Most Able


The central aim of St Philomena’s is to provide the Most Able students with a positive educational experiences and opportunities which will enable them to discover and fulfil their own potential. The ‘Most Able’ programme seeks to ensure that the Most Able students, in the light of their unique gifts and talents, are enabled to become the person God calls them to be, and that they are equipped for their future pathways. 



  • To provide a full educational experience for students of all abilities, which is rooted in the Catholic faith and which promotes the students’ spiritual, aesthetic, moral, cultural, mental and physical development. 
  • To promote the highest achievement in all students, irrespective of ability or aspiration, and the development of Fusion Skills.

The aim is to provide flexible provision, within an inclusive framework which sets out to provide appropriate teaching and learning opportunities for Most Able students. 





Broad & Balanced Taught Curriculum - stretch and extension

The taught curriculum for the Most Able focuses on ‘stretch & extension’ but not more of the same. This provision includes enabling Most Able students to identify and account for prior knowledge and build on their interests in order to extend them further. They are encouraged to explore an area more deeply, going laterally with a concept, or using more complex terminology to describe abstract ideas. Questioning techniques are also used to boost thinking as a vital way of stretching Most Able  students. Most Able  students are encouraged to consider questions from different viewpoints and alternative perspectives. Specific strategies in lessons for challenging the Most Able include the use of Deep Thinking Challenges’ (‘DTCs’), ‘Big Questions’ and ‘Thinking Hard’. Increasingly as students move through the school, the work of Most Able students will become more evaluative and investigative in nature.


Academic Additional Learning - opportunities to develop high-level cognitive skills

For students from Year 7 to Year 11, there is a specific supra-curricular programme. Most Able  students in Year 12 and Year 13 can engage with the ‘iWonder’ supra-curricular programme. 


Extended Co-curricular St Phils + & Trips - to develop critical thinking skills

Most Able students are strongly encouraged to take part in a variety of clubs, to help them gain new knowledge and skills and develop their critical thinking through debates for instance.


Cultural Capital - extra cultural activities

We aim to ensure that our Most Able students have the opportunity to be involved in programmes and competitions. The KS3-4 Most Able Coordinator creates a termly document with Independent Learning Challenge Suggestions. Furthermore, the supra-curricular programmes provide students with opportunities to further their cultural capital. 


Careers, Progression & Destinations - bespoke support and guidance

The school aims to ensure that there is tailored support and guidance available to Most Able students regarding their progress and career aspirations. The KS3-4 Most Able Coordinator is available to Most Able students through the offer of regular ‘drop-in’ times.

St Philomena’s aims to ensure that engagement with Most Able students occurs through events and visits linked to external groups such as Higher Education Providers. 


Reading, Vocabulary & Oracy - focus on advanced research skills

End of Key Stage 2 data for Reading and Spelling Age of Most Able students is part of the Most Able identification process. The termly Independent Learning Challenge Suggestions and the supra-curricular programmes focus on developing students’ research and oracy skills.


Digital Learning - building a strong skills set

The supra-curricular Challenge! and iWonder programmes both use online resources and students develop skills to record their presentations and research a topic online. Useful links are also shared with students via a dedicated Google Classroom for each year group.


PSHEC / RSHE - debating at a high level

The PSHEC and RSHE curricula both include a number of debates and discussions, enabling Most Able students to develop their cognitive abilities and oracy skills. Deep-thinking questions are included in PSHE and RSHE to allow students to delve deeper into the topics.


A variety of processes enable individual Most Able students to be identified. The curriculum takes into account the needs of Most Able students through differentiation, extension, enrichment and acceleration, making use of all available expertise. The pastoral needs of our Most Able students are recognised and supported by the school.

To ensure a consistent and accurate identification process, a variety of methods are deployed. St Philomena’s takes advantage of information about students’ ability from a variety of sources:

  • NFER Testing 
  • GCSE point scores 
  • National levels of achievement 
  • Teacher recommendation and identification


The identification process results in an identified cohort of students who represent the Most Able students in each year group according to their academic ability. They are placed on the Most Able register. These identified students will be working above the level of their peers and are an identified cohort which represents approximately the top 10% of the year group. This process is inclusive of students with SEND who meet the above criteria. At Key Stage 5, Most Able students are identified by their target grades, of a minimum of one ‘A*’ and two ‘A’s, based on their KS4 examination performance.


Pupil Premium, SEND and EAL students are key sub-groups within the Most Able cohort and teachers are expected to be aware of their particular needs. The KS3-4 Most Able Coordinator and KS5 Oxbridge Coordinator monitor their progress and well-being closely. 

Please click here for our comprehensive Most Able policy

A Most Able Parental Engagement Workshop took place on Thursday 10th June 2021

The evening was held remotely via Google Meet.

Click to view the Powerpoint presentation from the evening: Most Able - Parental Engagement Powerpoint

The evening covered the following topics:

● What it means to be Most Able

● How St Philomena’s identifies Most Able students

● St Philomena’s provision for Most Able students

● How you can best support your Most Able daughter

● Questions

St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls

Shorts Road

Carshalton Surrey


T: 020 8642 2025


For general enquiries please mail:

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