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High Learning Potential

Mission Statement

We believe in promoting high expectations among students, teachers and parents in order to raise aspirations and develop the resilience of HLP students to meet their potential.  We also want to ensure that  HLP students have the opportunities to access a more flexible curriculum in order to nurture their skills and develop new ones.  Finally, we wish to maximise the learning potential of HLP students by providing appropriate support and mentoring.

Does your child demonstrate a skill or ability that you believe could be supported more by us? Please read on for further information, or click here to complete an online form and a relevant member of staff will review the information submitted. 


Who is involved?

Christopher Collins is the senior leadership link for HLP students, working with Ian Silverton as HLP Leader 11-18, and a wider working group that includes Denise Jackson (Programme Director - GCE). Each department also has a member of staff responsible for developing HLP within their subject.


What opportunities are provided?

We believe in extending the learning of HLP students by providing opportunities to engage with extracurricular activities in
departments, through whole school projects and competitions both regional and national.  The college has been very successful over the years in competitions including the Toyota Challenge, Young Enterprise, Magistrates Court Mock Trial and numerous sporting successes, perhaps most notably, in Volleyball.  We also believe that HLP students should be encouraged to explore individual areas of interest and as a result, we have expanded the Extended Project Qualification offered at A-Level to become available at all Key Stages.

Frequently asked questions

What is HLP?
HLP stands for High Learning Potential.  It has replaced what many other schools and colleges call Gifted and Talented.  We have changed to HLP as we believe it is a more accurate description for the abilities of our most able students.  It refers to students who demonstrate potential in subjects from the academic to the creative that is significantly above that of the other students in their year.  It reflects students that we believe have the potential to be nurtured to achieve exceptional learning outcomes.

How is HLP identified?
We use a wide range of strategies to identify HLP, the most effective of which is a combination of the following:  Baseline assessment data such as; Key Stage 2 data, CAT’s; class assessments; regular marking of students work; contribution to lessons; teacher recognition; parental nominations and the students’ passion for learning.

Does my child have HLP?
We would strongly recommend using Potential Plus UK for guidance on this matter.  Alternatively, you can contact the college for a guide.  In summary, HLP children may present the following characteristics, although please be aware this list is by no means conclusive:

  • Learns rapidly
  • Extensive vocabulary
  • Excellent memory
  • Reasons well
  • Strong curiosity
  • Mature for age
  • Avid reader
  • Keen observation
  • Ability with numbers
  • Wide range of interests
  • Vivid imagination

As part of our ongoing efforts to improve provision for our most able students, we would greatly appreciate your support.  If you feel your child has demonstrated particular skill or ability in a subject or extra-curricular activity, then please take the time to inform us using the HLP parental input form.  The information you provide can help us support and enrich your child’s educational experience at TTC. You can access the form by clicking here and a relevant member of staff will review the information submitted.

Why is it so important to provide challenge for HLP students?
HLP students come in many different forms and as such, may have very complex needs.  However, common to all HLP students is the need to provide appropriate and therefore, challenging tasks.  It is important that they do not become bored with tasks that are too easy and that they remain engaged in their learning.  HLP students can also have a tendency to be perfectionists and can be resistant to taking risks and stepping outside of their comfort zone.  We believe it is necessary therefore, to encourage HLP students to embrace challenging tasks in order to maximise their learning potential.

Useful links:


HLP Update -October 2015 

On Wednesday 30 September, Thorpe Campus hosted TTC’s first HLP Open Evening with many parents and students from Years 6 and 7 attending the event.  Departments were represented by staff and student ambassadors who shared their experiences of HLP activities at the College, whilst our guests were able to listen and ask      questions of TTC Cambridge alumni (Daisy Stevens and Ilona Szabo). 
Two of our Year 10 students (Megan James and Beth Shellum) confidently delivered talks about Project Qualifications as part of our Academic enrichment and parents were invited to a Q and A session with the HLP Leader (Ian Silverton) to gain an insight into the support and enrichment available at the College.  It was particularly pleasing to hear such positive feedback from parents about our students, saying how “they were a credit to the school, all were really engaging and willing to discuss their work.”


Challenge Partners recognise HLP as an Area of Excellence 
Last week the College welcomed Challenge Partners in as an opportunity for Ofsted Outstanding schools to share best practice and advise on ways to further develop.  

As part of this process, HLP was put forward as an area of excellence, for which we are delighted to say, Challenge Partners fully supported.  This tremendous accolade reflects the continued hard work of all the staff in providing excellent enrichment opportunities and very much reflects the determination of our students to pursue a challenge.

Mr I Silverton
HLP Leader

Young Historians study an Exeter University course
A group of twenty Year 9 students with a passion for History have signed up to take part in a course provided by Exeter University.  The students attend after-college seminars run by our Sixth Formers and engage in discussion and debate on the topic of Empire.  Our first session was organised by Kelvin Wu and Louis Holas and dealt with an overview of the British Empire.  It is planned that more courses will be provided in a wide range of subject areas for our students to explore and engage with, encouraging a desire to learn beyond the curriculum.  Each course is designed by some of the most highly regarded universities across the world and promises to be a rewarding enrichment experience for all students involved.

Sixth Form Students
In the Sixth Form, many students are completing the Level 3 Extended Project Qualification (EPQ); the only AS qualification that awards an A* and 70 UCAS points. This enables students to select an area of interest that they wish to research further and write a 5000 word report about. This facilitates our breadth of curriculum in the Sixth Form with projects as diverse as Artificial Intelligence and Genetics, through to The Sociology of Midwifery, Witchcraft and Postmodern Art, being conducted.  Ms Stansfield coordinates students research activities, matching students with staff who will act as student supervisors, much like would happen at university when students write a dissertation.  Universities appreciate the independent research and extended writing experience demonstrated through the EPQ.  This has been highlighted in the references and personal statements of our first two UCAS applicants who have applied to Cambridge University to study Natural Science.

Dr D Jackson
Sixth Form Programme Director