Advanced Learners

Challenge. Enrich. Inspire

At 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 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.


At Didcot Girls’ School we strive to provide outstanding learning environments for all learners be ensuring that the level of challenge is high in all lessons. Each Head of Department maintains an overview of the list in their subject, promotes impactful approaches for Advanced Learners in the design of their curriculum and flags up enrichment opportunities in their subject area.  Our in-class provision centres around the following teaching and learning approaches:

  • Providing relevant, engaging, learning opportunities and interesting stimuli;
  • Tier 3 vocabulary explicitly taught and high quality oracy modelled and applied;
  • 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 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 ambitious targets.


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 initially selected on having the potential to achieve the highest GCSE grades, 7-9, across their subjects based on their prior attainment. In due course, teacher recommendations and progress data are also used. 

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. 

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. 



Page Downloads Date  
Ulysses Enrichment Programme timetable 2 06th Oct 2020 Download
Advanced Learner Development Plan 2020-2... 11th Feb 2021 Download
@DidcotGirls12:05 PM - 13th May, 2021 Sadly we say farewell to our year 11 Leadership team! Thank you all so much for your work with your Houses this year. You were truly remarkable! Good luck for the summer results and your future endeavours. Read more
@DidcotGirls12:03 PM - 13th May, 2021 I love being a tutor and our face to face discussions. Today we discussed idea of it to be happy? Or is it something else? Great from the group this morning. Lots of food for thought. Well done girls. Read more
@DidcotGirls07:35 PM - 12th May, 2021 Eid Mubarak to all our families celebrating 😊 Read more
@DidcotGirls10:28 AM - 12th May, 2021 Standing out on year 9 break duty and observing and listening into the conversations from afar and these girls make me so proud 🥰 informed and deliberate conversations where they are actively listening and politely responding! Just wonderful
@DidcotGirls10:50 PM - 11th May, 2021 take time out and make a connection with nature to help look after your mental wellbeing! ☀️🌿🌺 show us your connections 🙂 Read more Read more
@DidcotGirls10:50 PM - 11th May, 2021 Everywhere I go around school, teachers stop me to tell me how well Year 11 are approaching their assessments - well done everyone! I'm very proud of you
@DidcotGirls03:49 PM - 10th May, 2021 We are looking forward to our virtual Year 5 taster sessions which are designed to help you find out more about school life at Didcot Girls' School. Information about what you can expect can be found below. Read more
@DidcotGirls08:08 PM - 7th May, 2021 We had a wonderful evening last night at the virtual graduation ceremony with the Brilliant Club. What a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the hard work and success of our pupils!
Back to Top