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Gifted & Talented Programme

Attleborough Academy Brilliant Club

The Gifted and Talented approach at Attleborough Academy recognises that students develop at different stages of their education and at differing speed. The Gifted and Talented student list is therefore organic and aims to include students at different stages of their education as they develop and their blossoming ability is identified. The Attleborough Academy initiative aims to be wholly inclusive; to provide student support in relation to their whole education, and their individual personal development, rather than focusing entirely on their specific area of high ability.

In 2006, as Attleborough High School, we became the first school in Norfolk, and the first secondary school in East Anglia, to be awarded the prestigious ‘Challenge Award’. This award is granted by the ‘National Association of Able Children in Education’ (NACE) to schools that provide evidence of excellence in provision for able, gifted and talented students.

In 2011, after a rigorous NACE inspection process, we became only the eighth secondary school in the country to be re-accredited with this award. The NACE inspection report pointed to the "high status afforded Gifted and Talented education" and the "embeddedness of the Gifted and Talented agenda across the school".  The report also compliments our "teachers' strong subject knowledge" and how "students are identified and supported within an inclusive environment".

The achievement of this award in the past is a reflection of the commitment of all our staff to creating a culture of expectation and success for every student in this Academy. Our overall aim is always to "achieve, significant, measurable improvement in the attainment, aspirations, motivation and self-esteem of Gifted and Talented students".

Since converting to an Academy in 2014, we maintain our commitment to challenging students of all abilities. At Attleborough Academy Norfolk, we recognise that individual students develop at different paces and ages and that there is a huge diversity in types and styles of intelligence and skills. Our policy defines ‘Gifted’ students as those who show high ability across academic subjects and ‘talented’ students as those who are highly able in practical areas such as Drama, Art and PE. The definition aims to recognise a range of ‘intelligences’, both subject based and those that are extra-curricular.

Students are identified as ‘Gifted’ when they score over 120 in two categories in Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs) or over 126 in one category. Students also qualify by achieving high levels in KS3 Teacher Assessments, KS4 and KS5 examinations and through teacher referral. ‘Talented’ students in Art, Drama, Music and PE are identified by a range of subject specific criteria based on National best practice.

We have introduced a range of opportunities and initiatives to develop the effectiveness of learning for all our students. We aim to ensure our approaches are inclusive and that all students throughout the Academy can look towards achieving top grades.

One of these opportunities is the participation in the Scholars’ Programme, which is run by The Brilliant Club, an award winning charity that seeks to increase fair access to highly-selective universities. The Brilliant Club is a national programme and they are currently working with over 5,000 students in 150 schools across the country. If you would like to find out more information about The Brilliant Club you can visit the website

The Scholars’ Programme is designed to give students exposure to a genuine academic environment and to experience learning in the style of a university student. So far, the first cohort of Year 9 and 10 students in the academic year 2014-2015 learned about the ‘the history of the Scottish Chapbook’. For 2015-2016, the Year 7 and 8 Cohort wrote a project with the poignant title ‘Can terrorism ever be justified?’ whereas the Year 9 and 10 cohorts have started with ‘Security vs Liberty in the Post 9/11 World’. So far, we have a 100% success rate in students graduating from the programme.


If you have any questions about Gifted and Talented provision in, please contact, via the Academy Office:

  • Mrs McConnell (Assistant Principal)