RHAYADER PRIMARY SCHOOL

YSGOL GYNRADD RHAEADR GWY

MORE ABLE & TALENTED (MAT) POLICY

In our school we strive to provide a curriculum that is appropriate to the needs, abilities and learning styles of all of our children. We plan our teaching and learning in such a way that we enable each child to reach for the highest possible level of personal achievement. This policy helps to ensure that we recognise and support the needs of those children in our school who have been identified as ‘able’ and ‘talented’ according to our set criteria.

Our mission statement declares: ‘Mae Pawb yn Cyfri’ – ‘Everyone Matters’.

Accordingly we respect the rights of all children in our school, irrespective of differences in ability, to develop the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes that are necessary for their self fulfillment and eventual development into active and responsible adults.

Definitions

In this policy, the term ‘able’ refers to a child who has a very high level of achievement in one or more academic subjects. Those children who are able often have very well developed learning skills.

The term ‘talented’ refers to a child who excels in one or more specific fields such as sport or music, but who does not necessarily perform at a high level across all areas of learning.

Aims of this policy

Our aims are to:

  • ensure that we recognise and support the needs of all our children
  • enable children to develop to their full potential
  • offer children opportunities to generate/steer their own learning
  • ensure that we challenge and extend the children through the learning opportunities that we set them
  • encourage children to think and work independently.

Identification of MAT pupils

We use a range of strategies to identify able and talented pupils. The identification process is ongoing and begins when the child joins our school. During pre-school meetings with parents opportunities are given to discuss their child’s specific needs.

Children undertake baseline assessments within the first half-term of joining our nursery and reception class. Information about their developing skills and aptitudes across several areas of learning is used to create individual Child Development Profiles.  We discuss each child’s Profile with the parent, and use this information when planning individual needs and targets.

As children progress through the school they are assessed regularly, in the form of tests and teacher assessments, to ensure that they are making the sort of progress that we are expecting of them in their personal targets.

We identify them as able and/or talented children when they achieve high levels of attainment across the curriculum, or in particular skills or aspects of subjects.

In Rhayader Primary school, we consider a high level of attainment to be a standardised score of 115 or above in subjects where achievement is recorded as a standardised score namely mathematics, spelling and reading.

In subjects where standardised scores are not obtained, we consider a high level of attainment to be children working at a whole level above age related expectations (see table below). Foundation subjects are assessed each term and more able and/or talented pupils are recorded on the MAT register.

Talented pupils outside the school curriculum are recognized through their achievements in consultation with parents and outside agencies supporting the pupils. We celebrate these achievements in school and aim to appropriately support the pupils representing clubs or associations in both county, national and international events, recognising that time spent in appropriate events is in support of the pupils development as a whole.

When identifying a child as more able and/or talented, opinions of class teachers are always sought and treated as an important indicator of achievement as teachers hold valuable information about learning styles and attitudes.

Year Expected Level of Achievement Criteria for MAT
Nursery Outcome 1 Outcome 2
Reception Outcome 3 Outcome 4
Year 1 Outcome 4 Outcome 5
Year 2 Outcome 5/Secure Level 2 Secure Level 3
Year 3 High 2/Low 3 High 3/Low 4
Year 4 Secure Level 3 Secure Level 4
Year 5 High 3/Low 4 High 4/Low 5
Year 6 Secure Level 4 Secure Level 5

Progress of MAT children is discussed each term with parents at the parents’ evening and the progress of MAT pupils is reported annually to parents in July. Parents of children who have been identified as able and/or talented are always informed and consent is gained to allow us to add their name to our register.

Teaching and learning

Our teachers plan carefully to meet the learning needs of all our children. We give all children the opportunity to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do. We achieve this in a variety of ways when planning for children’s learning by providing:

  • a common activity that allows the children to respond at their own levels
  • an enrichment activity that broadens a child’s learning in a particular skill or knowledge area
  • an individual activity within a common theme that reflects a greater depth of understanding and higher level of attainment
  • the opportunity for children to progress through their work at their own rate of learning.

Children are familiarised with a variety of organisational strategies as they move through the school. These strategies can be used by all children, but give due scope to higher achievers.

Learning is also enriched through regular homework activities linked to the work being undertaken in classes. This offers teachers a further opportunity to set work at the level of individual children. Children will have the opportunity to experience a wide and varied range of educational visits that further enrich and develop learning.

 

Resources

Staff are able to call upon the ‘Able and Talented Coordinator’, provided by the SEN coordinator (SENCO), to help them plan differentiated work for the named pupils in their class. It is also feasible to consult teachers further up the school for advice and support. In upper Key Stage 2 (KS2), teachers are able to liaise with the relevant departments in the local high schools for help and advice.

 

Management Strategies

The SENCO coordinates the provision and practice within the school for more able and talented children. The coordinators role includes:

  • overseeing a register of more able and talented pupils, and keeping it up to date (note: the register is dynamic and children may move on or off the register as their needs and progress change)
  • monitoring teachers’ planning to ensure that suitable tasks and activities are being undertaken across all curriculum areas by the higher achievers;
  • regularly reviewing the teaching arrangements for these particular children
  • monitoring their progress through discussions each term with class teachers
  • supporting staff in the identification of these children
  • providing advice and support to staff on teaching and learning strategies
  • liaising with parents and carers, governors and LA officers on related issues.

This policy will be reviewed annually.

January 2014

Sian Protheroe