More Able

More Able Provision at Priestnall School.

At Priestnall School we believe that all students deserve an ambitious and varied curriculum. Subsequently, stretch and challenge activities are offered in all lessons, to all students in every year group. However, we also recognise the importance of providing an advanced and enriched curriculum for our most able students too. Thus, ensuring that they are not only encouraged to excel at Priestnall but are also fully supported on their learning journey. Our intention is to offer additional, enrichment opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom to bring out the very best in our More Able students.

At Priestnall, we recognise that while a small proportion of students may be academically excellent across the majority of subjects: there are some students that may well be more able in a certain subject area/disciplines. For this reason, we have created an inclusive system with regards to the identification of our More Able students. This means that we have sorted our More Able students into two categories:

  • MAWS– More Able Whole School. These students are in the top 5% academically in each year group and have been identified by using KS2 scores in English and Maths/CATS (where available). There are roughly 20-25 students in each year group who fall into this category.
  • MASS-More Able Subject Specific. These students are identified by subject specialists within subject teams. They are typically students who are not simply high performing, but those who also show the potential to be high performing in a particular subject. They are characterised by showing flair and real enthusiasm for the subject. Some of these students may well also be MAWS students, however this is not necessarily always the case. The inclusion of this category enables those who are talented, for example in creative disciplines (such as the Arts) but perhaps not so in other subjects to be recognised. We have many MASS students at Priestnall, who show flair in a wide array of disciplines. This makes Priestnall a talented and diverse institution.

If your child has been identified as either MAWS or MASS, you will receive a letter from myself (if MAWS), or the specific subject team (if MASS). This will be sent in the first term of the academic year.  If your child is recognised to be MAWS, you will receive an initial letter informing you of this, but will not receive a new letter each year. This is because it is anticipated that your child will remain on the list throughout their time at Priestnall. There may be rare instances in which we may feel over time, that your child is perhaps not benefiting from the programme. In which case I will write to you to inform you of this and will remove them from the MAWS register. Of course, you may also request for your child not to be placed on the register. In this case, please email me @ and let me know and I will remove your child from the register.

In contrast, the MASS Register is fluid and is subject to change over the course of the academic year. This is because sometimes students develop a passion for certain subjects, at different maturational stages. In this case, you may well receive annual letters from various subjects should your child be identified as a MASS student in their subject.

Why is being identified as MASS or MAWS important for your child?

If your child is identified as a MASS or MAWS student, then they will be offered academic opportunities throughout the year. These academic opportunities have been designed in a bespoke manner for More Able students. Much of the enrichment on offer will be within the classroom and within the normal school day. Although there will also be enrichment opportunities offered each term outside of the regular classroom experience.


There is a bespoke enrichment timetable currently being finalised for all students identified as MAWS. It clearly indicates what provision is on offer throughout the academic year for your child in each term. In some cases, and where necessary, I will write to you to make you aware of an event. Our first enrichment opportunity is to invite your child (Yr 7-9) to take part in the Personal Development Portfolio (PDP) Challenge. This will involve your child accepting a series of challenges to complete throughout each academic year. These will be then checked and verified by staff, and awards will be given at the end of each academic year for those successfully meeting the standards. I will write to you in due course to explain the details of the PDP challenge. I urge you to encourage your child to fully embrace all of the additional opportunities that are offered to them throughout the year. To view the MAWS timetable- please click on the MAWS subsection of this tab. You can also view the PDP challenge proforma here too.


If your child is identified as MASS student, then there will be additional opportunities on offer for your child within those specific subject areas. Again, many opportunities will take place within the classroom and within the school day. However, there will also be extra-curricular activities such as enrichment trips on offer where possible, throughout the academic year. In this case, your child will be informed by the MASS leader of the specific subject, and a letter will be sent home detailing the activity. Please encourage your child to grasp every opportunity offered to them each term.

Should you have any further questions regarding either the MASS/MAWS initiative, then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Yours faithfully,

Miss J. Halfacre- Assistant Headteacher: Quality of Education/ Curriculum Leader of History.

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