Identification of Students

Identification is a continuous process which takes place throughout the academic calendar to ensure that all student data is ‘alive’ and has a positive impact on the quality of teaching and learning within every lesson at the Academy. The Process is consistent, fair and transparent, acknowledging a full range of abilities. It does not discriminate against particular groups of learners and is flexible enough to include students who join the school part way through the year or are late developers

Our more able students will be identified at KS3, KS4 and KS5 through regular internal assessments, analysis of data from these assessments, as well as subject area nominations. In addition to using data provided by primary schools at KS2, the identification of most able students will be ongoing over time using assessment results and subject area nominations.

  • Have high level language skills
  • Apply logical reasoning
  • Think quickly and accurately
  • Work systematically
  • Learn and retain knowledge easily
  • Enjoy problem solving and generate creative solutions
  • Link concepts and ideas
  • Question concepts and ideas
  • Work  flexibly,  process  unfamiliar  information  and  apply  knowledge,                                experience  and hindsight to unfamiliar situations
  • Communicate their thoughts and ideas well
  • Be determined, diligent and interested in uncovering patterns
  • Achieve, or show potential, in a wide range of contexts
  • Show high levels of imagination and creativity
  • Have a good sense of humour; show awareness of irony
  • Show great sensitivity or empathy
  • Demonstrate particular physical dexterity or skill
  • Make sound judgements
  • Be outstanding team leaders or team members
  • Read widely and have wide general knowledge
  • Be fascinated by, or passionate about, a particular subject or aspect of the curriculum, can become absorbed for long periods of time and become impatient with interference or abrupt change. When not sufficiently challenged, may become apathetic or disruptive
  • Demonstrate a high level of attainment across a range of subjects or within a particular subject or aspect of work



Each department has an agreed set of specific criteria which allows for the fair and consistent identification of More Able learners across the School. Each checklist identifies the specific skills and abilities inherent in More Able learners within that subject area. The accurate identification of More Able learners allows subject teachers to accurately differentiated for – and challenge – all students to ensure that every learner makes progress in every lesson. This creates a stimulating, challenging and appropriate environment where learners can fulfil their potential.

Effective provision enables each teacher to easily identify those learners that chose to ‘hide’ their ability in order to fit in with their peer group or avoid being singled out for praise. Creating a learning environment which nurtures gifted and talented behaviours is key to the effective identification and reengagement of these learners.


  • Have a natural aesthetic understanding of some or all of the formal elements of Art such as; line, tone, form, space and colour
  • Risk takers, they explore and experiment with materials with technical ease, often in after school clubs or on their own at home. They make original contributions to the Art group that inspire others
  •  They push the boundaries of normal processes,  problem solve,  explore ways to depict ideas, emotions, feelings with meaning. They are eager to work and engage
  •  They rise to the challenge of understanding contemporary, abstract or conceptual Art. They in response might create ideas based work, driven by high level thinking, connected to their personal experience or other curriculum subjects
  •  They have  a  good knowledge and understanding of the subject.  They demonstrate a tenacity and ability to self-drive and explore art work that they see in galleries, museums and from different cultures. They attend department trips to galleries, sculpture parks and attend local art trails
  •  Are able to drive and resource classwork and the exam assessment criteria for themselves independently
  •  Show  a  fluency  of  imagination  and  expression,  one  idea  leads  to  another,  or  they  can extend their ideas in fantastic directions
  • Students might work frequently with their favourite   Art form/material or show an affinity/extraordinary skill with a particular material. Over time they build on their technical skills and knowledge with this medium, pushing the boundaries on an individual basis with these materials. Animation, film, photography, modelling in clay are just a few examples
  • The ability to link theory to current business and markets
  • The ability to link theorists to business strategies
  • Students that independently seek out further reading
  • Students that are able to instinctively use academic language verbally and through written work
  • Students that are able to critically evaluate concepts
  • The ability to read extensively about computer science theorems
  • Converse about aspects of computer science which goes beyond the key stage they are studying at
  • Students that independently seek out further reading and link it to the curriculum
  • Students that are able to instinctively use academic language verbally and through written work.
  • Demonstrate high levels of technological understanding and application
  • Display high-quality making and precise practical skills
  • Have flashes of inspiration and highly original or innovative ideas
  • Demonstrate different ways of working or different approaches to issues
  • Be sensitive to aesthetic, social and cultural issues when designing and evaluating
  • Be capable of rigorous analysis and interpretation of products
  • Get frustrated when a teacher demands that they follow a rigid design-and-make process
  • Work comfortably in contexts beyond their own experience and empathise with users’ and clients’ needs and wants. 
  • Students reading at a breadth, level and quantity beyond that of their peers
  • Students actively seeking critical or theoretical texts beyond those indicated in the curriculum
  • Students’ ongoing participation in national level awards and competitions, e.g. public speaking, debate, creative writing
  • Understand concepts clearly so that they can apply this understanding to new situations in order to make interpretations, develop hypotheses, reach conclusions and explore solutions
  • Communicate effectively using both the written and spoken word
  • Reason, argue and think logically, showing an ability to manipulate abstract symbols and recognise patterns and sequences
  • Enjoy  using  graphs,  charts,  maps,  diagrams  and  other  visual  methods  to  present information
  • Be confident and contribute effectively when taking part in less formal teaching situations
  • Relate  well  to  other  people,  showing  an  ability  to  lead,  manage  and  influence  others, appreciating and understanding others’ views, attitudes and feelings
  • Have a more highly developed value system than most pupils of their age
  • Have a wide-ranging general knowledge about the world
  • Be able to transfer knowledge from one subject to another
  • Be creative and original in their thinking, frequently going beyond the obvious solution to a problem
  • Written  work  shows  a  complex  understanding  of  a  topic  or  event,  through  thorough explanation, analysis and evaluation
  • Demonstrates a wide range of accurate and detailed knowledge
  • Reaches coherent, sustained, substantiated and well-reasoned judgements
  • Independently undertakes detailed reading and research about topics and events showing a desire to go ‘above and beyond’ that of a very good student
  • Consistently shows a desire to learn and improve their knowledge and understanding of local, national and international history, and how they interrelate.
  • Ability to confidently work with a range of historical sources and interpretations to analyse the accuracy of content, evaluate the reliability of provenance and assess utility
  • Demonstrates a firm grasp of the different historical concepts: change and continuity; cause and consequence; similarity and difference; significance; chronology
  • Ability to independently review software and learn beyond the means of the key stage
  • Converse about aspects of ICT which goes beyond the key stage they are studying at
  • Students that independently seek out further reading and link it to the curriculum
  • Students that are able to instinctively use academic language verbally and through written work
  • Identifying “gifted” students starts in primary schools. Liaison with the primary school Year 6 teachers will alert us to the identity, talents and needs of individual pupils and ensure that we make the transition to secondary school as smooth as possible for them. We must take every opportunity to provide and encourage excitement and enthusiasm for Year 7 pupils. As with all students in the school,  lessons should be at an appropriate pace and offer challenges.
  • The setting of students means that the most able will be taught in one of two “top” sets in each year group. By definition, those who are “gifted” are in the top 5% of the ability range, so it may be that in a class there will be only one or two who are exceptionally talented
  • Teaching and learning strategies may, at times, differ from those applied to the majority of the class.  However,  all  able students do benefit from being encouraged to take some responsibility for their own learning and the following strategies may be applied to more than just the most able. Opportunities should be given to gifted learners to:-
  • Solve problems for themselves – rather than waiting for explanations which may not be necessary; developing a willingness to persevere in order to succeed
  • Analyse – encourage posing questions, explaining why and how – both orally and in writing
  • Prove mathematically – appreciate the need to justify rather than accept ideas
  • Develop methods, be original, logical and inventive – rather than always conform to “set methods” and routine
  • Generalise – develop a high level of algebraic competence and an awareness of the power of algebraic reasoning
  • Go beyond the breadth and depth of the content of the lesson – responding to a capacity to cope  with  a  high  quantity  of  mathematical  facts  and  pursuing  a  train  of  thought  to  its conclusion 
  • Self assess – so as to determine when criteria have been mastered e.g. by choice of project, check lists of criteria, list of aims and objectives, choice of questions
  • Work  independently  –  once  mastered,  application  of  theory  need  not  be  applied  to numerous questions; develop good study skills
  • Develop higher order thinking skills – through rigorous investigative tasks
  • Express ideas – using concise, precise mathematical language and notation
  • Investigate  –  deal  positively  with  “open-ended”  tasks  and  communicate  what  has been found
  • Give a presentation to the rest of the class – “A” level students should be encouraged to do this
  • The resources used for these students should be appropriate to their skills
  • Many extended learning opportunities are offered to our most able learners
  • Learning happens at the point just beyond the place where students perceive they can cope.
  • Have a strong desire to put language together by themselves they apply principles from what  they  have  learned  to  new  situations,  transforming  phrases  and  using  them  in  a different context, often with humour
  • Show creativity and imagination when using language they often extend the boundaries of their knowledge and work beyond what they have learned, not wishing simply to respond and imitate, but to initiate exchanges and to create new language
  • Have a natural feel for languages they are willing to take risks and see what works, knowing instinctively what sounds right and what looks right; they are acutely and swiftly aware of the relationship between sound and spelling
  • Pick up new language and structures quickly they may have excellent aural and oral skills and may be able to cope with rapid streams of sound and identify key words at an early stage; they may also display outstanding powers of retention, both immediately and from one lesson to the next
  • Make connections and classify words and structures to help them learn more efficiently they are able to evaluate new language critically, recognising the grammatical function of words
  • Seek solutions and ask further questions they may test out their theories and seek to solve linguistic  problems,  sometimes  challenging  the  tasks  set  and  trying  to  understand  their relevance to the language-learning process
  • Have an insight into their own learning style and preference they may say how they like to learn vocabulary or structures; they are clear about the type of tasks they like doing; they may show or display an ability to work independently, without supervision, and to make effective use of reference material
  • Show an intense interest in the cultural features of the language being studied they may use idiom in the language itself and explore the history and the traditions of the language; some pupils may wish to share their knowledge with their peers
  • Transfer skills across languages
  • They can adapt the knowledge they have acquired of one language to another
  • On one or more musical instruments, students will be at least grade 3 in years 7 and 8, grade 4 in year 9, grade 5 in years 10 and 11 and grade 7 in year 12 and grade 8 in year 13
  • Students will independently seek out further reading and listening opportunities
  • Students will regularly participate in extra-curricular groups in and/or outside of school
  • Students will regularly take on a leadership role during group practical task
  • Be intelligent, independent, thoughtful performers, actively forming and adapting strategies, tactics or compositions
  • Be able  to  reflect  on  processes  and  outcomes  in  order  to  improve  performance, understanding the close and changing relationship between skill, fitness and the tactics or composition of their performance
  • Be good decisionmakers  and  able  to  take  the  initiative,  often  showing  high  levels  of autonomy, independence and leadership
  • Be creative, original and adaptable, responding quickly to new challenges and situations, and often finding new and innovative solutions to them
  • The ability to recognise reasons behind the range of approaches on various behaviours
  • The  ability  to  apply  Research  Methods  throughout  all  three  exam  papers  and  use knowledge to analyse methodology in studies
  • Independently able to read  beyond textbooks and  access journal  articles,  and research contemporary studies to compare to findings previously published
  • The ability to use evaluations and comparisons from approaches, issues and debates in psychology as counter arguments
  • Written work demonstrates a strong clear argument of key concepts, theories, research with references to a range of evidence to support or argue against psychological arguments
  • Application of knowledge is used effectively to explain behaviours in written work and verbal feedback.   Furthermore, awareness of contemporary/current affairs link to psychology
  • A strong  understanding  of  the  philosophical,  psychological  and  biological  nature  of psychology
  • The abilityto  make  links  between  religious  views  and  topical  debates,  with  the  student recognising reasons behind the range of viewpoints on the contentious issues
  • Independently able to interpret religious scripture and appreciate the impact the cultural context had on its meaning
  • The ability to  analyse  arguments  with  flair  and  originality,  demonstrating  the  ability  to present a persuasive and coherent argument
  • Written work demonstrates persuasive reasoning and references to a range of evidence to support or reject religious arguments during class debates on religious and ethical issues
  • Make connections quicklybetween facts and concepts  they  have  learned,  using  more extensive vocabulary than their peers and apply these ideas to novel situations
  • Think abstractly at an earlier age than usual and understand models and use modelling to explain ideas and observations. For example, foundation students may be willing to apply abstract ideas in new situations; key stage 4 students may be able to use higher-order mathematical  skills  such  as  proportionality,  ratio  and  equilibrium  with  some  complex abstract ideas when offering explanations
  • Have an enquiring approach to their studies. Students will be able to adapt their critical thinking skills to suggest ways of solve problems and investigate hypotheses
  • Consistently perform highly on skills based assessments across all three science disciplines
  • Make exhaustive use of concepts
  • The ability to make links to contemporary issues (independently)
  • Thorough, developed, explicit evaluation
  • Independent recognition of sequencing across units and topics
  • Highly-appropriate conclusions drawn with sensitivity to the issue shown