Gifted & Talented
"West Lakes Academy is a good school." - OFSTED 2013
"Examples of outstanding teaching were seen in many subjects including in English, mathematics and science." - OFSTED 2013
"Students are increasingly proud to be a part of the academy." - OFSTED 2013
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Gifted and Talented

Our beliefs and values

The Academy is committed to giving a personalised learning experience to all of its learners. As a result of this, we recognise the need to provide extended provision for those learners who are more able. In all subjects across the Academy, we aim to ensure that talented students achieve the highest levels of attainment and make exceptional progress in their time here.

We are committed to:

  • providing a challenging programme of study and opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom, that enrich and supplement the individual’s need both academically and socially
  • nurturing the talents of our most able learners and communicating effectively with parents and carers with regard to issues associated to the Gifted and Talented
  • championing achievement and celebrating the excitement of excellence
  • providing a coordinated approach to transition between primary and secondary phases

Definition: A Gifted learner is one that has the potential to excel academically in one or more subjects such as English, Drama, Technology or Mathematics. A Talented learner is one who has the ability to excel in practical skills such as Sport, Leadership or Artistic performance.

Identification: Gifted and Talented learners are identified using a variety of methods such as National Tests (SATS), Cognitive Ability Tests (CATS) in Year 7, teacher assessment and nomination, and parent nomination. This is a continuous whole Academy process and it is reviewed annually.


Within the classroom, we endeavour to:

  • Provide a stimulating learning environment with high quality resources
  • Support Gifted and Talented learners to ask searching questions
  • Hold meaningful discussions between learners with the teacher, other adults and other young people
  • Set challenging tasks, recognising that struggle is important
  • Use effective questioning, needing higher order answers
  • Differentiate learning, including home learning
  • Give effective explanations
  • Review learning

We enrich provision beyond the classroom by providing:

  • A wide range of extra curricular activities and visits where possible
  • Visits to universities where possible
  • Out-of-hours enrichment opportunities

Current projects

There are currently some exciting projects occurring within the Academy aimed at Gifted and Talented Learners:

Year 7

The Young Enterprise Challenge:
Talented learners have been given the opportunity to set up their own business during their first year here at the Academy. It encourages learners to develop their thinking, problem solving and leadership skills.

Year 8

The **ASPIRE Group:
This group allows learners to talk about outstanding pieces of learning on a weekly basis. Learners are also looking into their chosen career, the entry routes they have to take and the skills and qualifications that are needed for this role.

Years 10-13

West Lakes Academy Debating Society:
This society meets weekly to discuss philosophical and topical issues. The society encourages learners to develop their public speaking skills and to form coherent arguments.

Link with Oxford University:
We also have a link with one of the colleges at Oxford University. Some of our Year 12s will be spending some time at the college during the summer term.

Gifted and Talented Policy

For any information concerning Gifted and Talented Education at the Academy, please contact us.