and purpose
  • Possesses a wide range of interests and general knowledge and very good vocabulary and often beyond that of which is expected for their age
  • Shows strong feelings and opinion
  • Can have a good sense of humour but which is piercing or unusual
  • Sets high standards and is a perfectionist and obsessive for correctness
  • Follows interests (often associated with those of older children or adults) with great enthusiasm that sometimes border on being an obsession.
  • Often prefers games associated with older children or adults
  • Will often want to spend time with older children and also adults
  • Morally intelligent, sociable and ethical with a mature understanding of the implications of actions or situations. This can show up as being very sensitive and displaying empathy towards others
  • Can appear very arrogant but also sensitive to what he/she perceives as being corrected
  • Appears extrovert or introvert within peer group
  • Can display leadership characteristics

If insufficient provision is made for them, More Able and Talented pupils can tend to:

  • Become bored because not enough is expected of them
  • Appear lazy, sleepy, lacking in concentration, in a dream, loss of interest or appear as if they have short concentration skills
  • Need less sleep than most other children of the same age
  • Appear quiet, introverted and even depressed
  • Disrupts lessons by being grumpy or playing around
  • Be reluctant to cooperate, difficult to motivate and judgmental of teachers and peer group
  • Have handwriting and presentation skills that maybe are less developed than their reading and other skills
  • Hate doing work on paper due to the frustration that is caused by failing to reach their own high and unachievable standards in handwriting and drawing. This is where ITC can help
  • Avoid attending school with cases of imaginary illness
  • Under-performs in tests and even IQ tests – the relevance of the tests is not immediately obvious to the child

Useful Links

The following are voluntary bodies that support More Able and Talented pupils:

National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE)
Horticulture House
Manor Court
Chilton
Didcot
OX11 0RN

info@nace.co.uk / membership@nace.co.uk
Tel : 01235 425000


Potential Plus UK
01908 646433

amazingchildren@potentialplusuk.org