MAT Wales

More able and talented

The most effective lessons for more able and talented learners are those that are planned. Here is some useful guidance for lesson content:

  • breadth – going beyond the prescribed curriculum
  • depth – within the curriculum and increasing the level of challenge
  • acceleration – covering work quicker than others
  • independence – link to personalised learning agenda
  • reflection – making understanding explicit

The lesson structure should display key teaching skills:

  • differentiating work
  • setting effective classroom tasks
  • questioning effectively
  • defining learning objectives
  • explaining effectively


  • Thinking skills – adding challenge to the curriculum – Overview of thinking skills and how to promote and encourage thinking in the classroom.
  • KS3 module: Questioning – Training module from Key Stage 3 on improving questioning techniques in school.
  • Accrediting prior learning – What are the best strategies to use to find out what students already know about a topic and how do you respond to this? This document includes some information on mind mapping.
  • Aide memoires – A document to aid task design and help your students to benefit even more from the lesson.
  • Complexity – Find out how you can effectively introduce complexity into students” thinking and learning.
  • Diagramming – Diagramming involves representing a written text in diagrammatic form. Some examples are shown here.
  • Strategy: most difficult first – An initial step towards more formal compacting, this is most effective with skill-based assignments. This is an overview of the strategy.
  • Planning checklist – Map of the issues to consider when planning lessons for more able and talented students.
  • Review of provision strategies – Review of the different strategies teachers may need to employ to teach more able and talented children in different contexts.
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy – The Three Little Pigs – Using The Three Little Pigs with Bloom’s Taxonomy activity.
  • Lesson observation schedule – Template form for observations about the effectiveness of the provision for more able and talented pupils.

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