Whole School Approach
The Whole School Approach
It is essential for the whole school to understand the importance of effectively identifying and then providing for their more able students, 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 complex needs of their more able students 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
As many schools are currently using the term ‘more able’ we will use that in the information given here. 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 often exceptional strengths and abilities of these young people.
Here we will consider what should be covered by the whole school policy, the role of the more able lead teacher, and the various approaches to identifying more able learners.
Writing a Whole School Inclusion or More Able Policy
This advice is aimed at lead teachers and senior leaders in all school phases and gives guidance about writing a more able policy, 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.
A Whole School More Able Policy Template
This outlines an example of a whole school policy on supporting more able pupils. It provides examples of what should be in it, but any of the school’s own policy, practice or wording must be appropriately substituted for the text below where there are brackets ( ).
Role of the More Able Lead Teacher
This advice is aimed at the more able lead teacher or person with responsibility for the more able cohort within an educational setting. It provides guidance on the requirements of the more able 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.
Approaches to Identification
Most schools understand why they should identify their more able learners, but its importance does go beyond providing meaningful challenge for these children. In addition, schools may struggle with exactly ‘how’ they should identify this cohort. This advice sheet provides information and guidance for more able lead teachers on both the ‘why’ and the ‘how’.