Most Able, Gifted and Talented

Lead Teacher – Miss J Barnes

As a fully comprehensive school we have students with a wide range of abilities and talents. We aim to ensure that our most able pupils have high aspirations and are given every opportunity to fulfil their academic potential during their time here.

Identification of most able, gifted and talented students is based on quantitative and qualitative data and by specific departments who will recognise ability, giftedness and talents in their subjects.

Our teachers use challenge activities within lessons alongside our entrepreneurship model to develop the valuable skills of teamwork, problem-solving, creativity, passion, risk taking and determination. The gifted and talented learners are encouraged to develop leadership and mentoring roles both within the classroom and the whole Academy.

In addition, the Academy provides activities and experiences to extend its most able, gifted and talented pupils. This could be as part of the extensive session 3 enrichment programme that is offered to all students or specific activities, such as visits to universities, masterclasses and guest speakers.

We have strong links with a number of Universities and as we encourage our most able students to aspire to attending University, we reinforce this by taking them on University day trips so that they can experience University life for themselves.

Selected students in Years 7 and 8 take part in The Brilliant Club Scholars Programme. The Brilliant Club is an award winning organisation which matches leading PhD researchers with schools to help stretch students beyond the curriculum. Students take part in university style tutorials, attend launch and graduation trips at prestigious universities and complete an extended project.

As one of only 6 schools in Lancashire, DACA has been chosen by Lancaster University and Villiers Park Educational Trust to participate in the East Lancashire Scholars Programme. The programme involves a limited number of highly able candidates in Years 10 – 13 being paired with a post-graduate university mentor for one on one mentoring sessions and training. In addition the Scholars participate in workshops, conferences and residential trips throughout their journey on their programme, with the aim of inspiring students and removing obstacles to them getting access to the top universities in the country.


Our gifted students in Key Stages 4 and 5 are members of IGGY which is an online community where bright 13 to 18 year olds from all over the world collaborate, learn, and share ideas. It allows students to stretch their critical and creative thinking, broaden their communication skills, develop research techniques and become accomplished independent learners. Members can undergo challenges, attempt themed quizzes, take online learning courses in various different subject matters, and debate issues pertaining to the real world – not just around academic content.

The progress of students is monitored through our Praising Entrepreneurs Programme. It is expected that all teachers track the progress of the most able, gifted and talented students to ensure that they are not underachieving and realise their potential.

Parents and carers are asked to inform the Academy about talents or aptitudes of their children and to encourage them to participate in extra-curricular activities both in and out of the Academy. If there are any concerns or queries about their child’s progress or identification, the lead teacher responsible for most able, gifted and talented students can be contacted.