How to identify your high and low-ability pupils

Get a handle on how to identify your high and low-ability pupils, so you can make sure your curriculum meets the needs of all learners. Find out how to assess pupils in both core and foundation subjects, and what to explain to Ofsted inspectors about your chosen method.

Last reviewed on 19 January 2023
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Contents
  1. Your curriculum should meet all pupils' needs
  2. It's up to you to decide how to identify these groups
  3. Prior attainment data is useful, but don't rely on it
  4. Use a range of methods to get a full picture 
  5. Pupils with SEN 
  6. Examples of policies

Your curriculum should meet all pupils' needs

Under the 2019 framework, Ofsted inspectors will want to see that your curriculum provides for all pupils. 

This means inspectors are likely to look at the work of both your high and low-ability pupils (high and low attainers) to understand how you're supporting everyone to progress. Find out how you can identify these groups below. 

Get more detail on how Ofsted inspects your curriculum under the 2019 framework. 

It's up to you to decide how to identify these groups

As part of your approach, you'll need to decide if you'll include pupils with special

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