Piper’s Hill College is committed to providing an environment which encourages all students to maximise their potential. The vision of the school community is that “all aspects of the students are valued and nurtured” and the purpose of this policy is to ensure these students are nurtured and supported so that potential can be developed into performance.
An exceptionally able student is one who is in the top range 5-10% of the student population. Therefore pupils who score in the top five percentile of the norm referenced ability tests administered by the school will be termed gifted for the purpose of this policy. Within the school it would probably be logical to use a working definition,which would state that the pupils with ability in the 97th percentile level in at least one area are seen as having special educational needs. It is important however that the school does not rely solely on I.Q. measures as exceptional abilities in aspects such as art, leadership, social and physical skills may not be identified in this form of testing.
An exceptionally able student is one who has the capacity for or demonstrates high levels of performance in an academic area or within a domain-specific non- academic area including:
o Visual and performing arts and sports
o Leadership ability
o Creative and productive thinking
o Mechanical ingenuity
Piper’s Hill College endeavors to make the identification process fair, specific procedure will vary according to subject area but will include elements of the following:
o Teacher referral
o Assessment results
o Peer referral
o Parental/ Guardian referral
o Identification by a previous school, external agency or organisation
o Self referral
Everyone in the school has a responsibility to recognise and value students’ abilities. We are aware that unnecessary repetition of work is demotivating and de-motivated students will not always demonstrate potential. There is sometimes peer pressure to underachieve. Gifted students may have to manage significant issues related to their individuality. Many adapt to their social and educational environment with no difficulty, while others manifest a range of emotional problems and adjustment issues. This can lead to isolation and under-achieving in school in an effort to conform. To counteract this, the college has a number of supports structures in place to provide for these exceptionally able students.
Provision for Exceptionally Able students
Opportunities for extension and enrichment are built into all our schemes of work in Piper’s Hill College. During our annual policy review we shall ensure that every curriculum area will have reference to exceptionally able.
In Piper’s Hill College we aim:
o To maintain an ethos where it is acceptable to be bright.
o To support students with our comprehensive pastoral network.
o To encourage all students to be independent learners.
o To recognise achievement.
o To be aware of the effects of ethnicity, bilingualism, gender, religion and social circumstance on learning and high achievement.
o To provide a wide range of extra – curricular activities and clubs.
o To provide work at an appropriate level.
o To provide opportunities for all students to work with like minded peers.
Types of Provision
o Teachers have high expectations.
o Tasks are designed to take account of levels of existing knowledge, skills and understanding.
o There are planned extension opportunities or open ended tasks.
o There is access to higher tier exam entries.
School based provision
o School based clubs,societies and councils.
o Enrichment opportunities.
o Opportunities for performance.
o Artists in residence/ Guest speakers.
o Specialist/ Differentiated teaching.
Piper’s Hill College endeavors to link with other providers of opportunities for students with exceptional abilities- Local, National and International organisations, competitions,festivals, partnerships with secondary schools, further education institutions, and businesses. Students will be encouraged to full fill their potential in those areas in which they are exceptionally able without reducing the breadth of their curriculum and personal experience.
Class work and work outside the classroom includes a number of opportunities for students to work in small and large groups, which will help develop their personal and social skills. We recognise the way that students work in teams and support each other when discussing ideas or collecting resources and materials supporting their social, personal and emotional development. Some exceptionally able students find working in teams easy; others show excellent social and leadership skills but others find ‘team work’ more difficult.
Piper’s Hill College aims to develop all the abilities of students, including their personal and social skills, especially if these are not strengths. We aim to create a climate in which students are taught to relate well to each other and where differences of all kinds, including ability are excepted.
The school will endeavor to provide resources to enable particular areas of interest, identified by students, staff members and other relevant personnel.
Leadership and management role
The Principal and senior management are responsible overall for the implementation of the exceptionally able policy. This policy will be subject to annual review.