School Advice Sheets - Classroom Practice and High Potential Learners

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How do you plan for and motivate high potential learners? Potential Plus UK’s advice sheets for schools offer information about good practice, helping schools and academies to better understand the needs of their high potential learners and to provide well for them academically, socially and emotionally.

School Members can access all of our advice sheets and download them free of charge by logging in. The School Advice Sheets are available to non-members to purchase and download at £3.60 each.

See our School Advice Sheets Page for more advice sheets on subjects such as: identification of high potential learners, dual or multiple exceptionality, social and emotional needs of high potential learners.

S301 – Teachers Developing Talent

What characteristics help a teacher to nurture talent in young people? This advice sheet looks at what qualities teachers who develop talent have and what can be done to increase motivation in students. It is aimed at school leaders, high learning potential lead teachers and classroom teachers.

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S302 – Motivating High Potential Learners

This advice sheet highlights some of the reasons why high potential learners struggle with motivation. To try to increase the motivation of high potential learners, eight strategies are suggested for teachers to try in the classroom. It is aimed at teachers in both the primary and secondary phases.

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S305 – Planning for Challenge: Lesson Plan Proforma

The key to effective provision for high potential learners is in planning lessons to ensure all learners are challenged. This advice sheet offers a proforma for use in planning lessons that encourages high expectations, with reminders to plan for the use of higher order thinking skills in a sequence that encourages experiential learning. Further, there are Assessment for Learning, literacy and numeracy, and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development prompts.

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S306 – Higher Order Thinking Skills

Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) are types of learning that require higher cognitive processing and have more generalised benefits than Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS). Bloom’s Taxonomy sets out cognitive processes from lower to higher order skills and can be used to think about creating opportunities to challenges learners at all levels. This advice sheet is aimed at lead teachers and teachers at all phases of education. The sheet outlines the different types of thinking skills and the kinds of questions and tasks that can be used for learners at each skill level.

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S307 – Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy Resource

This resource suggests question cues and tasks at every level of thinking skills in Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy. It can be used by class teachers to set tasks and questions at the different levels of thinking.

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S308 – Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy Resource

This resource shows how tasks might be set using digital technology at every level of thinking skills in Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy. It can be used by class teachers to set digital tasks and homework at the different levels of thinking.

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S311 – Helping High Potential Learners to Develop Self-Regulation Skills

Self-regulation is the process of taking control of one’s learning through planning, monitoring and evaluating. High potential learners may struggle to develop self-regulation due to a lack of consistent challenge. This advice sheet is aimed at teachers and other educators so that they can support learners in this area.

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S312 – Self-Regulation Learner Resource

This advice sheet gives two learner resources that ask questions to prompt learners to plan how they are going to approach a task, as well as check their effort and their progress in meeting challenges and developing self-regulation with regards to their learning.

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S313 – Enquiry-Based Learning

Enquiry-based learning gives learners the opportunity to ask questions and investigate topics through researching and finding out for themselves. It encourages high potential learners to learn at their own pace: building upon their existing knowledge by starting at their own point of understanding or awareness. This advice sheet is aimed at teachers and covers what enquiry-based learning is, the benefits for high potential learners and how to go about facilitating enquiry-based learning.

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S317 – Handwriting Difficulties in High Potential Learners

High potential learners who have difficulty with handwriting can sometimes be misunderstood in school, especially if ability and achievement are being assessed in written work and tests. If learners have difficulty expressing their ideas, opinions and knowledge on paper, it might be assumed that they have little knowledge or have not learned from the lesson. It is important for these learners to have opportunities to also present their knowledge in other ways. This advice sheet is aimed at teachers and others in an educational setting to suggest ways that this might be addressed.

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S320 – SOLO Taxonomy

Finding ways to engage and extend the learning of high potential learners can be a challenge. SOLO Taxonomy (Biggs and Collis, 1982) can be a useful tool in understanding the complexities of thinking required by a task. This advice sheet is aimed at teachers, and parents who home educate. Its objective is to help ensure that high potential learners receive appropriate challenge in their education tasks.

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S321 – Divergent Thinking

Often associated with creativity, divergent thinking refers to how we generate ideas beyond usual expectations; how thoughts can diverge from the norm. Divergent thinking aids problem solving and helps us to see beyond artificial limitations, which has positive impacts in students’ work, aspirations and personal lives. This advice sheet, aimed at teachers and teaching assistants, sets out what divergent thinking is, how cultivating these skills can be beneficial for high potential learners and the types of activities that help to develop them.

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