Meeting the challenge of Excellence for All

Introduction and overview

The meaning of Excellence for All

The most important provision for able, gifted and talented pupils is quality-first teaching in an inclusive classroom. A school that prioritises the understanding and development of effective classroom practice for gifted and talented pupils has an aspirational ethos, higher expectations and greater levels of challenge in the curriculum.

Leaders and teachers who focus on developing professional knowledge, expertise and skills through working on gifted and talented (G&T) provision will improve provision and outcomes for all.

This resource will support schools in implementing an excellence programme to improve provision and outcomes for all pupils. The strategies, approaches and continuing professional development (CPD) resources outlined here have been developed in schools; the advice is supported by examples and evidence of effective practice.

Five key areas for development are identified and explored.

  • Leadership for excellence
  • Use of data for excellence
  • Effective learning for excellence
  • Engaging pupils and parents in Excellence for All
  • Building capacity for excellence: Engaging the whole school community

Each section outlines key relevant ideas, learning or research and, where appropriate, poses key questions to support schools in self-evaluation. CPD and other resources are identified so that schools have practical tools to begin or further their development in pursuit of excellence for all.

Examples of actions real schools have taken, and their impact, are provided for school leaders to draw on when planning their own strategies.

How to use these resources

Many schools have improved the culture and ethos of learning and aspirations for all, leading to higher achievement, by focusing on a whole-school approach to G&T policy, practice and provision (see Excellence for All: A Gifted and Talented approach to whole-school improvement (Ref: 01019-2009PDF-EN-02)).

This collection of materials and examples of practical activities will support schools in raising the level of challenge and attainment across the board. It is aimed at senior leaders in schools and complements Gifted and talented education: the challenge of improvement, which explores the key challenges of gifted and talented education faced by schools.

The sections outlined may be taken sequentially but schools will decide what is most appropriate to their own context.

Included in each section is a set of key questions. Senior leaders might use these to stimulate reflection among the senior leadership team (SLT), or groups of teachers, as a starting point to develop or take forward your Excellence for All strategy.

Many of the secondary examples are drawn from the National Challenge G&T project; primary examples are drawn from a wide range of schools.