Outstanding Potential Accelerated Learners

It is important that the needs of the most able students are recognised, and strategies developed for their identification and support. We aim to provide flexible provision, within an inclusive framework, which sets out to provide appropriate teaching and learning opportunities for all students.

Students are identified as Outstanding Potential Accelerated Learners (OPAL) based on a combination of baseline data from formal assessments, subject teacher recommendation, and an ongoing assessment of progress within the classroom. OPAL students are learners who have developed or have the potential to develop their abilities to a level significantly ahead of their year group. Within the classroom, the provision lies in three areas: enrichment, acceleration, and extension. We have a focus on higher-order thinking skills across abilities, to enable each girl to take the next step up in her learning.

Outside of the classroom, provision takes the form of enrichment activities and lunchtime clubs, competitions, visiting speakers and trips. In addition, a programme of after-school workshops and activities has been planned to extend and stimulate learning and aspirations. These are self-selected by students who can sign up for as many as they wish.

Our Locations

St Mary's Colchester
Two St Mary's Lower School pupils sitting in a Library holding books and laughing
Additional places now available

Due to increasing demand at St Mary’s, additional places are now available from September.


Enquire today to find out more: www.stmaryscolchester.org.uk/contact/enquiry-form/