The school is passionate about the education of our more able learners and is particularly proud of the many years of high academic achievement of these students. We identify these students through a variety of methods:
There is no solid national guidance on how to identify more able students, but we feel this composite approach strikes the right balance between inherent potential and actual performance. Whilst being identified is no guarantee of exceptional achievement or attainment, it does indicate that the qualities are evident for a high standard of academic excellence. We would also add that the More Able register we keep is an organic document and regularly under review, so being on it now is not a guarantee that your child will be on it for the duration of their school career, although we obviously hope so.
The provision for our More Able students is considerable. At Key Stage 3 there has been a real push over the last few years to ensure that we are engaging and stretching our most able students. This has taken the form of embedding higher-order questioning skills within the curriculum, earlier use of Key Stage 4 teaching and learning materials, more rigorous tracking of performance, refined grouping strategies and an array of enrichment activities within and beyond the school day, including a range of sporting and creative experiences. We have refined our enrichment programme above and beyond the wealth of opportunities available to everybody beyond the school day.
At Key Stage 4 there are specific option choices, such as Triple Science and strong, popular and successful Ebacc pathways. We have attempted to structure the option choices so that students who wish to specialise in certain areas (e.g. Arts, Languages, Humanities) have the facility to do that whilst maintaining the flexibility of choice for those students who want to choose a more balanced Key Stage 4 curriculum. As well as the above we have ad-hoc visits into schools from guest speakers, such as undergraduates, and visits out of school, such as the recent Able Scientist event or visits to The University of Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham and Warwick.