Exceptionally Able

Beliefs and Values 

At Pear Tree Mead we believe that all children are entitled to an education that will enable them to develop their full potential, be that intellectual, physical, aesthetic, creative, emotional, spiritual or social. We also believe that children should also be able to live and develop as well adjusted, autonomous and valued members of society. 


In our school we believe that:-


  • Pupils are stimulated and motivated
  • Pupils can flourish and achieve
  • Pupil’s independence and responsibility are fostered
  • Everyone is valued and respected


In school we strive to provide a stimulating environment in which each child can develop according to their own needs, aptitude and ability having full access to a broad and balanced curriculum. 



Exceptionally able learners are those who are either gifted in one or more academic subjects for example Maths or English or who are talented in areas like sport, music, design, performing arts or who have exceptional  leadership or interpersonal skills.  

We try to have the widest possible view of ability and believe that many pupils have particular skills outside the usual definitions of ability. We therefore also try to encourage and reward those pupils who, for example, are good at helping others, noticing when other children are upset and supporting them and so on. 


Identification of Exceptionally Able Pupils 

Before identifying any child that is exceptionally able in a particular area, we aim to ensure that all children have had the opportunity to learn and succeed in this area. This makes the identification process fair. 


Identification of pupils as exceptionally able is a judgement which applies to the current class/ school context and refers to the current level of performance only. This means that ‘at this time this child is showing ability in a particular area’ and therefore may fluctuate throughout the year. The school recognises this and will try to foster this ability where possible. Identification does not mean that in another school or context the child would be identified. 


An exceptionally able pupil should be identified using a variety of methods. Our aim is to try and build up a comprehensive picture of each child’s ability by using as many indicators and as much information as possible. The procedure will vary according to subject but will include elements of the following:-


  • Detailed records from previous classes 
  • Teacher assessments 
  • Discussion with the child, parents, previous teachers 
  • Exceptionally able characteristics checklist 
  • Peer nomination 


It is worth remembering that exceptionally able pupils can be: 


  • Good all-rounders
  • Of high ability but low motivation
  • Very able but with a short attention span
  • High achievers in one area
  • Of good verbal ability but poor writing skills
  • Very able but with poor social skills
  • Keen to disguise their abilities


Exceptionally Able Register 

Once identified exceptionally able children will be entered onto the ‘Exceptionally Able Register’ allowing their progress and performance to be tracked. It is the responsibility of the class teacher to inform the Inclusion Manager if there are changes and amendments whenever necessary. A copy of the Exceptionally Able Register will be given to all members of staff. 


Arrangements for coordinating provision

  • It will be the Senior Management’s responsibility to coordinate the school’s response to meeting the needs of exceptionally able pupils within Pear Tree Mead school 
  • To ensure that teachers have the current exceptionally able register which recognises which children have been identified 
  • All schemes of work should be planned to include specific enrichment materials and ideas
  • Awareness amongst the staff of their role in the identification of gifted pupils based on subject-specific criteria and the need to make the curriculum sufficiently challenging
  • Opportunities for children to have workshops and enrichment days run by Harlow Education Consortium
  • Continuing professional development for staff which addresses the implications of exceptionally able pupils for senior management, within individual subject areas and develop teaching and learning styles which take account of differentiation, enrichment and extension 
  • The effective assessment of pupil’s potential and performance
  • The regular monitoring and reporting, to the Inclusion Manager, of individual student progress
  • An audit of enrichment and extension opportunities provided in Pear Tree Mead’s wider extra-curricular programmes 
  • The active encouragement of pupils to enter local and national events.
  • The provision of discrete pastoral care on an individual basis
  • The provision of mentoring where appropriate
  • Opportunities for exceptionally able pupils to work together. 
  • Recognition and celebration of achievement of all pupils
  • Mechanisms to identify and address under achievement
  • To maintain an ethos allowing children to feel good about achieving high standards, ‘it’s ok to be bright’



The following people can support this policy through regular reviews: 

  • Headteacher / Deputy Head 
  • Inclusion Manager 
  • Exceptionally Able coordinator 
  • Leading subject coordinators, including PSHE 
  • Governor with responsibility for Exceptionally Able 


Exceptionally Able Workshops 

The children who are registered or noted as being exceptionally able are invited to attend workshops with other similar children. These are from other schools in Harlow at the Harlow Study Centre as part of our involvement in the Harlow Education Consortium. 


You can view our Exceptionally Able Policy in more detail.