More Able and Gifted

At Guildford County we believe that every student is talented and as such, we refer to "Higher ability"  rather than directly " gifted and talented" in any aspects of school life. 

Our approach both in the class room and in our co curricular activities is to recognise, nurture and foster  the individual talent and confidence alongside collaboration, respect and empathy.   We believe that learning is, at once,  academic and creative. 

Challenge lies at the heart of all that we do and is not seen as “ extra’ but an intrinsic core and thread. 

Lessons in the classroom and our extensive co curricular programme offers a diverse, rich and varied range of opportunities that allow our students to flourish both as individuals and to hone the skills of collaboration as members of teams.  ( link to Co curricular provision ) 

Our class setting arrangements in some subjects also affords us the flexibility to focus our learning accordingly with an emphasise on extending thinking skills, problem solving, deep understanding, transference and application. 

As our students progress through the school there is an increased emphasise on student leadership and, our year 11 and 6th form have the opportunity to lead and teach students be as instrumental teachers; lesson buddies or in a range of peer to peer activities. 

We aim to challenge and extend thinking, skills, problem solving via creative approaches, thus equipping our students for the  vital skills  required for  todays society. 

Because we have so many students  with a thirst to aspire and push themselves, we respond by ensuring that within our extensive range of  class and co curricular activities, we offer a range of options  that offer students to work according to ability not just age. These include   Maths Challenges; English Creative Writing projects; bespoke musical ensembles; Drama, Art, Stem and MFL initiatives. Our class setting arrangements in some subjects also affords us the flexibility to focus our learning accordingly with an emphasise on extending thinking skills, problem solving, deep understanding, transference and application.  Further examples are listed below, by way of an illustration of our provision. 

How do we identify the More Able and Gifted?

We endeavour to recognise the talents of all our students using a combination of the following strategies:

  • Teacher recommendation
  • Standardised tests (e.g. MidYis)
  • Assessment of classwork
  • Information from previous schools
  • Ongoing observations and assessment
  • External agencies e.g. sports clubs, music organisations, drama groups
  • Parent observations


What do we offer the More Able and Gifted?

These two quotes from the Ofsted inspection in January 2017 give a flavour of the provision available:

“The curriculum is lively and interesting. The academic focus is enhanced by extensive additional enrichment opportunities”

“The most able pupils are challenged very effectively with skilful questioning or additional tasks so that they gain well-rounded understanding of important ideas”

We use a range of teaching and organisational strategies to provide the best learning opportunities for all our students, including the More Able and Gifted.  We are currently in the process of applying for the NACE challenge award.  This process has allowed us to audit our provision for More Able and Gifted learners and continue to build on our tracking and monitoring systems.


Extension within the curriculum is obviously a large part of the provision but we have detailed below some of the additional extension and enrichment activities.

Extension and enrichment activities and competitions for More Able and Gifted students

There are numerous sporting and musical activities for students at GCS with talents and interests in these areas.

Our student driven Challenge newsletter aims to inspire with ideas for careers, thought-provoking opportunities and recommended reading.

There are various other activities and competitions, some of which are included below. The list grows every year as additional competitions and opportunities present themselves and we are always keen to participate!



Year groups involved

Summary of event

When it takes place

Mock Magistrates’ Court Competition (National Competition)


Years 8 and 9

Students take on the roles of those within a Magistrates court. E.g. lawyers, witnesses and court staff to ‘try’ a case.

November to March

Model United Nations


Sixth form

Teams of three take on the role of a country in the UN to formulate draft resolutions and debate them in a UN style chamber.


What is uni?

Upper School

An opportunity for students to investigate what uni has to offer

Autumn/Spring term

Oxbridge Taster Day/Summer schools

Year 12

Year 12 students considering an Oxbridge application are given the chance to go an experience a day in the life.

Autumn/Spring term

‘Youth Speaks’ public speaking

Upper school

Year 10 and 11 students find their voice, not only by having their say on key, relevant issues, but also by learning how to speak in a public forum.

Spring term

Physics Olympiad

Year 12

A level Physicists take on the challenge of the Physics Olympiad

Round 1 - January

Chemistry Olympiad

Year 12

A level Chemists take on the challenge of the Chemistry Olympiad

Round 1 - January



Website links:

IGGY – Connecting and challenging the world’s brightest young minds

NRICH - Online mathematical learning support for able mathematicians

National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE)

London Gifted and Talented – How to challenge able children

Potential Plus UK – charity supporting children with high learning potential of all ages

The Sutton Trust – Improving social mobility through education

MENSA – The High IQ Society

The Literacy Trust  -