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Charles Darwin School

  • Aspire - Endeavour - Achieve

Able Gifted & Talented


At Charles Darwin School we have students who have a wide range of abilities and talents. Our most able students take part in enrichment activities to develop thinking and aspiration, as well as fostering an enquiring mind and gain experiences to shape their bright futures.

Using a range of data and information, students are identified, monitored and tracked, both in terms of academic performance and the partaking in enrichment opportunities. Whilst the choice of subjects is ultimately the family responsibility, we would guide our most able students to a broad academic pathway that provides the firm foundation at GCSE to aspire to our excellent sixth form and beyond to University. Of course, our work at school needs the support from home, as  stretch and challenge outside of school comes with the experiences that families share together, both intellectually and culturally. In lessons, expertise from our teaching staff helps to drive the standards of our more able students; widening perceptions and challenging students to work harder and smarter.

Enrichment for more able students can take many forms. Year 11 GCSE students each have a more able mentor who they meet on a regualr basis for 'tutorial-style' coaching sessions. Year 7 more able students take part in a bi-weekly Enrichment programme that has visiting alumni to develop their knowledge of the world of work, such as careers in Architecture, Law, the Media and Science. Enrichment allows students to experience and workshop teachers' specialisms and interests. Year 10 also have a G&T parents interview and review day. Year 9 have a STEM club and a STEM science drop-day to develop their talents in problem solving and engineering solutions. Many of our most able take part in regional Maths Challenges, competitions, master classes and aspirational/intellectual visits to places such as the houses of parliament. Year 7 and 8 students are currently interviewing celebrities and the local community for the BBC school report to develop their journalism and media skills. Our year 11 students appeared on BBC Radio 4's 'Any Questions' recently. We offer immersion experiences at universities such as Oxford in addition to visits to our London universities.

To celebrate the end of year we have an G&T showcase evening where students can present work, read poetry and literature, sing, dance and perform and highlight personal goals achieved durng the year.

Able, Gifted & talented policy 

Charles Darwin is an inclusive school across the age and ability range. An underlying aim of the school is to ensure all students are given the chance to reach their full potential in all areas of school life.  Excellence in all areas is encouraged and celebrated throughout a students’ school career whilst developing and supporting their future beyond school.  In order to aspire to these goals a group of approximately 25% able students will be selected from year 8 onwards. In addition approximately 10% in each year group will selected as gifted and talented – many of these students will be included within 25% able students.

The school will focus on three lists (which are not independent and students could appear on all three)

• More Able list in years 8 -11˜25%
• G&T based on subject nominations in a range of subjects or outstanding results in one area ˜ 10%
• Subject nominated according to criteria ˜10%


• An able student is a student who has the ability to reach levels of attainment significantly ahead of his/her peers in one or more academic subjects.
• A gifted student is a student who has the ability to reach levels of attainment significantly ahead of his/her peers in several academic subjects.
• A talented student is a student who has the ability to reach levels of attainment significantly ahead of his/her peers in one or more practical areas of study.


Able, Gifted and Talented students will be identified from a range of criteria including:

- Cognitive tests (e.g.CATS)
- External assessment results (e.g. KS2, GCSE)
- Internal  assessment
- Staff nominations
- Exceptional performance in an activity or sport at regional or national level

Initially each subject will nominate approximately 10% of students from year 7 (Dec) and this will then be amended yearly.  These lists together with exceptional performance outside of school will be used to select the school 10% list.

The named Assistant Headteacher responsible for A, G & T will use this and any other information to identify 25 - 30% in years 8 onwards as Able students.
All staff are expected to contribute to the identification process and departments should include these groups of students as a particular group they will monitor for progress.
The school recognises that ability is different from attainment and has systems in place to identify able underachievers, those on the SEND register and students with poor attendance.

The school acknowledges that provision for A, G & T students has to take place primarily within the classroom, through a variety of appropriately challenging tasks.  The school will support this work through grouping students by ability where appropriate, increasing the depth of curriculum expertise and supporting extra-curricular activities.
In order to support this work:

- All departments must define characteristics demonstrated by able learners in their subject.
- All departments must identify at least one member of staff who has responsibility to support this work and liaise with the Assistant Headteacher.
- Departments are responsible for selecting and monitoring students; ensuring that all students are given work to enable them to achieve or go beyond their target grade.
- The school’s Governing Body must identify at least one member to take an added interest in the schools’ work in this area.
- All staff should participate in activities regarding A, G & T as appropriate.

The progress and achievements of the A, G & T students will be regularly monitored and reviewed and celebrated by both departments and the named Assistant Headteacher. 
Students new to the school will be added as necessary and the lists will be reviewed each year.

Student lists will be reviewed and up – dated yearly by the named Assistant Headteacher.