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Part of castle school education trust

"Castle School Education Trust is committed to high quality education across the primary, secondary and sixth form key stages. Our schools cover the South Gloucestershire area. We encourage independence within each school within a strong framework of values."

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Mangotsfield Secondary

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High Ability Pupils

Higher Ability Pupils are our ‘most able’ students that show mastery within a given discipline. We have moved away from the traditional gifted, able and talented as HAP’s can learn to develop mastery. 

 A student can show independence, self-motivation and resilience to become a HAP and should therefore be granted the same opportunities to stretch and challenge their learning as those students who are naturally of a higher ability.

Notwithstanding this, Students who are identified as ‘more able’ in the national performance data based on their KS2 data automatically form part of our High Ability Pupils cohort.


1.     All students should be stretched regardless of their starting points. This is an entitlement for higher ability students as much as any other group. Given this, resources must allow for high quality differentiation with appropriate pace and challenge in day to day lessons.

2.     Identification and provision are not mutually exclusive, as identification includes spotting potential through participation in learning opportunities. There are many students with a talent in a discipline in which they have yet to participate. This can be the case particularly for disadvantaged students.

3.     Higher ability students are first identified by Key Stage 2 data with further opportunities arising from assessment points, and classroom identification.

4.     The school will provide a full range of activities that engage and stretch the capabilities of higher ability students. The school will also provide opportunities for students to develop personal resilience whilst independently engaging with extended learning opportunities. 

5.     Higher ability learners form a specific group and performance will be tracked as such. Within this process there is an additional focus on disadvantaged students.

6.     Curriculum breadth can be important to higher ability students in particular who should be discouraged from specialising too early.

All members of staff have a responsibility to support higher ability students. Beyond this the school has a named Higher Ability Champion whose role is to:

  • Work with the Deputy Headteacher (Curriculum and Accountability) and the Assistant Headteacher (Raising Achievement) to support high quality provision and engagement
  • Raise the profile of the students
  • Oversee the HAP programme
  • Contribute towards the extra-curricular programme
  • Use external agencies to drive up aspiration and widen opportunity
  • Identify and spread good practice

Our Careers, Information, Advice and Guidance Programme contributes to our HAP provision.