Higher Learning Potential

How we support students with Higher Learning Potential

We believe that all children are entitled to an education that will enable them to develop to their full potential. We are committed to providing a stimulating and challenging curriculum for all our students.All students have individual needs, which puts personalised learning at the heart of Teaching and Learning at Lakelands. High Learning Potential (HLP) students should be given the opportunity to access an optimal breadth and depth of learning; to this end, we aim to provide opportunities to develop specific skills and talents, in order for their confidence and enthusiasm to flourish.


Students who:

  • are functioning at the upper end of the ability and/or attainment range, or above that normally associated with their year group – usually within the top 20% (e.g. targeted Grade 7 in one or more subjects)
  • are easily learning new skills and concepts, and can quickly apply these to new situations with minimal support
  • typically enjoy learning, regularly answer questions and know answers, and find it easy to progress with teacher support
  • have a CAT score of 110+ in one or more of the key cognitive areas (Verbal, Quantitative, Non-Verbal and Spatial), although this is by no means the only or the most reliable indicator.


The needs of able students are met as part of differentiated classroom provision.


Students who:

  • are functioning at the top end of the ability and/or attainment range, or well above that normally associated with their year group – usually within the top 5% (e.g. targeted Grade 8+ in one or more subjects)
  • are able to assimilate skills and knowledge to new situations with ease, demonstrating a degree of innate ability and so progressing rapidly in a subject or range of subjects
  • may challenge assumptions, test a teacher’s own subject knowledge, be intellectually curious, present unusual ideas and/or thrive on complexity
  • have a CAT score of 120+, although this is by no means the only or the most reliable indicator


Their needs may require additional provision, enrichment and/or tailored programmes of work.


Students who:

  • exhibit enhanced talents in sport, art, drama or music
  • demonstrate creativity, mechanical ingenuity, visual or performance related abilities


Their needs may also require additional provision, enrichment and/or tailored programmes of work.

Dual or Multiple Exceptionalities (DME)

Students who are able, gifted or talented but also subject to a barrier of learning, such as Dyslexia, Asperger’s Syndrome, or a physical disability.


Their needs are met as part of differentiated classroom provision, through liaison with SEN, and may also require additional provision, enrichment and/or tailored programmes of work.


It is worth remembering that HLP students can also be:

  • of high ability but of low motivation

  • of good verbal ability but have poor writing skills

  • very able but with a short attention span

  • very able with poor social skills

  • keen to disguise their abilities.

It is important that we are aware of these barriers and implement strategies to help them overcome them and achieve their full potential.

We support students with HLP by:

  • Monitoring and tracking progress of identified students

  • Purposeful differentiation in lessons, ensuring there is appropriate challenge.

  • Extra-curricular opportunities

  • Individual mentoring where appropriate

  • A focus on opportunities post-16.

Identification of High Learning Potential

Sources of information

The identification of HLP students is a process which the whole teaching and support staff participate in, as well as parents, carers and the children themselves. The identification begins when a child joins the academy. The academy is keen to understand their achievements and interests in particular areas as they join the school. Discussions with parents and carers will enable us to create the best possible picture of the child, and records of awards and achievements in academic, sporting, musical, artistic and any extra-curricular activities will be helpful in this respect.

Both qualitative and quantitative information is used for identification purposes:

  • A programme of formative, summative (internal and external) assessment takes place

  • Teachers should, in the normal course of assessment, monitor for students who demonstrate consistently high achievement, rapid grasp of new concepts, recognised characteristics of ability, successful responses to high level tasks within the learning environment or occasional glimpses of high potential

  • Adequate provision should then be made for HLP students (see Teaching & Learning Strategies)

  • Identification of HLP students may be made using the following sources: CAT scores, KS2 scores, consistently high attainment or accelerated progress (evidenced in regular data input points).



  • Identify those who meet the criteria for HLP students
  • Purposefully provide challenge and extension for HLP students in lessons
  • Tracking and monitoring of identified students
  • Identify and address underachievement

Faculty Leaders

  • Be aware of all students identified as HLP within their faculty
  • Prepare a subject-specific checklist of criteria, with the support of the HLP Coordinator
  • Inform faculty staff of these criteria
  • Tracking and monitoring of identified students across the faculty
  • Setting targets for HLP, as part of the Action and Impact process

HLP Coordinator

  • Prepare from prior attainment data a register of up to the top 20% of each cohort year, divided into Able, Gifted, Talented and Dual Exceptionality
  • Gather names of identified students from all areas of the curriculum
  • Categorise this information in a register, circulated to all teaching staff
  • Deliver CPD and regularly raise staff awareness of strategies to meet the needs of students with HLP
  • Liaise with Faculty Leaders on organisation of enrichment activities for HLP students
  • Liaise with Careers Leader to ensure there are appropriate career opportunities for HLP
  • Review HLP Register on a termly basis

Careers Leader

  • Liaise with HLP Coordinator on career opportunities for HLP

Deputy Head

  • Monitor schemes of work; ensure they allow opportunities for enrichment and extension
  • Meet with Faculty Leaders and SLT to review provision within faculties biannually
  • Meet with Faculty Leaders to track and monitor progress of HLP in subjects – through Action and Impact process
  • Monitor the provision of HLP students
  • Evaluate the progress made by HLP students on a termly basis
  • Work with the HLP Co-ordinator to oversee the process and activity

Teaching & Learning Strategies

We offer opportunities for HLP students to thrive through:

  • An enriching, stimulating and relevant curriculum

  • Regular reinforcement of high expectations, e.g. through explicit challenge built into WALTs/WILFs, all lesson activities, feedback and homework

  • Independent and collaborative learning activities

  • The focus on thinking and study skills, including metacognition (awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes)

  • Questioning that probes and challenges, encouraging creative, analytical and evaluative thinking

  • Students self-assessing and evaluating their own work

  • Provision of more challenging subject matter to access broader knowledge and develop more sophisticated thinking and reasoning skills

  • Encouraging risk-taking and the experience of setbacks to develop resilience.

Success Criteria

The success of this policy is measured by qualitative and quantitative evidence of an individual student’s progress and the development of the HLP Register as a whole. This includes:

  • Improved attainment in the areas in which they have High Learning Potential

  • Increasing active involvement by students in assessment of their own progress and target setting

  • Increasing higher level questions being asked by students

  • Increasing levels of independent learning, including risk taking in learning

  • Increasing confidence and improving attitudes to learning.