Gifted & Talented

At Hele’s School we are committed to a belief in the growth mindset. This is the idea that ability is not innate or fixed but can be developed through hard work, commitment and a positive mental attitude. A person with a growth mindset takes risks, likes getting feedback to help them improve, views making mistakes and failing as a vital part of the learning process and tries things that are hard. We often see these attributes in our GTMA students and they are important role models and lead learners within our school. However, evidence from Professor Dweck’s work shows us that these attributes are not fixed, but the result of hard work and persistence. As such, we recognize that our GTMA cohort are not fixed.

At Hele’s School we recognise that our most effective students are entitled to and need access to broad, balanced and challenging curriculum opportunities to enable them to reach their true potential. We achieve this by offering a curriculum and activities that extend and enrich their learning, whilst promoting high aspirations, attainment and good progress.

NACE membership and the NACE Challenge Award

We are members of NACE (National Association for Able Children in Education). This organisation, alongside their Challenge Award Framework, aims to provide a scaffold for improving the experience and provision for our GTMA  learners. We aspire to secure the NACE Challenge Award by July 2018.


(A student is indicated as potentially GTMA, based on prior KS2/KS4 attainment against the following criteria):

  1. KS2 scaled scores of 111 or higher (approximately 10% of a year group).
  2. MIDYIS assessment level 125 or above (completed early year 7).
  3. For post-16 students GCSE average points scores will be used. The system used will be QCA (old points) score of >50, which equals the top 3 ALPS attainment bands and will be mainly students with A grade and some B grade targets. *
  4. For year 7:
    1. The year 7 HoY also collects information on students and identifies students who are GTMA. This is fed back to the GTMA Coordinator before the summer holiday.
    2. In year 7 initially staff should refer to the GTMA indicator column and monitor the group for other most able or more effective students who would benefit from more challenge within the curriculum.
    3. Year 7 parents evening in the first half term also provides an opportunity for tutors to feedback to the GTMA Coordinator, any students who have been identified as potentially a GTMA student.

*When calculating Post 16 G&T GCSE APS English literature has not been included in the calculation as this skews the results.

Extra – Curricular Enrichment opportunities

We offer a range of extra-curricular activities that enrich the curriculum for our GTMA learners. Provision is focussed on raising aspirations. We monitor the ambitions of our students in order to target the activities offered and ensure they get involved with appropriate activities. We maintain close links with local universities including University of Plymouth and we are a linked partner school to the University of Exeter.

The Scholar’s Programme run by the Brilliant Club is offered to GTMA students at Key Stages 3 and 4, to give them an opportunity to experience university style study, work with a tutor from a Russell Group university and experience university life on graduation day. In addition, GTMA learners in each year group are offered subject specific opportunities to become involved with workshops or taster days run by universities, employers etc. By nature, these change annually, but will be mapped within departments.

At Key Stage 5 we offer the opportunity to attend, each March, an Oxbridge Conference at Devonport High School for Boys. This provides the chance to listen to and meet with Access Officers and undergraduates from Oxford and Cambridge, and to find out about the application procedures, interviews, learner life, finance and support.  We  ensure that this offer is available to those that  we feel have the realistic potential.

Additionally, all Year 12 learners are offered training in UCAS applications, with a June visit organised to Plymouth University, for the purpose of acquiring specialist advice and help in starting this important process. Year 12 and 13 tutors form a specialist team who are able to promote and advise about personal statements, choice of appropriate university courses and universities, e.g. the interview training for Oxbridge applicants. One to one mentoring forms part of this, together with attendance at a regional HEI fair.

The impact of our extra-curricular provision is evaluated by our GTMA Co-ordinator annually to ensure that our resources are deployed in the most effective way and that accelerated learning and progress occur.

Our full Gifted and Talented Policy is available here

Gifted and Talented indicators

Accreditations Copyright © 2012 - Heles School. All rights reserved. Hele's School is part of Westcountry Schools Trust. Registered address: Harford Road, Ivybridge, Devon PL21 0AJ. A charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales. Company number: 07398467.
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