Most Able


St Philomena’s aims:

  • To provide a Catholic education for students of all abilities, which is broad and balanced and which promotes their spiritual, aesthetic, moral, cultural, mental and physical development.
  • To promote the highest achievement in all students, irrespective of ability or aspiration.


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

Provision for the Most Able is about ‘stretch & extension’ but not more of the same. This provision includes enabling MAGT 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 MAGT students. MAGT 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 MAGT students will become more evaluative and investigative in nature.

We aim to ensure that our Most Able students will have the opportunity to be involved in super-curricular activities such as ‘Surrey SATRO’, which aims to get more young people involved in STEM subjects, and competitions like the ‘Legal Apprentice’. They receive support in order to achieve their full potential and raise their aspirations. St Philomena’s aims to ensure that engagement with MAGT students occurs also through events and visits linked to external groups such as Higher Education Providers, including University College London, King’s College London, and the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford.

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

To ensure a consistent and accurate identification process, a variety of methods will be employed. St Philomena’s will take advantage of information about students from a variety of sources:

  •  NFER Testing

  • GCSE point scores 

  • National levels of achievement 

  • Teacher recommendation and identification


This process will result in an identified cohort of students who represent the Most Able students in each year group according to their academic ability. These identified students will be working above the level of their peers and will represent approximately the top 10% of the year group. This process is inclusive of students with SEND who may not present within the top 10% of students within their year group, but will have been identified through assessment carried out by the SEND department for every Key Stage. Pupil Premium students are a key sub-group within the Most Able cohort.

Please click here for our comprehensive Most Able policy

Most Able Learning Strategies

  • Task: Pupils may be given different tasks based on what they already know and can do. Tasks may be differentiated in terms of difficulty or degree of challenge.
  • Outcome: Pupils may work on the same task but the teacher has different expectations for what they will achieve.
  • Resources: Pupils may be given a common task but work with a range of different resources, some of which require a greater level of reading or research skills.
  • Input: Pupils may be given the same task but some will have more detailed instructions, whereas others may have only minimal guidance.
  • Information: Pupils may be set a common task but the kind of information they work with and the texts they use may be different, with some pupils being expected to handle more complex information and concepts.
  • Choice: Pupils may be given choice in what tasks they undertake or how they handle the content of the learning task.
  • Open-ended tasks: Pupils may work on a task for which there is no particular right answer or outcome and each is then free to explore different approaches.
  • Alternative ways of recording: Pupils may be encouraged to record their work in a variety of ways, some of which may require a higher level of imagination, performance or skill.
  • Role: Pupils may work on the same task but each is given a particular role, some of which are more demanding than others, including the task of teaching a skill or process to others.
  • Grouping: Pupils may have a common task but are grouped according to ability and expected to perform at a level appropriate to their ability.
  • Homework: Pupils may be set different kinds or amount of homework according to their abilities and interests. 



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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