Able and Talented

What is meant by able and talented?

Young people with one or more abilities developed to a higher level significantly ahead of their year group, or with the potential to develop these abilities.

Notley High School & Braintree Sixth Form Able and Talented Policy


At the school we recognise that all students are individuals with their own gifts and talents, strengths and weaknesses, and unique learning needs. This range includes those having significantly higher levels of ability than most students of the same age in one or more curriculum areas.

Each student has the right to be included in a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum, and every student is entitled to have the opportunity to be involved in education appropriate to their needs. It should challenge, motivate and reward them, enabling them to fulfil their potential.

We aim to:

  • Create the most appropriate learning environment so that students can progress as far and as fast as they individually can
  • Ensure that we develop and implement a wide variety of learning opportunities
  • Ensure that all students have the opportunity to experience an enriched curriculum


Year 7 – 11 students are identified in a range of ways including:

  • CAT scores with a mean CAT score of 120+. These tests are taken on entry to Year 7.
  • Subject expected grades
  • Individual subject recommendations from staff (via Faculty Leader)
  • High level of performance in talent areas (art, music, drama, PE and dance, technology)

Year 12 – 13 students are identified by the following criteria (CATs are not used):

  • 8 or above GCSE grade A - A*
  • ALIS adaptive test baseline score of 118+
  • Professional judgement is used to identify and support able students who have the potential to apply for highly selective universities, such as the Russell Group and Oxbridge
  • Information is supplied to teaching and support staff via the register, but not shared with students or parents 

Additional Notes

From September 2011

The parents/carers of students named in the Notley High School & Braintree Sixth Form Able and Talented Register in years 7-11, will be informed by letter.

The register will be reviewed on a regular basis and is subject to change. Parents/carers will be informed of any changes that take place.

Examples of enrichment activities provided for our most able students include:

1. The TANGO partnership

The partnership consists of the three Braintree secondary schools (Notley, Alec Hunter and Tabor) and all local feeder primary schools. It organises and provides extension and enrichment activities for able and talented pupils in the Braintree area.

The partnership regularly runs a series of Saturday morning masterclasses. Students will be invited to attend, based on their personal interests and ability within the subject area offered.

TANGO also publishes a termly newsletter to celebrate students work throughout the year.  There is a link to this in the able and talented section of the school website.


GIFT has continued to provide extension activities to our more able students.

Able students are invited to attend residential weekends. During the weekend, students take part in a range of projects, including Short Stories, A History of Games, Designing an Evilometer, and History’s Great Speeches. They involve inventing, designing and creating, performing and reflecting.

There is plenty of discussion, individual attention, opportunity to go off at tangents, depth and breadth of learning at the highest level and networking with like-minded students. The students work in small groups with a graduate/post-graduate expert lecturer in the field.

For further information about GIFT, take a look at

3. Model United Nations Conferences

MUN is an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations agenda.

The participants role-play as diplomats representing a nation in a simulated session of a committee of the United Nations, such as the Security Council or the General Assembly. Participants research a country, take on roles as diplomats, investigate international issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and then develop solutions to world problems.

Able Notley students have been given the opportunity to take part in Model United Nation Conferences (hosted by King Edward VI Grammar School and The Bishop’s Stortford High School).


4. University Visits

The school regularly invites students to attend university visits at both Cambridge University and Essex University based in Colchester. The days focus on giving students an insight into life at a university. They take part in various activities designed to get them evaluating their own expectations. They have the opportunity to talk to both university staff and students, plus are given a tour of the campus.

5. The Children’s University

The Children’s University is an exciting and fun opportunity to encourage students to engage in out of school hours activities in order to broaden their horizons and in addition to be rewarded for attending fun learning activities beyond the school day.  The scheme is for 5 to 14 year olds but older children can become involved as volunteers in Children’s University activities.

Every child has a passport and collects stamps or signatures for every hour of accredited learning that they take part in.  An award ceremony will be held at least once a year to give out certificates (30 stamps will earn a bronze certificate). 

More information can be found on the following websites:



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