More Able Provision

Provision for More Able Students


At The Downs School we are committed to providing outstanding learning opportunities for all of our students. We aim to ensure that all students, including those who are very able, are challenged and stretched in their learning every day, in every lesson. Provision for our most able students is embedded in all aspects of school life and is not an exclusive programme for a small number of students.

      Who is ‘More Able’?

Identifying the abilities of all of our students is a continual process. Some students have been identified as ‘gifted and talented’ at their primary schools but students’ abilities develop throughout life and as such identification is ongoing.

We will work with students to discover and develop their talents throughout their time with us.

We can identify students in a variety of different ways including:

  • External test data, such as CAT4 and SAT data.
  • Identification by faculties and subjects.
  • Identification by teachers offering enrichment activities.
  • Identification from primary school or previous school.
  • Information from parents.
  • Information from students.
  • Information from organisations outside school such as clubs and teams who have identified particular abilities.
  • We record and provide identification lists for staff to assist them in providing appropriate levels of stretch and challenge for More Able students.

What will we provide?

  • Differentiation in lessons that includes provision for the More Able, such as:  independent study, choice in home learning tasks and challenging lesson content and questioning to develop higher order thinking skills.


  • A rich and varied curriculum and extra-curricular provision including:  residential and day trips, visiting speakers, fieldwork, conferences, masterclasses, clubs and activities, performing arts productions, sporting opportunities, including swimming, enterprise and work related learning and Duke of Edinburgh Awards.


  • Competitions, within and beyond school, both local and national to develop specialist areas of interest and ability include the Mock Trial, debating, Maths Challenge, creative writing and a range of  county sporting events.


  • The chance to apply for a range of leadership development positions such as: Subject Ambassador, Form Captain, Sports Leader, House Captain, Council, Prefect and Librarian.


  • The opportunity to undertake an EEP, in Key Stage 3, a substantial research project culminating in a presentation on an area of interest, working with a staff mentor. This work prepares students for the rigours and requirements of the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) which we offer alongside A Levels and BTEC Level 3 courses in Key Stage 5.


  • Flexible pathways into the Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 curriculum.

How do we use assessment?

We aim to ensure that our assessment and feedback policy reflects progression routes within subjects and purpose of assessments and success criteria are shared with the students. We provide a range of types of both summative and formative assessment to ensure appropriate levels of challenge and reward for even the exceptionally able. We engage students in assessing their own and others’ work against clear criteria and enable students to take responsibility for their progress through assessment for learning. 

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