“Talent is multi-faceted and therefore we need a broad approach to recognise all its facets. Much talent remains undiscovered and unused unless the correct opportunity comes along” – J.B Teare 1997
At Leytonstone School we are committed to providing high quality education for all our students. We believe a rich, challenging and stimulating curriculum will benefit all children, some of whom will be more able than others.
Our definition of ‘more able and talented’ students seeks to recognise that those who achieve (or have the potential to) in either one or multiple areas. Students who are identified as being ‘more able’ may possess exceptional skills to a level significantly ahead of their year group in one or more areas.
The recognition and meeting of the needs of more able students will raise expectations, create a culture where success is valued and therefore raise standards throughout the school community.
We believe that every child has the ability and the right to reach their full potential. We also recognise, however, that for a variety of reasons, students sometimes are not able to do their best without support. Children with the potential to achieve at the top end of ability levels face some very difficult obstacles, such as the pressure of heightened expectations, the social pressure to not stand out from the crowd, and even in some cases- a failure to even be recognised.
In deciding who will benefit from this support, we take into account a wide range of data and views. A range of methods of identification are used as we recognise each one has its limitations
- KS2 data – Year 7 students who achieve Level 5c or above in both English and Maths
- Parent and Teacher observations that highlight key characteristics associated with above average abilities
- CATs (cognitive ability tests) results of 120+ (providing non-verbal and verbal data which can be especially effective for recognising ability and talent with EAL students
- Parental/Student/Teacher nomination
- Accelerated progress captured in termly academic data cycle or public exam results
- Reading Test Scores: scores that show a child has a reading age well beyond their actual age
The focus of More Able Provision at our school is what happens in the classroom; we aim to improve learning outcomes for all, rather than offer add-ons or ‘rewards’, although after school activities and enrichment trips are planned when there is a clear benefit to the students’ success.
KS4 students get individualised mentoring sessions looking closely at possible areas of concern in their curriculum in order to provide appropriate intervention for students to maximise their achievement in public exams.
We aim to meet the personalised needs of More Able and Talented students at our school through:
- Provision of a challenging curriculum where tasks are appropriately differentiated in order to stretch and challenge our MAT students. This should be clearly outlined in teachers’ planning.
- Appropriate grouping of students.
- Provision of an effective and positive learning
- Questioning techniques which use higher order questions to challenge and develop thinking skills (analysis, creative thinking, speculation, evaluation, justification, inference, hypothesis, synthesis).
- Classroom based learning being enhanced through enrichment field trips and project work to inspire high achievement.
Examples of Enrichment Activities at Leytonstone School
- Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibition – a trip taking our most talented artists to view some of the world’s best works.
- MAT Summer School – aimed at introducing KS4 students to university style work to ready them for the challenges ahead.
- University of Cambridge Taster Day – A trip to experience life at one of the most prestigious universities in the world!
- Various university taster days at other universities – for example: UCL, Imperial College and Queen Mary
- Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge – A borough wide public speaking competition in which one of our Year 10 pupils came runner up last year!
- South of the Borough More Able and Talented Day – A day where MAT KS3 students from all of the schools in the south of Waltham Forest pit their wits against each other in a variety of different activities and tasks
- HPQ – The Higher Level Qualification undertaken by Year 10s in conjunction with Leyton Sixth Form College where students enhance their research, communication and writing skills.