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. 

Our Advanced Learners Lead is Dr G Hunter, whom you can contact by clicking here.



Page Downloads Date  
September December Ulysses Group Program... 13th Sep 2022 Download
Advanced Learner Booklet 2022-23 06th Oct 2022 Download
@DidcotGirls10:51 PM - 5th May, 2023 What a great start to the day - a group of year 10s came into briefing to tell us all about the things they love about our school. Very uplifting.
@DidcotGirls10:05 PM - 5th May, 2023 My heart is truly full. We made our long in the planning Culture Evening a reality today and saw some sensational performances and amazing food from Lots of photos to follow! Thank you! Read more
@DidcotGirls10:05 PM - 5th May, 2023 And more photos from our absolutely fabulous culture evening tonight! Read more Read more
@DidcotGirls10:05 PM - 5th May, 2023 Culture Evening would not be possible without the amazing and Oliviya Eddison! Huge shout out to Nathan Green and Owen Clark for being such reliable and committed leaders! Read more
@DidcotGirls06:50 PM - 4th May, 2023 Culture evening tomorrow, main hall from 6 to 8 pm will be a beautiful celebration of the diversity in our Trust. Students and staff will be performing and there will be lots of delicious food! Last chance to buy your tickets now on Parentpay! Read more
@DidcotGirls04:54 PM - 26th April, 2023 We've spent the morning interviewing for our new set of student leaders and are stumped by the quality of the applicants! But the most wonderful thing for me is how many 'unlikely leaders' put themselves forward - the power of quiet leadership - our work is paying off! Read more
@DidcotGirls06:46 AM - 22nd April, 2023 Oxfordshire Schools County Cup U14 Girls Result 1 - 3 End to end game in which either team could of won the game. Congratulations to DGS on becoming county champions 🏆 🔴⚪️ Read more
@DidcotGirls06:45 AM - 22nd April, 2023 One of ours. U14 County cup winner with Proud girl Read more
Back to Top