Whole School Information
The Whole School Approach
It is essential for the whole school to understand the importance of effectively identifying and then providing for high potential learners, as well as the benefits this has not only for this cohort, but also for the wider school population.
This section gives guidance on the good practice that a school or academy should aim to deliver in order to better understand the needs of their high potential learners and provide well for them academically, socially and emotionally. By doing so, policies and provision are put in place that can benefit the whole school.
“A rising tide lifts all ships.” Dr Joseph Renzulli
Many schools are currently using the term ‘more able’ and this group in the past been termed ‘gifted and talented’. However, nurseries, schools and academies can adapt the wording to suit their setting. Potential Plus UK uses the term ‘high learning potential’, as we feel this better describes the process of nurturing the strengths and abilities of these young people.
Here we will consider what should be covered by the whole school policy, the roles of the lead teacher and the governor with for responsibility for high learning potential, and the various approaches to identifying high potential learners.
Supporting High Potential Learners
High potential learners need support because they often lack regular challenge, leading to the underdevelopment of learning skills that are essential for success. There are also some sensory, social, emotional or special needs issues that may affect learning and can also lead to underachievement if not addressed. This advice sheet is aimed at teachers, teaching assistants and high learning potential lead teachers in primary and secondary phases. It covers why high potential learners need support and what kind of support is needed.
Writing a Whole School High Learning Potential Policy
This advice sheet is aimed at lead teachers and senior leaders in all school phases and gives guidance about writing a policy that covers provision for high learning potential, either as part of a wider ‘inclusion’ policy, or as a stand-alone document. It is a framework that covers factors that are recommended to be included, with suggestions for consideration that needs to be made, and appropriate wording to use.
Example of a Whole School High Learning Potential Policy
This advice sheet outlines an example of a whole school policy on supporting high learning potential. It provides examples of recommended items for inclusion, but any of the school’s own policy, practice or terminology can be appropriately substituted. It is aimed at lead teachers and school leaders.
Role of the High Learning Potential Lead Teacher
This advice sheet is aimed at the high learning potential lead teacher or person with responsibility for this cohort within an educational setting. It provides guidance on the requirements of the high learning potential lead teacher, what constitutes good practice, what the role should include, the knowledge and skills of the person, and the support that they should provide to colleagues.
Role of the Governor with Responsibility for High Learning Potential
It is important for governing bodies to have an overview of the school’s provision for high learning potential. This advice sheet is aimed at school governors or directors with responsibility for high learning potential and other school leaders to inform about the role, what it entails and the duties someone with this appointed responsibility would undertake.
Approaches to Identification of High Potential Learners
Most schools understand why they should identify their high potential learners and that its importance goes beyond providing meaningful challenge for these children. Schools may struggle with exactly how they should identify this cohort. This advice sheet provides information and guidance for lead teachers and senior leadership team members on both the why and the how.
Proforma Challenge Plan for a High Potential Learner
This advice sheet provides teachers and others within the education environment with a template to use when developing a challenge plan for a high potential learner. This form can also be used by lead teachers and others with responsibility for high potential learners as a basis for a conversation with the learner.
Example Challenge Plan for a High Potential Learner
This advice sheet provides teachers and others with an example of a challenge plan for a high potential learner. It can be used by lead teachers or others with responsibility for high potential learners as a basis to develop similar plans for their own learners.