Stretch and Challenge: Our Approach
As a Trust, we do not identify a set 10% of children as ‘Gifted and Talented*’ as this label can create unrealistic expectations around continuous performance across multiple subjects, causing unnecessary pressure to the child.
“Children have the right to surprise us.”
(Dame Alison Peacock)
Children’s’ progress is rarely uniform and consistent and identifying pupils as ‘Gifted and Talented’ risks missing out pupils who show an aptitude for a subject at later points. Our policy is that all children have the potential to discover gifts and talents in a wide range of subjects and areas of school life. We work on the basis that with the right opportunities and challenge, gifts and talents will be identified, nurtured and able to thrive. Every subject lead and school leader has a responsibility to provide additional ‘stretch’ and ‘challenge’, with varied, enriching opportunities to enable this to happen.
*In 2002 the UK Government introduced a Gifted and Talented funding system in UK schools. This was scrapped in 2010 for a variety of reasons due to funding and concerns raised by Ofsted as to the efficacy of the programme and the wellbeing of pupils. Currently, one of the markers that Ofsted use to judge a school is whether the school and teachers “nurture, develop and stretch pupils’ talents and interests”. This is very much in line with the Educate Together ethos of ensuring all pupils are exposed to a wide range of opportunities.
We really like the work of Dame Alison Peacock, at the Chartered College of Teaching. You can find her here, talking about the Learning without Limits programme.
You can find further information here.