Able & Talented
At Falmouth School, every effort is made to ensure that our students enjoy their days at school and our vision is for them to grow into happy, healthy and confident young people with the ability to fulfil their true potential in life. We aim to develop our students’ skills and characters through a range of personalised learning experiences.
We recognise that our able and talented students have individual educational needs and need to be provided with an environment that both stimulates and challenges them.
What do we mean by “Able and Talented”?
Our more able students are those who have the potential to achieve distinctly above average in one of their academic subjects, for example maths, English, science, history or languages. Talented students are those whose skills are distinctly above average in more practical subjects like PE, drama, dance or music.
The DfE and Ofsted define the more able and talented in terms of those whose progress significantly exceeds age related expectations. However, at Falmouth School, we look beyond actual progress to include those who may be underachieving or whose skills and knowledge may be outside the school curriculum. Exceptionally able pupils are those who have the capacity to achieve or perform at the very highest levels.
We identify students as able and talented using a range of factors including their primary school levels and their current attainment. We then liaise with subject teachers, who will make a final decision based on each individual student’s attitude to learning.
Provision within the Curriculum
Our teaching staff work to provide a rich and diverse range of activities that are specifically designed to extend our able and talented students. Each lesson is planned with the ethos of making sure that every single child is pushed to reach their full potential. All students should be made to feel stretched and challenged. Homework activities are also set with the desire to make students think.
We talk in great detail to our feeder primary schools about the students who will be joining us each September, which means that we can meet the educational needs of all of the students from their very first day.
Teaching staff regularly carry out class assessments through our “blue sheet” marking policy. This means that any gaps in knowledge can be identified early and we can takes steps to put things right as quickly as possible.
We have a number of activities and opportunities that are available to our most able students. These include:
- Visits from guest speakers who are leaders in their field of education or chosen careers
- After-school and lunchtime clubs, which allow students to achieve a CREST award or additional GCSE
- Sports teams
- School productions
- School music concerts
- Dance showcase
- Trips to various different universities, including the University of Oxford and Cambridge University
- Interview practice for Y13 students applying to university
For a full list of the clubs and trips that we are currently running, please have a look at our calendar.
How can you Support your Child?
As a parent or carer, you are the most important factor in your child’s development. We are often asked by parents what we think they should be doing to support their child’s learning. There are various things that you may want to try:
- Encourage them to try new activities – they minght find something that they excel at
- Read with them – this can help them to develop their mind and learn new and interesting things, as well as improving their communication skills and vocabulary. There are some potential ideas for books to read here: http://www.listchallenges.com/100-fiction-books-all-children-should-read
- Suggest that they try logic and word puzzles on a regular basis.
- Give them a “word of the week” to learn. The Academic Word List is useful for this
- Give them a “fact of the week” to learn.
If your child shows a natural ability in any of the following subjects, then we would recommend that you look at:
Maths – www.brilliant.org
Science – http://www.howstuffworks.com/
Design - http://designmuseum.org/
Geography – http://www.nationalgeographic.com/
History – http://www.historytoday.com/
Languages – https://www.duolingo.com/
Dance/Drama – https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/zrnjwty
If you have any questions about anything mentioned here, or would like further information on our able and talented policy, please feel free to contact me.