Able & Talented
Queensbury Academy is committed to ensuring that all students make good progress during their time at the school and that they are supported and stretched in line with their abilities. The objective of the Able and Talented provision is to both recognise the students whose ability exceeds that of their peers, and enable them to fulfil their potential.
As part of this the Academy is committed to:
To ensure access to a rich, challenging curriculum which develops, enhances and extends our students' potential.
To provide pastoral programmes which support the development of their abilities and talents.
To ensure that all teachers at the Academy are aware of the distinct needs of able and talented students and feel confident in addressing those needs.
To provide systems for recognising and dealing with underachievement and its causes.
To work co-operatively with parents and carers to overcome obstacles to achievement.
What do we mean by 'Able and Talented'
The Academy recognises that there are a wide range of skills which students may demonstrate aptitude in. Our definitions of the terms, which are intended to reflect this, are listed below.
Able students are those who are identified as having ability to achieve significantly above their peers in one or more curriculum subject.
Talented students are those who are identified by the Academy as presenting skills significantly above their peers; whether this is sporting, artistic, vocational etc. The talent may be within some facet of a subject rather than across the entire subject. For example, a student may be particularly skilled in a sport such as football but may not be a great all-round athlete.
The Academy also recognises that there will students who feature in both of these areas.
How does the Academy identify the most able and talented?
1. Whole School identification
The Academy identifies the top 5% of each year group using their average CAT (Cognitive Ability Tests) score. Students will sit these assessments as part of their induction into school (Year 7/Year 9). In addition, Key Stage Two SATs results will be used to identify the top 5% Year 6 students entering the Academy into Year 7.
At Key Stage Five, our most able and talented students are identified by their average GCSE point score at the end of Key Stage Four.
These students will form the permanent core of the able and talented register and remain on the list during their time with us.
2. Subject Specific Excellence
By the end of the first half term, each faculty within the Academy will be nominating those students who they consider, in their professional opinion, to be able and/or talented within that area. This will compromise approximately 5-10% of their students, although this is subject to fluctuation. In assessing whether a student is able and/or talented within that area, each faculty has determined its own criteria using their professional judgement and experience.
These students will also be entered onto the register, subject to review each academic year.
3. Talented Students
For those who are identified as talented, the subject specific register will follow the identification process as explained above.
In addition, for those students whose talent extends beyond school, the Academy will also use student information and professional feedback to construct the list. This will enable the Academy to help and support the student's talent whilst ensuring that their academic progress in the school also continues.
Provision for the Able and Talented student
1. Within the Curriculum
The Academy aims to create a learning environment in our classrooms which challenges all students and allows them to take risks; even to fail. We are committed to developing independent learners who can take responsibility for their own learning.
Classroom teachers will ensure that all students are given work that is suitably challenging, enabling each member of the cohort to achieve their potential.
Faculty and department leaders will ensure that each scheme of work outlines their provision, including extension activities, for the most able students. Homework will be made suitably challenging and independent for this group of students.
There is an aspiration to achieve GCSE grades 7, 8 & 9 for the most able students. This will be embedded in schemes of work, teaching strategies, faculty assessment strategies and will be tracked at an individual and whole school level.
In addition to the opportunities offered as part of the curriculum, the Academy is committed to informing our students of other extra-curricular opportunities which enrich the learning of our most able and talented students. The Academy will also work closely with students and parents to ensure that our students are able to make informed, challenging choices when deciding on future courses in each of the Key Stages.
These are just a few websites, online media, news outlets, and other good sources of information that are recommended to help students enhance their general knowledge:
Oxford podcasts – http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk
Cambridge video and audio – https://www.cam.ac.uk/video-and-audio
TED Talks – www.ted.com/talks
The Royal Society of Arts – www.thersa.org/discover
Follow key thinkers and news outlets on Twitter:
@newscientist @NatGeo @ScienceNews
@BBCNews @BBCBusiness @BBCTech @BBC_Future @BBCSport
Natural History Museum – www.nhm.ac.uk
Science Museum – www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
The Hunterian Museum/Royal College of Surgeons – www.rcseng.ac.uk
The British Museum – www.britishmuseum.org
The V&A Museum – www.vam.ac.uk
Tate Modern – www.tate.org.uk
The Design Museum – www.designmuseum.org
Very Short Introductions book series - Oxford University Press
Queensbury library also has many books to help you with your wider reading – ask the librarian to help you find what you need.
FREE online courses:
Future Learn – www.futurelearn.com