High Learning Potential Best Practice Award2021-05-30T21:08:40+01:00

High Learning Potential Best Practice Award

The High Learning Potential Best Practice Award is designed to enable schools to demonstrate that they are meeting the needs of high potential learners. Gaining the award clearly shows parents, stakeholders and inspectors that the needs of high potential learners are understood and being met by the school. The award criteria cover:

  • The school’s commitment to high potential learners
  • Identification of these learners
  • Provision in place to support, challenge and develop the skills of high potential learners
  • Engagement with stakeholders and the community that supports high potential learners
  • Monitoring and evaluation of strategies

Using the detailed criteria as a tool for self-evaluation in provision for high potential learners enables school leaders to identify good practice and areas for development, and thereby to implement an action plan for improvement.

Schools can apply for assessment at Bronze, Silver or Gold levels. Award recipient schools receive a report of their assessment, a certificate and a logo to use on their website and letterhead, as well as promotional wording and publicity via Potential Plus UK’s website and social media channels.

The brief criteria for the High Learning Potential Best Practice Award are set out below. Click here for an example of detailed criteria relating to one area.

Applying for the High Learning Potential Best Practice Award

The award may be granted at three levels: Bronze, Silver or Gold. The decision on the level of the award and whether or not to grant an award will be made on a ‘best fit’ basis and a continuing commitment to developing excellent practice. It is unlikely that any school will fit neatly into one category or meet all the criteria for the Gold Award.

Application Steps

  1. Complete the audit by highlighting the best fit category of the current practice in the school.
  2. Create a portfolio of evidence, using the suggested evidence listed as a guide.
  3. Contact the Schools Team at Potential Plus UK to organise a date and time for a school visit to discuss and consider the evidence presented. This visit will include:
    • A brief discussion with the Headteacher.
    • Discussion with the HLP Lead and/or Senior Leadership Team (SLT) Line Manager with responsibility for HLP provision.
    • Student voice activity to gather the views of learners.
    • Meetings with a variety of staff, e.g. subject leader, SLT member, governor, Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT), classroom teacher, new member of staff.
    • A learning walk to consider the school ethos of inclusion, challenge and risk-taking.
  4. After the visit, the school will receive a written report indicating the outcome and, if the award is not granted, suggested actions to secure the award.

Element A: Whole School Commitment
The school recognises that high potential learners are important and have distinct and varied needs. It is committed to securing the best outcomes in terms of attainment, achievement and well-being

A.1 Inclusive Ethos The school has created an inclusive ethos and a culture of learning, where high achievement and academic excellence are celebrated, promoted relentlessly and valued
A.2 Leadership Provision for high potential learners is a responsibility at every level of leadership, including senior leaders and governors
A.3 Policy There is a policy for the identification of and provision for high potential learners that is reflected in everyday practice
A.4 Transparent Provision Information on high learning potential identification and provision is transparent and published to the wider community
A.5 Professional Development (PD) for Staff The understanding and practice of staff and governors is developed through a programme of induction, professional development and briefings to provide updates on latest developments and research

Element B: Identification
The school knows who their high potential learners are and has a sophisticated understanding of common characteristics and profiles and of individual strengths and needs, which are used as the basis for planning

B.1 Rationale There is a clear rationale for the identification of high potential learners
B.2 Terminology and
The school has agreed a common terminology and language which is used to discuss high potential learners
B.3 Identification Criteria Multiple criteria and sources of evidence are used to identify high potential learners
B.4 Underachieving High Learning Potential Appropriate systems are in place to identify the potential of all learners and highlight high potential learners who are underachieving, with swift, effective interventions when needed

Element C: Provision
The school makes good provision to ensure that the varying needs of high potential learners are met both academically and socially

C.1 Enabling Curriculum The curriculum offered is broad, balanced and flexible and provides all learners with the opportunity to reach their full potential
C.2 Pathways Support and guidance on making effective and appropriate curriculum choices is available, especially at critical points in learners’ education
C.3 Classroom: Teaching Strategies Learning and teaching strategies in everyday practice meet needs of high potential learners, providing opportunities for depth, mastery and learning beyond the curriculum
C.4 Classroom: Planning Information on high potential learners informs planning
C.5 Skill Development There are opportunities to develop higher order thinking skills and essential/desirable life and study skills; high potential learners are enabled to develop strengths and improve weaker areas
C.6 Social and Emotional Needs Social and emotional needs of high potential learners are identified and addressed

Element D: Engagement with Stakeholders and the Community
Effective communication with all stakeholders procures the best outcomes for learners

D.1 Transition Information Information is shared effectively on transfer between schools and between Key Stages
D.2 Sharing Information within School Teachers and support staff  share information on individual and groups of high potential learners, across subject specialisms and between year groups
D.3 Collaboration with Parents/Carers Parents/carers are respected as valuable partners in the process of supporting high potential learners
D.4 Collaboration External to the School The school actively seeks partnerships with other education providers, including other schools and external agencies, to improve internal expertise and learning opportunities for learners
D.5 Feedback from High Potential Learners Strategies are in place to listen to and act on the views of high potential learners

Element E: Monitoring and Evaluation
The school analyses outcomes and is ambitious and restless to improve further for cohorts, subject-areas and individuals

E.1 Attainment Data Attainment and progress data are monitored  to ensure high potential learners are achieving well above national averages and making better than expected progress
E.2 Learning  and Teaching There is systematic evaluation of learning and teaching for high potential learners
E.3 Parental feedback Parents/carers are involved in evaluating high learning potential provision

High Learning Potential Best Practice Award Pricing

Schools need to be members to access the full criteria. The prices below are for the assessment. Awards are valid for 3 years or as long as the school is a member if their membership lapses before the 3 years.

The assessment costs are:

Primary 1 form entry (<210) £600
Primary 2+ form entry (>210) £675
Secondary <1000 £700
Secondary >1000 £750

*All quotes are plus VAT, and travel and other expenses at cost

The detailed criteria for the High Learning Potential Best Practice Award is available free of charge to member schools. We encourage schools to use the criteria for self-evaluation and to develop an action plan for improvement.

Potential Plus UK’s programme of professional development supports working towards the High Learning Potential Best Practice Award. Find out more information here.

Become a Member

Families benefit from access to our advice line, our electronic resources and our Focus newsletter.

Schools benefit from access to our advice line, online resources and the High Learning Potential Best Practice Award.

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