NSG’s provision for more able students
NSG is dedicated to developing the provision for More Able students in the school. Some of the ways it is doing this is by:
- Enhancing the image of ‘Gifted and Talented’ in the school through evenings such as the ‘Stars in their Eyes’ event, further evening events and teachers receiving regular training;
- A tutor referral mentoring programme for more able students;
- The identification of Talented students in all subject areas;
- Subject specific clubs and activities which extend students and can be found on the school website;
- Periodicals are available for students to access to extend their wider reading;
- Increased contact with parents through letters and this website;
- The advertisement with students of further opportunties to extend them for example competitions, IGGY.net and ‘People are Messy’ workshop for 300 Science students next year.
The most important part of this work is to alter the view of Gifted and Talented pupils as an ‘elite’ group. NSG wants to raise the aspirations of all pupils and so welcomes enthusiastically the interest of any pupil who feels that whilst they are not in the official 5-10% of pupils identified through the school’s criteria, they are aspiring towards the top grades and want to be involved in the programme. This method of self-nomination should be celebrated and pupils should feel assured that they will be listened to and given equal opportunities if they want to discuss this with Mrs Proud NSG’s Gifted and Talented Co-Ordinator.
There is still more work to be done but this is a challenge that is exciting and will really ensure that provision for all Gifted, Talented and Aspirational students is tailored to individual needs. A questionnaire will be sent to parents and pupils in the new year to gauge opinions on provision in the school but in the meantime, if you have any concerns, queries or suggestions, please contact Mrs Proud at the school via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
NSG also has a dedicated Oxbridge Facilitator – Mrs Fowler – who can be contacted on email@example.com to ensure as many pupils have the opportunity to gain access to prominent universities as possible. There are a number of opportunities available to students to ensure that access to our top universities is opened up to any more able students and includes:
- Trips to Oxford or Cambridge from Year 10;
- Advice on how to go ‘above and beyond’ in order to ensure that their applications in Year 13 will be competitive;
- Guidance on wider reading;
- Help to understand the independent research which can be undertaken to demonstrate their interest in their chosen subject;
- Practice on instigating discussion in a regular forums;
- The organisation of trips which enhance a student’s ‘Super-Curricular’.
Some ideas for students to try to make them stand out
To enrich your ‘Super-Curricular’ and increase your chances of reaching your aspirations, there are some things that you can begin doing as early as possible, even from Year 7:
- Begin thinking about a topic of interest for the Extended Project Qualification which is offered to all Year 12 students and any student in Year 10 or 11 who is aspirational;
- Download the ‘Schol-Trak’ document and complete the activities right from Year 7;
- Engage in wider reading – lists are available from the library as well as linked to this site;
- Talk to your subject teachers and if you find a topic that is mentioned that you find interesting, find out how to look into it into more depth. Read for pleasure as well as extending your knowledge;
- Don’t just accept everything that you read. Look at the periodicals that the school have in. Talk to Bev in the Sixth Form library about this or the site also has links and login details to access these at home. Use them to develop your argumentative skills and widen your ideas on a variety of topics;
- Get involved in extra-curricular activities that are run in school. Try something new and really extend yourself! There is a link to these activities on the main school website;
- Email Mrs Proud at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be kept up to date with competitions;
- Organise some work experience so that you can get a real experience of jobs and what is expected. Work experience should be taken outside of school time but there is plenty of time do this outside of term times. Write to any company you can easily get to and are genuinely interested in. A template for a letter to send is also linked to this site.
- Look at the leaflets that have been linked to this site on dealing with stress and enrichment activities you can get involved in within Northamptonshire;
- Look out for activities that really broaden your experiences and are run by the GATCO and Oxbridge Facilitator during activities week;
- Download topical podcasts from Radio 4 such as ‘No such thing as a fish’, ‘Friday night comedy’, ‘Just a Minute’, Radio 4 dramas and ‘The infinite Monkey Cage’;
- Join IGGY.net a site for 13-18 year olds which gives you access to student mentors as well as subjects outside of the curriculum. Gifted students are automatically signed up by the school but if you are interested, please send an email with your reasons why to email@example.com;
- Log onto www.futurelearn.com and sign up to one of the courses that you like the look of.
Overview of More Able provision at NSG
At Northampton School for Girls we are committed to achieving maximum success for all in an environment that is secure, caring, orderly and focused on learning so that every student is provided with the skills to become independent and confident thinkers and learners equipped to meet continuing challenge and change.
We aim to ensure that everyone has high expectations for themselves and others, understands the part they play and knows that their contribution is valued.
The school believes that there is no limit on student potential and we will always look for gifts and talents in all students and seek to provide enhanced opportunities. This will be through the taught curriculum as well as extra-curricular opportunities. The school is fully committed to working for equality of opportunity and this commitment extends to identifying and developing the talents of all our students.
All students have the same entitlement to a broad curriculum, which meets individual needs, reflects our students’ diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and allows all to find challenge and success.
Northampton School for Girls is dedicated to meeting the needs of all students within the school and nurturing their talents and abilities. Each curriculum area has its own policy which outlines how they identify those students who are Talented. These policies are used to assist teachers in creating a central list which all staff have access to in order to see where a student’s talents lie and to try and bring this into other curriculum areas.
Common characteristics that curriculum areas look out for in Talented students are whether the student regularly achieves above their target level; if the student hands in all homework on time and to a high/exceptional standard; whether the student displays a passion for the subject; can the student work hard without regular support and encouragement i.e. independently? And finally, does the student possess and use a range of specialist technical vocabulary?
We believe that the key to students succeeding is through effective communication between everyone involved in the education of each student. We are always keen to know about any extra-curricular activities our students are involved in as these need to be celebrated to show the true diversity of our students’ talents.
What support is currently provided?
The More Able register is used to help plan support strategies. The kind of support needed for each student will vary enormously. Student Progress Leaders and Form Tutors ensure that where there is difficulty under any of the following headings, appropriate support is planned and monitored:
- Integration – is the student integrated into their peer group – do they need any support in the relationships they are forming?
- Well-being – is the student suffering from stress caused by the expectations placed upon them by parents, teachers, peers or themselves?
- Motivation – are there signs of the student losing motivation and coasting?
Additionally we provide:
- Classroom groupings which allow More Able students to work together.
- Information from national institutes, local universities and Russell Group Universities who provide opportunities for More Able students.
- Regular monitoring of students so that under achievers can be identified and strategies put in place to support these students.
- Differentiated materials/activities within the curriculum area.
- Extra-curricular activities and opportunities that cater for students’ passions and interests.
- Differentiated learning outcomes which help students to focus on the achievement of higher levels and grades.
- Regular staff training to identify and provide students with the opportunities and tools to become independent learners and so be fully equipped to exceed.
- Staff who have the best interests of all students at the forefront of their minds and therefore want to stretch every student to reach their potential.
All staff share responsibility for ensuring that students are happy, motivated and achieve to the best of their abilities while they are under our care at NSG.