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The Buckingham School

The Buckingham School

Most Able 

Most Able

At The Buckingham School, we are keen to provide opportunities to students that will help them reach their maximum potential. All of our students are entitled to a programme that will enable them to flourish, not only academically, but socially.


Our aim at The Buckingham School is to ensure that all our Most Able students are identified and supported as they progress through the school, acknowledging that attainment in Year 6 is not the sole indicator of ability and potential. We want our brightest students to:

  • achieve success in examinations at the highest possible level
  • have access to a differentiated curriculum appropriate to their academic potential
  • feel encouraged and valued so that they can achieve their full potential
  • be stimulated and challenged in each lesson
  • gain increasing independence and confidence in their learning as they move through the school
  • be equipped to deal with life post-16, whether in Higher Education, in training or at work.

Definition and Identification of Most Able:

We acknowledge that there is no definition for Most Able by Ofsted or the DfE: “Schools should develop their own methods of identifying and assessing these pupils (DfE)” and so we have a number of identification processes that ensure all students with emerging potential are highlighted and included in any extra or different provision. Additions to our Most Able cohort are confirmed and publicised at key points throughout Years 7- 11.

We have two distinct categories of Most Able - those identified based on KS2 results and reflecting DfE guidance that “Many schools are taking a scaled score of 110 or above in reading and maths as a benchmark for being ‘more able’ and have been assessed in writing as ‘working at a greater depth within the expected standard”. These are known throughout the school as the 'official' Most Able and are clearly identified as such on entry to Year 7; these students are those that the school is judged on in terms of Year 11 outcomes.

A second category of students with great potential for academic success are termed MA* and are added to the cohort at key points and based on a variety of data:

  • Year 6 Leaders identify 'Bright Sparks' in summer term prior to joining TBS. These are students who may not do well at KS2 tests but who nevertheless are bright, sparky and with great potential.
  • CAT scores are analysed in September Year 7 and those with a mean SAS of 116+ and whose Reading Age is above birth age are also added as MA*
  • There are two further trawls for ‘later developing’ MA students, a) midway through Year 8 and b) at the end of Year 9, prior to the commencement of GCSE courses. These are based on subject teacher recommendation; where a student is mentioned in 3+ subject areas, they too join the cohort as MA*
  • In this way, we grow our Most Able cohort throughout their schooling, acknowledging and celebrating their potential.

School Responsibilities:

Curriculum Leaders and Subject Leaders will ensure that all deliverers of their subject adhere to this policy.

The Most Able Co-ordinator (currently Lead Practitioner):

  • Will monitor and review standards and attainment of Most Able students across the curriculum to ensure they are working to their ability.
  • Should track progress data after each collection to identify underperformance and arrange support, where necessary
  • Should liaise with SLT and Curriculum Leaders to ensure effective and progressive strategies are being implemented and underachieving students are supported.
  • Will ensure that the Most Able students are encouraged to make appropriate course choices (KS3 to KS4, and KS4 to KS5), by offering them pathways that allow the study of the most challenging courses that are recognised highly in further education.
  • Will mentor MAPP students throughout their schooling to explicitly track, nurture and inspire them to aim high.
  • Will meet MA and MA* students termly to gain feedback and suggestions for Teaching and Learning improvements specific to their needs
  • Will co-ordinate Academic Challenge Days for Most Able students during Gain Time annually
  • Will communicate with parents when MA* are added to the Most Able cohort in order to celebrate potential and encourage support and tracking of challenge by parents.

Suggestions for Parents / Carers in supporting your able child

  • Puzzles, crosswords, logic games, word games, card games and board games all help to develop thinking skills while encouraging social interaction
  • Encourage your child to ask questions about a variety of topics and respond as honestly as possible but admit if you do not have the answer
  • Encourage free time through physical exercise or activities
  • Encourage wider reading

Choosing a University

Choosing a university is always an exciting, yet overwhelming, experience. To start thinking about options and places of study, look to The Department of Education website:

Starting in the Spring, universities locally and nationally will start to host Open Days and Fairs. Please check in to the site to find out when and where your child can visit.

'Most Able' Extra Curricular Activities

The Buckingham School run a variety of extra-curricular activities to help to support and develop our 'Most Able' students.  If you would like to find out more about the activities available, please contact the relevant Curriculum Leader.