Policy for Exceptionally Able Students

Luttrellstown Community College

Draft Policy for Exceptionally Able Students 2009

Exceptionally Able Students


"Pupils who are exceptionally able or talented are those who have demonstrated their capacity to achieve high performance on one or more of the following areas:

  • General intellectual ability
  • Specific academic aptitude
  • Creative or productive thinking
  • Leadership ability
  • Visual and performing arts
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Psychomotor ability e.g. in athletics or gymnastics" (SERC 1993)

Legal Framework

The Education Act (1998) obliges schools to meet special educational needs of all students including the exceptionally able.

Policy Statement from Luttrellstown Community College

At Luttrellstown Community College we are committed to providing an environment, which encourages all students to maximise their potential.  We will have high expectations for all our students with regard to achievement in all areas of school life.  Our school culture will acknowledge, value and celebrate excellence.

We aim to:

  • Maintain an ethos where it is expected to work to ones potential
  • Encourage all students to be independent learners
  • Provide a wide range of curricular activities
  • Provide differentiated work for students within the classroom
  • Provide opportunities for students with similar interests to engage in group work

Curriculum Planning

We are committed to Continuous Professional Development to ensure that subject department planning meetings emphasise the importance of creating an environment and activities that allow the exceptionally able the opportunity to engage in higher order thinking.  Students involved in higher order thinking skills will transform information by manipulating facts and ideas to make interpretations, hypothesise, synthesise, generalise and in so doing gain greater understanding and discover new meaning.  Students become active participants in their own learning and continuously challenge themselves to maximise their potential.

Continuous Professional Development will emphasise

  • Awareness of different learning styles
  • Training in differentiation
  • Collegiate planning approach for most able students.
The following approaches may be adapted to support and challenge gifted students.

  • Learning centres will be created in subject areas to allow independence of study.
  • 'Extension Folders' will be provided for students to store alternative work.
  • Open-ended assignments that allow creativity will be offered to students.
  • Out of class support will be offered to students to stimulate higher order thinking.
  • Extra curricular involvement will be encouraged e.g. Young Scientist or other such initiatives that encourage creative thinking and allow gifted students to experience success and enjoyment in learning.
  • Flexibility in grouping will be allowed so that students with similar interests can work together.
  • There will be regular opportunities for students to express what they are learning in non-traditional ways e.g. public speaking, debating, competitions, creative projects and sporting events.
  • Study groups will be created so as to encourage co-operative learning, which is especially valuable in providing for a broad spectrum of ability. Students will be allocated leadership roles and over directed teaching, which can frustrate the gifted learner, will be avoided.

Extra Resources

CTYI               Dublin City University, Dublin 9       01 7005634

The Centre for talented youth in Ireland works with students of exceptional ability.  They identify high ability students in Ireland though annual talent searches.  They provide services for these students including Saturday Classes, residential summer programmes, correspondence courses and discover days. They give support to parents and teachers and continuously carry out research in this area.