Most Able, Gifted and Talented
What is ‘Most Able’?
A ‘most able’ learner is one who has achieved a level 5 or higher in both English and Maths by the end of Key Stage 2. These learners demonstrate an academic aptitude from an early age and are expected to achieve at least a B grade by the end of their Key Stage 4 studies.
‘Most Able’ at Buckler’s Mead Academy
At Buckler’s Mead Academy we maintain high expectations for all of our learners, and so it is particularly important to us that our ‘most able’ students are pushed to achieve their full potential.
With 36% of the students Buckler’s Mead Academy being listed as ‘most able’, finding ways to support and extend the work of these students whilst regularly monitoring their progress across Key Stages 3 and 4 remains a priority.
We believe in nurturing independence, ambition and drive in our students and we therefore set our sights high and encourage our students to do the same. Both class work and homework are suitable challenging for more able learners, with lessons that include stretch and challenge activities and extension tasks. All lessons have levelled learning objectives, and teachers encourage the more able students to push for the most challenging of those. Teachers encourage Buckler’s Mead students to independently extend their own studies outside of lessons with challenging homework, for example using Realsmart or IamLearning websites.
Outside of the classroom there are opportunities for our ‘most able’ learners to extend their skills through extra-curricular clubs, trips and workshops. A STEM questionnaire is sent to the ‘most able’ children in year 7 to identify the child’s own interests and aspirations. The database produced using this information ensures that enrichment opportunities are identified for those students who would most benefit. For example, engineering trips, Biomed club etc. We have STEM ambassadors (undergraduates and postgraduate students) who will be working with our students in STEM clubs to help raise students’ understanding and aspirations.
In order to ensure that all our learners are making outstanding progress throughout their time at Buckler’s Mead Academy, we follow NACE (National Association for Able Children in Education) and Ofsted guidelines, and are working towards gaining the prestigious NACE Challenge award.
Ofsted’s recommends that schools and academies should:
- develop their culture and ethos so that the needs of the most able students are championed by school leaders
- help the most able students to flourish and leave school with the best qualifications by providing first-rate opportunities to develop the skills, confidence and attitudes needed to succeed at the best Universities
- improve the transfer between primary and secondary schools so that all Year 7 teachers know which students achieved highly, know what aspects of the curriculum the most able students have studied in Year 6, and use this information to plan and teach lessons that build on prior knowledge and skills
- ensure that work continues to be challenging and demanding throughout Key Stage 3 so that the most able students make rapid progress
- ensure that senior leaders evaluate mixed ability teaching so that the most able students are sufficiently challenged and make good progress
- evaluate the quality of homework set for the most able students to ensure that it is suitably challenging
- give the parents and carers of the most able students better and more frequent information about what their children should achieve and raise their expectations where necessary
- develop more in-house expertise and up-to-date knowledge to support applications to the most prestigious Universities, particularly in relation to the knowledge and skills required for undergraduate courses
The Most Able Students, Ofsted (June 2013)
Gifted and Talented
At Buckler’s Mead Academy we are keen to identify, develop and celebrate those students who show talents beyond the life of the academic classroom. Talents include musical and artistic ability and sporting prowess. Each department has its own G&T policy and means of identifying students in need of additional support and encouragement to reach their potential.