Advanced Learners

Challenge. Enrich. Inspire

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Download our Advanced Learners Booklet

Download our Advanced Learners Booklet

Download our Advanced Learners Booklet

Download our Advanced Learners Booklet

Download our Advanced Learners Booklet

Download our Advanced Learners
BookletAt Didcot Girls’ School, we believe that all students should be provided with a challenging and tailored education designed to help them achieve at their highest level possible. This differentiation encompasses our most able girls. We aim to give all of our Advanced Learner students the opportunity to reach their full potential and in doing so, create benefits for their fellow learners, the school and the wider community. In line with our school’s belief in Growth Mind-set, we refer to our students as Advanced Learners in recognition that ability is not fixed and key to outstanding progress are a positive work ethic and resilience.

We believe all students should be challenged, inspired and empowered by learning and that the classroom should be an engaging, inspiring place to learn.


At Didcot Girls’ School, our Advanced Learners are identified by teachers on an individual learner level. Identification is based on specially designed departmental criteria, data and through discussions with the learner and colleagues. Year 7 students are placed on our ‘watching list’ and monitored closely as they are increasingly challenged in class before being added to the list.


At Didcot Girls’ School we strive to provide outstanding learning environments for all learners through high quality differentiation. Furthermore, each department has an Advanced Learner coach who maintains an overview of the list, promotes excellent approaches for Advanced Learners and flags up enrichment opportunities in their subject area.  Our in class provision centres around the following teaching and learning approaches which are promoted to teachers:

  • Providing relevant, engaging, learning opportunities and interesting stimuli where possible.
  • Maximising ownership of learning by providing opportunities for choice and a variety of learning pathways in the lesson. Challenge options are flagged up to students using the challenge symbol.
  • Students are also encouraged to take leadership roles in the lesson and foster collaboration.
  • The use of high order questioning to encourage analysis and creative thinking.
  • Signposting opportunities for students to develop their knowledge further through independent study.
  • High quality feedback focused on how to achieve the top grades.


High quality challenging classroom teaching is supplemented by the opportunity for students to extend their understanding beyond the curriculum at enrichment sessions and trips run by departments. The opportunities offered are diverse and advertised by departments, but they include:

  • Carnegie Book Awards reading groups.
  • Competing in the National Mathematics challenge in Years 8, 10 and 12.
  • Triple Science Day – based at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
  • Participation in Smallpeice Trust Engineering Club and residential visits
  • Trips to colleges and universities
  • GCSE ‘Twilight’ art sessions.
  • Young Enterprise
  • The Clothes Show and Good Food Show
  • Language trips abroad
  • An Orchestra for those of Grade 5 and above
  • A Chamber Choir
  • Chances to lead coaching sessions in PE
  • Oxford Young Ambassadors scheme


Helping our students to achieve their full potential is at the heart of our provision. It is therefore critically important to us that we track, support and enrich the academic experiences of our Advanced Learners throughout their time at Didcot Girls’ School. To this end we are incredibly proud of our bespoke Ulysses Group, designed to challenge, support and enrich the experiences of our Advanced Learners throughout their time at Didcot Girls’ School. Launched in 2012 for Year 11 students, the programme has now expanded to include Year 7. Students are selected on the basis of having A* potential across their subjects through their prior attainment; CATs data and by teacher recommendations.

Tailor made programmes of study are designed for each year group and centre around their respective challenges, decisions and needs. This varies from seminar support on the option process for year 8 to GCSE revision skills and information on choosing universities for Year 11. Equally, members are encouraged to take on active roles in the school community and are given access to enrichment and aspiration events. Further information can be found here.

The Ulysses Programme provides bespoke challenge and support to the most academically able students in each year group. The support is tailored towards the needs of each year group and aims to increase aspiration and aid progress. 

Year 8 Ulysses Group Mentoring

Furthermore, we are excited to offer our Year 8 students the invaluable opportunity to be mentored by one of our successful and ambitious sixth formers. This mentoring program has been designed to provide support and challenge for our most able students in Year 8 to extend and enrich their studies in our culture of aspiration.

More information is available here



Page Downloads Date  
Advanced Learners Website Links.pdf 26th Jul 2017 Download
Advanced Learner Policy.pdf 26th Jul 2017 Download
Ulysses Group Outline 2017 26th Jul 2017 Download
Advanced Learners Booklet.pdf 10th Aug 2017 Download
Advanced Learners LDP 2017 20th Sep 2017 Download
Advanced Learners Impact statement 2017 31st Oct 2017 Download
@DidcotGirls01:34 PM - 14th November, 2019 My favourite memory is in string group when we were practicing a piece for the Christmas concert and I was eating my dinner when I spilt gravy on and in my violin - to this day it still has a piece carrot wedged inside. Zoe, Upper Strings Read more
@DidcotGirls10:10 AM - 14th November, 2019 Christmas Raffle tickets are on sale now. £1 per ticket, £5 per book. Purchase via ParentPay or DM to arrange collection from Pupil Services . Draw will take place at 8:30pm on 5th Dec during the FofDGS Christmas Fair. Prize donation from local companies welcome. Read more
@DidcotGirls10:08 AM - 14th November, 2019 Friends of DGS Christmas Raffle Tickets are on sale now. Please purchase via ParentPay, collect from Sherwood Office or email to arrange for tickets to be left at Pupil Services for collection. Read more
@DidcotGirls08:05 AM - 14th November, 2019 My favourite memory of music is the first time I performed my song ‘Ikea’ in the school concert. I was so nervous and it was one of the best feelings, hearing the audience laughing. It really boosted my confidence. Juliet, Vocal Group Read more
@DidcotGirls11:27 PM - 13th November, 2019 And that’s a wrap! Proud would be an understatement. I am incredibly lucky to work with such talented young people Read more
@DidcotGirls10:15 PM - 13th November, 2019 There are thousands of impressive quotations on kindess but this is Dr Khan's favourite because it captures the essence of compassion. It's also very doable and we can live by it every day Read more
@DidcotGirls08:15 PM - 13th November, 2019 A fantastic anti-bullying session led by Miss Slater today. Read more
@DidcotGirls08:00 PM - 13th November, 2019 My favourite memory of music is performing in all of the concerts at school last year in Young Voices and Ukulele group. I really enjoyed it! Grace, Young Voices Read more
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