Gifted and Talented

Throughout the school we aim to:
  • Ensure that we recognise and support the needs of all children
  • Enable children to develop their full potential
  • Offer children opportunities to generate their own learning
  • Ensure that we challenge and extend the children through the work that we set them
  • Encourage children to think and work independently

At Dean Close Preparatory School we aim to provide a curriculum that is appropriate to the needs and abilities of all our children. We plan our teaching and learning in such a way that we enable each child to reach for the highest level of personal achievement. We recognise and support the needs of those children in our School who have been identified as ‘gifted’ and ‘talented’.

In the School the term ‘gifted’ refers to pupils who are, or who clearly have the potential to be, in the top 5-10% of the year group in academic subjects and are achieving highly compared to national standards. The term ‘talented’ refers to a child who clearly has the potential to be, in the top 5-10% of the year group in practical or artistic subjects and are achieving highly compared to national standards.

  • A number of our children at Dean Close are ‘more able’, with strength in one area or a range of areas. A smaller number of our children are ‘very able’, i.e. outstanding in one area or a range of areas.
  • We respect the right of all the children in our School, irrespective of differences in ability, to access a number of areas of learning, and to develop the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes that are necessary for their self-fulfilment and eventual development into active and responsible adults.

 

Identification of more able and very able children

We use a range of strategies to identify more able and very able children. The identification process is ongoing and begins when the child joins our School. Initially, discussion with parents and carers and informal assessments, enable us to build a portfolio of the individual child’s stage of cognitive, social and physical development.

Children meet a variety of organisational strategies as they move through the School. Each strategy supports all children in their learning, but gives due regard to the more able and very able learner.

When pupils transfer to the Preparatory School, at appropriate year groups, they are grouped in sets for Maths and later other curriculum aspects. Teachers regularly review the progress of children, who move between sets as appropriate. This enables teachers to plan work that reflects the band of ability in each group.

A 7+ scholarship programme runs in the March of Year 2 which uses standardising data and teacher assessment to identify the most academically able.

We offer a range of extracurricular activities for our children appropriate for the prep age group. These activities offer more able and very able children the opportunity to further extend their learning in a range of activities – academic, musical, sporting, drama and dance opportunities. Clubs such as ancient Greek, chess club and Foreign language film club support academic development and clubs such as DT, art and the many musical groups and ensembles help develop talents outside of the academic curriculum. Those showing talent at sport are offered many opportunities and development days to help them progress as well as specialist coaching at the Senior School. A sports development programme runs in Year 7 and 8 to help pupils identify and work towards their own performance targets.

Children will also have the opportunity to experience a range of educational visits that further enrich and add depth to their learning.