Every year, many students join Year 7 with Key Stage 2 scores that are well above average. All have achieved at least Level 5 and some Level 6. From 2016 a new standardised score will replace these levels, but we will continue to make innovative provision for our more able students. Currently this takes a number of forms:
- Maths and English in Year 7 and 8 are taught to mixed age sets. This means that the most able students joining in Year 7 can immediately be stretched and challenged by working alongside talented students.
- Our personalised curriculum model means that many students take GCSE qualifications at the end of Year 9. Our most able students have risen especially well to this challenge and many have achieved Grade A and A* in subjects as diverse as Science, History and Art by the end of Year 9.
- Similarly, the opportunity to take further optional pathway subjects in Years 10 and 11 means that our more able students can combine a wide range of traditional ‘academic’ subjects with the opportunity to pursue wider interests in the Arts and Technology. As a result, the proportion of our students gaining the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is above the national average.
- In particular our unique delivery model for Modern Languages whereby students take a GCSE course for five hours a week through Years 9 and 10 has led to especially good French and Spanish results for our most able students.
- Our lesson observation process includes a particular focus on the level of challenge in order to ensure that our more able students are being stretched both though the work they are set and the questions they are asked.
- Our half termly tracking system ensures that we are measuring the progress of our most able students against their most challenging targets.
- Our enrichment programme provides opportunities for our most able students to expand their range of interests through, for example, taking short courses in Astronomy, Electronics or Mandarin.
- Many of our most able students develop their interpersonal and leadership skills through taking important roles within the Academy such as mentors, councillors, prefects or, ultimately, members of our student leadership team.
- Our Information Advice and Guidance programme includes important information for our most able students on the benefits of progressing from the Academy to A level and eventually to university.