The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Gifted and talented

Ian Warwick

How to stretch the more able: go off-piste, define differentiation and avoid time-wasting marking

Conference chair Ian Warwick addresses some of the questions posed by delegates at the 'Stretch and Challenge the More Able' event. Like a GPS, teachers are prone to denying students responsibility for their own path-finding We're told the curriculum is about mastering all learning at a child's own...
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Torsten Payne

A lesson to challenge every pupil

Finding opportunities to stretch in the classroom shouldn't be a challenge. Here are three ingredients of a lesson that will get all pupils, including the more able, thinking. According to Ofsted , the best teaching ‘engages and includes all pupils, with work that is challenging enough and that...
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Liz Worthen

From differentiation tips to mastery: the changing world of gifted and talented

Liz Worthen takes a reflective look back at what’s changed (and what hasn’t) in regards to stretch and challenge for more able pupils. When the gifted and talented initiative launched , back in the heady new Labour days of 1999, our first (and ongoing challenge) was the name itself: what did it...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Improving practice to support more able pupils

Elizabeth Holmes outlines what schools need to consider to ensure teachers are equipped with the right tools to support more able pupils. Supporting the individual needs of children is what great teachers do every day. It would be unthinkable to expect to go into a classroom and ‘deliver’ an...
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