Coombe Girls School & Sixth Form Gifted and Talented Policy

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1 Coombe Girls School & Sixth Form Gifted and Talented Policy Coombe seeks to ensure the progression of all students. A fundamental part of this is the school s commitment to personalised learning. Coombe recognises that students needs differ and so establishes a learning environment which caters for the individual. The school has identified a cohort of gifted, talented and more able students. To encourage these students to become independent learners and be prepared for further education, challenging work is set in the classroom. To compliment this, a comprehensive extra-curricular programme runs throughout the year, offering students an opportunity to extend their learning. Every department in the school has a policy and register of gifted and talented students. In each policy the provision for high achievers is made explicit. The gifted and talented register informs teaching staff of students who have shown strength(s) in their subject area(s). Alongside this, a range of activities takes place across the curriculum to support these students. Identification The DfE recognises that up to 10% of young people may be categorised as Gifted and Talented students. These students have been defined as Young people with one or more abilities developed to a level significantly ahead of their year group (or with the potential to develop those abilities). It is an important extension of the school s aims and vision that the needs of Gifted and Talented students should be recognised and strategies for their identification be supported and developed. We acknowledge the existence of all round exceptional ability and those who are able in specific areas. Coombe Girls School aims to provide for students individual needs, including those with Dual or Multiple Exceptionality (DME). These particular students may belong to both Special Educational Needs and Gifted and Talented groups. It is noted that their gifts and talents may be hidden or partially hidden. To identify our Gifted and Talented students we have adopted the DfE descriptions. Coombe Girls Top 5%: Gifted - Students who are capable of excelling in academic subjects such as English or History. Talented Students who may excel in areas requiring visio-spatial skills or practical abilities, such as Games, PE, Drama, Art or Music. Coombe Girls Next 5%: More able Students who are capable of or currently performing at levels significantly above their peers. To accomplish the identification, a variety of methods are collectively employed to provide reasonable information. There is a range of possibilities which include: Teacher recommendation Parents Student prior knowledge particularly at Ks2 to KS3 transition and at KS4 to KS5 transition Formal tests/examination results Data tracking Records of National Curriculum Attainment Levels Extra-curricular activities

2 DfE General Characteristics of Gifted and Talented Students The following characteristics (taken from the 1998 Ofsted review of research by Joan Freeman) are not necessarily proof of high ability but they may alert teachers to the need to enquire further into a student s learning patterns and ability levels. He or she may: be a good reader be very articulate or verbally fluent for their age give quick verbal responses ( which can appear cheeky) have a wide general knowledge learn quickly be interested in topics which one might associate with an older child communicate well with adults - often better than with their peer group have a range of interests, some of which are almost obsessions show unusual and original responses to problem solving activities prefer verbal to written activities be logical be self taught in their own interest areas have an ability to work things out in their head very quickly have a good memory that they can access easily be artistic be musical excel at sport have strong views and opinions have a lively and original imagination / sense of humour be very sensitive and aware focus on their own interests rather than on what is being taught be socially adept appear arrogant or socially inept be easily bored by what they perceive as routine tasks show a strong sense of leadership not necessarily be well-behaved or well liked by others Gifted and Talented underachievers may tend to: have low self-esteem be confused about their development and about why they are behaving as they are manipulate their environment to make themselves feel better tend towards a superior attitude to those around them find inadequacy in others, in things, in systems, to excuse their own behaviours

3 Outline of Coombe Provision Every department in the school has a code of practice and register of Gifted and Talented students. In each code of practice the provision for able students is made explicit. The Gifted and Talented register informs teaching staff of students who have shown strength(s) in specific subject area(s). Alongside this, a range of activities (provision) are recorded which take place to support these students. The curriculum takes into account the needs of our highest achieving students through differentiation, extension, enrichment and acceleration, making use of all available expertise. The pastoral needs of these students will also be recognised and supported by the school. There is flexible provision for students requiring enrichment and support in order to raise their aspirations and achieve their potential. This is done by developing the facets of the Coombe Learner Profile: Coombe Learner Profile Inquirers Knowledgeable Thinkers Communicators Principled Open-minded Leaders Caring Risk takers Balanced Reflective Self managers Adaptable A combination of principles is incorporated into curriculum planning: Differentiation by outcome. This allows responses at very different levels to the same initial stimulus. Differentiation by task may be varied both in terms of style and content. Differentiation by pace. Able students need the facility to proceed at a greater speed. Differential by National Curriculum Level where appropriate, namely in subjects where content/process may be related to the level the student is working towards. Implementing an Express Stream. Where appropriate, students may be accelerated through a learning programme, for example, early entry for GCSE or A Level. There is a commitment to developing extension and enrichment materials which: allow individuality of response encourage creativity and imagination satisfy developmental stage rather than chronological age stress process rather than content encourage high quality thinking/using higher order skills provide many open ended situations give a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment open up further opportunities for research involve an abstract quality for both number and language involve problem solving and decision making encourage empathy provide differentiated homework when appropriate, including open-ended tasks.

4 A wide expertise is used to provide for our Gifted and Talented students; approaches include: activities provided by the LA and ISSP group shared ventures with other schools e.g. Easter revision schools national activities and special events opportunities made available by university links workshop activities opportunities to exercise leadership and develop communication skills in a peer tutoring situation where appropriate, an accelerated learning programme for students, for example, taking a GCSE or an A Level early implementing an Express Stream Enrichment Opportunities What are enrichment opportunities? They can be defined as any learning activities outside normal lesson time which students participate in voluntarily. Their purpose is to improve the students motivation, build on their selfesteem and help them become more effective and independent learners. Above all they aim to raise achievement and complement and support the work of teachers in the classroom. Extracurricular activities are valuable for all students, whatever their background, abilities, age or needs. Why should we offer enrichment opportunities at Coombe? A programme of extra-curricular activities gives a school the opportunity to provide a wide programme of education that is not bound by the constraints of the curriculum, is not assessed or graded and allows the participants the chance to learn and develop new skills and perhaps discover a new talent. Aims of the programme To create opportunities for the enrichment of the whole student To motivate individual students according to their needs and interests To instil in students a positive attitude to themselves, to school and to learning To demonstrate to students how their academic studies fit into everyday life. To prepare students to be life-long learners To raise awareness of the programme with staff, students and parents To forge positive links with parents and the wider community To develop Coombe Learner Profile skills and qualities To challenge Gifted and Talented students to excel beyond expectation Objectives of the programme Continue commitment to provide a comprehensive programme of varied activities for all students. Provide opportunities for personal, moral, social, cultural, spiritual, physical and academic development, within an inclusive framework. Create opportunities for self-awareness, self-confidence, strength of character and decision making. Provide situations to develop commitment, responsibility, self-discipline and leadership skills. Celebrate the achievements and contributions of students in a variety of ways Market activities in a positive and creative way. Develop awareness and understanding of life opportunities. Provide opportunities to develop awareness and tolerance of the needs of others in the school and the wide community. Provide opportunities for students to have fun and relax and add an extra dimension to the school experience.

5 Give students the opportunity to have respite from their academic studies. Promote the programme as part of the wider role of the teacher and a whole school issue. Forge further links between the pastoral and academic curriculum. Provide safe, well run activities in a familiar environment. Enhance the image of the school within the community. Lower School Provision There are a number of Learning to Learn days across Key Stage 3 where the timetable is suspended so that students can experience learning in innovative ways. These days include an appreciation of learning styles, memory and thinking skills, team building and, research and presentation skills. Students in the Year 7 and 8 express streams have an extended curriculum provision through differentiated learning activities, texts and resources. All Lower School students participate in two independent learning projects namely My Journey and My World enabling them to enhance their learning and study skills on a specific topic of interest. Year 9 students in the gifted and talented cohort are given some opportunity to attend additional workshops to extend their learning in preparation for Key Stage 4. Enterprise Week is held at the end of Key Stage 3 which allows all students to develop their business and entrepreneurial skills alongside learning about financial management. Upper School Provision There is an opportunity for Gifted and Talented students in Year 11 to attend additional study programmes for revision at King s College London and at Coombe Girls School. This project is organised in collaboration with partnership schools. The students who take part are given additional information and challenging activities to complete, in order to secure their success in their GCSE examinations. Many Upper School students are given the opportunity to sit external examinations early in subjects such as English and Mathematics. As a Language Specialist School we have the capacity to support students to take a home language or additional language early if they have reached the appropriate level and are sufficiently prepared. Most subjects facilitate revision sessions prior to examinations to compliment students individual revision programmes to help them prepare and access the higher grades. We offer taster lessons for most A Level courses in preparation for KS5.

6 Sixth Form Identification and Provision Gifted and Talented students are identified in a number of different ways in the Sixth Form and there are a variety of opportunities and strategies in place to support them. Identification The Sixth Form identify the Gifted and Talented cohort in the year groups through the following means: Average GCSE scores are used in Year 12 to identify the top 5-10% of students in each year group; Exceptionally high AS achievement in both individual modules and the Summer exams is used during Year 12 and in Year 13; Feedback from previous Heads of Year in Year 11 is used at the start of Year 12 when letters are written to feeder schools, requesting information about students, including details of gifted and talented achievement; Feedback from Coombe teaching staff during the Induction Period; Feedback from HOYs and teaching staff at any stage during the year. Having identified gifted and talented students the Sixth Form carries out the following: A Gifted and Talented register is compiled. All teachers of the Sixth Form are made aware of the list and are requested to note these students in their planners for easy identification. Moreover, they are encouraged to differentiate with regard to these students needs. Suitable differentiation should already be part of departmental schemes of work. All Gifted and Talented students who are identified at the start of Year 12 by their average GCSE scores study AS Critical Thinking or a fifth AS subject. The Sixth Form Team meet with these students explaining their position within the year group. The aim of this is to raise the students awareness of their abilities and encourage them to have high expectations of themselves. Provision Some students take part in a Critical Thinking programme which runs throughout the year and encourages students to think independently. Able students who have applied for either Oxford or Cambridge Universities are given extensive support in completing their applications and latterly in interview technique. In collaboration with Kings College School a cohort of students are invited to attend mock interviews in order to help them prepare for their university applications. Moreover, students also attended a series of subject specific lectures at King s College School. A wide range of students attend subject-specific extension classes at King s College, School in history and Chemistry, for example. Rag Club is held annually to showcase the wide range of high achievement across a variety of subjects. Reviewed Jan 08, Jun 11 (L. Howarth)

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