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Gifted & Talented Programme

Achieving Excellence Beyond Belief

Parents - Gifted & Talented

Gifted & Talented Programme

Here at Sandy, we have created a register of all our Gifted and Talented students, across all subjects, which recognises and celebrates the abilities and successes of those students deemed to be within the top 5-10% of their cohort. As well as the activities which take place within all lessons, we run mentoring sessions during form time in which students have some freedom to choose projects they can work on and be guided by their own curiosity and interests.

What do we mean by ‘Gifted and Talented’ students?

In the 2000s, the DFE produced their definition for gifted and talented students:

“Children and young people with one or more abilities developed to a level significantly ahead of their year group (or with the potential to develop those abilities).

At Sandy we aim to identify approximately the top 5-10% of our learners, across individual subjects (although some students will feature in several). These students are identified through a combination of teacher assessments, observations, participation and data. As well as attainment, we also aim to take potential into account, as there may be other reasons why a student is underachieving.

Gifted describes students who have the ability to excel academically in one or more subjects such as English, Maths, Science, MFL, Humanities.

Talented describes students who have the ability to excel in practical or creative subjects such as PE, Music, Drama, Art.

What do we do at school to help these pupils?

At Sandy, ALL our students have access to stretch and challenge activities within all lessons and through homework. These can include:

  • Differentiated tasks

  • Independent learning

  • Active learning

  • Risk taking

  • Higher order thinking skills

  • Peer teaching

  • Enrichment & extension

All formal assessments are individual and students should read through their feedback carefully to ensure they understand it fully and know what they should do to improve. If they still have questions they must ask their teacher – teachers always find time for students who are keen to boost their performance in a subject.

Teachers also have an exhaustive knowledge of resources to help students in any area of their subject and can suggest relevant material beyond those used in class for those who are curious and want to know more about a topic.

Some subjects also run other enrichment activities and interventions, such as:

  • Maths Challenge Days

  • Science and DT F1 Challenge

  • Literacy competitions and mentoring schemes

  • Drama workshops

  • Dance Company

  • Future Chefs Programme

  • School newspaper

  • Museum, gallery and concert trips

  • Local and national debating competitions

  • After school & lunchtime clubs

We aim to build on these activities, to expand what we currently offer, by tapping into the skills and support offered by our wider community and by constantly exploring further opportunities throughout the year.

In addition, in consultation with the Curriculum Leaders, we run form time sessions in which our G&T students can choose the direction and area of their own learning, increasing their understanding and thinking through the application of their skills and interests to a particular project.


What can you do at home to help support your child?

A huge amount of learning can take place outside of school hours. Children are constantly learning from the things they see and hear, from the attitudes they are exposed to and the activities in which they are involved. It is essential that parents and carers recognise the important role that they can play in developing their child’s potential and building their aspirations.

Support & Encouragement

A supportive and encouraging home background provides the ideal condition in which young people can develop their abilities. Some ideas to help achieve this:

  • Recognise and praise achievement.

  • Focus on what can be learnt from disappointments.

  • Discuss school work. Find out what they have learnt and ask them to explain things to you.

Staff regularly contact parents to discuss both outstanding and sub-standard work. These can all be used as valuable opportunities to take stock and review your child’s progress.

Activities & visits

  • Try to expose children to stimulating experiences such as playing a sport, visits to museums, Art galleries, Historical sites etc. Many galleries have virtual tours, accessible via Google Arts and Culture.

  • Allow children to take up different hobbies and join different clubs in and out of school

  • Encourage reading of books and newspapers

  • Encourage the viewing of a variety of thought-provoking documentaries and films

  • Help them to become critical viewers and readers by discussing what you’ve seen and read

  • Ask for their opinions on moral issues and dilemmas, on the key political topics of the day. Encourage understanding of both sides of an argument and the ability to question these points of view.

Developing language skills

The ability to communicate, both orally and in writing, is an essential life skill. Whether your child is already a mature reader and excellent communicator, or has yet to develop strong language skills, the following ideas can all be used to develop awareness and interest in the language we use. Many of these ideas also develop thinking skills and logical reasoning.

  • Emphasise the importance of speaking clearly and thinking logically when discussing ideas and opinions

  • Buy a daily newspaper / read them online and subscribe to journals which your child is interested in

  • Encourage your child to summarise information and feed back to you and/or the rest of the family

  • Continue reading together

  • Play games associated with language such as crosswords, Scrabble and Articulate.

Developing creative and analytical abilities

The ability to think creatively and analyse information are valuable life skills and form a basis for many careers. All subjects at school focus on developing these skills, it is not subject specific. Some activities which help with these skills include:

  • Discussing adverts for obvious and hidden messages

  • Pick an item and invent 10 new uses for it

  • Re-invent/design something new

  • Think up new plots for scripts

Developing visual and spatial awareness

  • Let your child redesign their bedroom

  • Learn a new craft

  • Play ball games

  • Design and produce their own website

Useful Resources (non-subject-specific)

Mensa Puzzles

Hoagie’s Gifted Education

Potential Plus UK

Other Ideas for students

Look out for external competitions. These could be local or even national competitions that will challenge you further and give you the opportunity to be recognised and awarded.

Get hold of course books early and try out some of the tasks to improve your knowledge further. Depending what year you are in this may help you to decide about which option subjects you want to pursue. See your subject teachers for more information.

Take a look at specific subject websites that have all kinds of interactive activities. Talk to your teachers for ideas on where to find resources.

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