At Charters Ancaster, we use the term High Learning Potential rather than “Gifted and Talented,” to indicate that we are vigilant at all times for evidence of a child having a particular aptitude in a subject – or part of a subject – and that we define high ability in its widest sense.
We look for high levels of social and emotional intelligence, and leadership potential, as well as for academic, sporting, musical, dramatic and artistic talent.
Head teacher Dr Radice is a founding member of the national body GT Voice, and a Specialist Leader in Education for provision for the most able. As a school, we recognise that opportunities to identify high learning potential may occur at any time, and we try to provide the widest possible range of experiences so that children may discover new talents and skills.
We teach metacognition (“learning about learning”) to all children so that they can better understand their own learning strengths, and we celebrate success in all areas, including children’s accomplishments out of school, so that they understand that we value all their areas of interest.
We understand that some of the most able learners may have “dual exceptionality” (high learning potential alongside an area of Special Educational Need) and also that the most academically-gifted children may have their own pastoral and social needs.
High levels of expectation, in a supportive environment that values curiosity and questions and stresses the importance of making mistakes, allows children with high learning potential to thrive without any damaging pressure, but also enables all children to do well. Above all, it is the encouragement of children’s natural excitement for learning and their enjoyment of it that makes for the most meaningful learning development.