There are different ways in which teachers can meet the needs of their most able mathematicians. The most prevalent in UK schools is through acceleration – pupils move through the school curriculum faster than others, often taking assessments or examinations early. For some highly able students this is fine, so long as these three conditions can be satisfied:

  • the pupil should have absolute mastery of the content so far – i.e. they would be expected to get a really high score on any assessment
  • they should be emotionally and socially secure enough to be working at a higher content level (this is less important in maths than, say, in English, but does matter if students are to be working with older pupils)
  • there should be a clear pathway through to the next stage of mathematical education – ensuring continuity and progression and not a ‘stop-start’ or repetitive experience.

Nrich Supporting Highly Able Mathematicians – Teachers

Age 5 to 18

Mathematical Challenges for Able Pupils in Key Stages 1 & 2

Mathematical Challenges for able pupils KS1 & 2


Good literacy skills underpin effective learning for all learners, whatever they are studying. These skills support effective communication, and equip learners for achievement and success within education, life in the wider community and the world of work. Developing higher order literacy skills for our learners is therefore a priority for all schools.

Art and Design:

Gifted and talented pupils in art and design are those who: show distinctive skills in their ability to make, record and manipulate in visual and/or tactile form; have a very good knowledge and understanding of the subject area; are able to interpret, critically appraise, problem solve, take risks and develop information, materials, thoughts and ideas; and show the tenacity and ability to imagine, create and express in visual and/or tactile form in order to make a unique and original contribution to art and design.


Through the study of Humanities (History, Geography and Religious Education), children make sense of their world and enrich their understanding of it. We believe it is a tool of learning and communication and that skills developed through the study of Humanities are applicable in everyday life. It fires curiosity and sparks a sense of belonging to the bigger picture through time and space.

Through the cross-curricular teaching of Humanities we also promote pupils’ higher order skills in Literacy, Numeracy and ICT as well as developing their thinking skills.

Cross-curricular links


Humanities contribute significantly to the teaching of literacy by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Children develop these skills in many ways including through writing and reading reports, letters, and explanatory texts.


Humanities contribute to numeracy in a variety of ways. Pupils use numbers and analytical skills, e.g. statistics, timelines. They also have the opportunity to use and apply skills needed to interpret and handle data in the form of graphs, maps and diagrams, e.g. census information, map skills.

Humanities can be linked to work in other curriculum areas including: art, DT, Food Technology, Science, Music.


Pupils who have a talent for music may demonstrate confident instrumental skills or may show a high level of intuition when responding to a variety of music. They will generally possess a high level of skill in 1 or more of the 3 strands of Listening, Composing and Performing. This will be evident at key stage 3 and those pupils deemed gifted and talented may choose to keep the subject for GCSE level and beyond

  • Gifted and talented pupils should be encouraged to critically evaluate their own work, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and improve their own learning
  • Gifted and talented pupils are encouraged to show leadership and to share their musical expertise with lesser experienced students, particular during ensemble work.

Pupils who are identified as gifted talented in music may, for example, display the following skills across the 3 subject strands of Listening, Composing and Performing:


  • be captivated by sound and engage fully with music
  • listen actively and respond intuitively to a wide range of music
  • show a high level of musical awareness in written responses to music excerpts
  • manage simple aural dictation exercises
  • be able to accurately sing or play back musical motifs as played by the teacher

or recorded source


  • demonstrate a high level of proficiency on an orchestral or classroom instrument
  • memorise music quickly without any apparent effort, be able to repeat more complex rhythmical and melodic phrases given by the teacher and repeat melodies (sometimes after one hearing)
  • demonstrate the ability to communicate through music, for example to sing or play with musical expression and with confidence
  • perform with a degree of confidence in front of peers and engage fully in the performance evaluation process


  • Show strong preferences, single-mindedness and a sustained inner drive to make music.
  • Demonstrate a flair for making up original ideas as well as drawing on other musical influences to compose their own music.
  • Show an ability to manipulate or develop a short musical idea into a longer work
  • Show an ability to write down or record their original musical ideas

General Links:


Welsh Assembly Government & ESTYN:

More Links ….

Challenge for All