Able and Ambitious

Able and Ambitious




At Rickmansworth School, we believe that students are not innately gifted or talented and that effort is a key characteristic of being a high achiever. We therefore use the terminology Able and Ambitious. This reflects our belief that by adopting a growth mindset, a student may improve and develop their ability in a subject area. Able and Ambitious captures the idea that some students are performing at a level over and above their age-related peers in a certain area, but that this situation is flexible depending upon effort. Most Able and Ambitious students will have to work hard to maintain this position, while other students can join the Able and Ambitious register through improving their performance.

Each department has created a list of criteria that an Able and Ambitious student is expected to demonstrate in their subject and selected approximately 5% of each cohort in Years 7-11 that are currently showing these traits. This register will be reviewed twice during each academic year. Unlike many other schools, selection reflects current behaviours observed in the classroom rather than being soley based upon data.


Able and Ambitious Policy

Details to follow


Department Provision

The best provision for Able and Ambitious students and their peers is one that challenges them and extends their thinking, knowledge and skills. Many of the ways of extending the thinking and learning of Able and Ambitious children constitute good practice for all students, when pitched at the appropriate level of challenge and, therefore, will impact on raising standards overall and for all.  We ensure that the needs of Able and Ambitious learners are not considered in isolation but that departments ensure that there is sufficient challenge in all lessons for all learners.  Each department has created a provision maps to show the list of identifying criteria Able and Ambitious students are expected to demonstrate in their subject. These maps also identify some of the opportunities that will be provided for Able and Ambitious students. 


Department Provision Maps

ArtBusiness,  Computer Science,  Dance,  Design Technology,  English,  Food Studies,  Geography,  History,  Maths,  MFL,  Music,  Photography,  Physical Education,  Psychology, Religious Studies, Science


Exceptionally Able & Ambitious

Students whom have been identified in more than one subject area are demonstrating traits of being exceptionally Able and Ambitious. Although the majority of opportunities will take place within the classroom through the expertise of staff providing a varied range of activities designed to stretch and challenge, we believe that these students require extracurricular support to develop their skills further. Below is a draft timetable for our after-school provision.

Other students may request to attend the sessions and places will be provided on a first-come first-served basis. Unless otherwise advertised, sessions will take place MS2. Students should visit Mrs Kerby for more detail.


Draft timetable subject to change



Spring Term 1



Brexit, interest rates



Climate change




Spring Term 2



Foreign Film night



High level literature




Summer Term 1



Relaxation and Breathing Techniques for Examinations








Summer Term 2



Sports Leadership



Science and Food




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