We value the abilities and achievements of all pupils. We aim to provide for the individual needs of all students. Therefore, it is important that the needs of more and most able students should be recognised and strategies developed for their identification and support.
Able pupils in PE have lots of opportunities to reach their potential. Whether they’re a talented dancer taking part in our dance academy or a sports leader helping to run clubs and events, there is something to challenge everyone.
We make the most of cross-curricular links and are currently working with the languages department to deliver a joint project based on handball.
The most able GCSE pupils have extra sessions in the lead up to their exams, aimed at helping them reach the top grades.
Talented athletes also receive extra coaching through the Gedling Athletic Development Academy (GADA). And of course, the best way for talented sports people to progress is to play against the best in the best competition – which is why we focus on playing regular fixtures.
Gifted and talented provision in mathematics includes a lunchtime mathematics club for key stage three and four pupils. This involves pupils solving puzzles and playing maths games with a view to extending their mathematical knowledge.
Year 8 and 9 pupils who have been identified as gifted and talented will also be invited to attend a trip to Bletchley Park Code Breaking Museum.
Pupils throughout all key stages are invited to test their problem solving skills in the Mathematics Trust challenges.
At key stage 4, the most able pupils in art are able to learn from professional artists, who they work with in lessons at key stage 4. Monthly skills-based workshops are held after skills, supported by sixth formers to show students the progression from GCSE to A level.
Younger pupils can take part in monthly competitions - such as designing a mural for a music classroom.
Able key stage 3 pupils have their own home learning booklets and also take part in after school skills sessions, focusing on different industrial processes relating to their project within school.
Design and Technology
In design and technology, pupils have lots of opportunities to stretch themselves and put their skills into practise.
This year, the most able year 8 children visited the eco-centre at a farm in Screvton. They explored how the farm works, investigated the hedgerows, learnt about the ecology of the eco-centre (including the special composting toilets!), made pizzas to eat for lunch and even pressed apples collected from the grounds of Arnold Hill to make fresh apple juice.
Additionally a group of pupils recently spent the afternoon at Nottingham Trent University. They took part in design and technology master classes, in celebration of a visit from the CEO of the National College of Teaching and Leadership.
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
Able pupils in MFL can advance their language skills by writing to students in France and Spain, or start learning an additional language in our lunchtime Latin club.
We are always keen to work with other departments and are pairing up with PE, ICT and design and technology to provide engaging extra-curricular opportunities, from playing handball to researching and cooking French and Spanish dishes.
In order to boost the number of A-A*grades at GCSE, around 20 year 11 students have been invited to four sessions to practise the skills needed for the higher level listening and reading papers.
This year, more able year 10 students in science are being invited to attend exciting sessions which give them a taster of the opportunities on offer at A level. The sessions are aimed at broadening students’ minds and stretching their abilities to challenge them A level standard work.
Sessions include genetic fingerprinting and gel electrophoresis in biology, synthesising aspirin and spectroscopy in chemistry and a ‘seeing invisible things’ session in physics.
From guest authors to weekly competitions and creative writing groups, the English department has something to interest all able pupils.
The creative writing group are involved in Nottingham Playhouse’s outreach work, through the group performance poetry group, Mouthy Poets. By the end of the year, an anthology will be produced to demonstrate how children’s writing has developed.
Other extra-curricular activities include a reading club, online school magazine, spelling challenges and the chance to enter national writing competitions.
Students are invited to work towards the AHA Awards in ICT & Computing. These are a range of practical and theoretical projects that encourage students to be independent, discover new methods of working, and gain skills and knowledge that can not only enhance their school work but also provide life skills ready for employment.
The range of projects is constantly increasing and at present the following units are available:
• Computational thinking
• Preparing for GCSE Computing controlled assessment
• Preparing for GCE ICT controlled assessment
Students can either attend regularly after school sessions regularly, collect a project and complete it at home, or just pop in and out for help and guidance when it is required.
In music, more able pupils are given added responsibilities in group work. This can be in the form of organising their own groups or leading and conducting to get their parts playing together.
More able pupils provide modelling for pupils to peer assess their work, and can also offer improvisations in the style of the genre while the class are performing. Talented pupils in key stage 4 and 5 will teach learnt material - either prepared with their teacher, or prepared as homework - to the rest of the group.
Drama club provides our more able students with workshops and projects, in order to develop and hone their skills in preparation for GCSE.
This year students will develop a performance for the ‘Shakespeare for Schools’ project. They will then design and deliver their own workshops to year 6 pupils from our feeder schools.
Leadership skills will be a focus for gifted and talented pupils in drama, as well as the chance to develop wider theatre skills such as production. Transition is also important, in order to target more able pupils early on and bridge the gap where feeder schools do not have a significant drama provision.