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Most Able and Talented Provision 2016-17

AIMS:

  • Raise attainment
  • Provide a range of extra & super-curricular opportunities for all Key Stages
  • Embed a range of skills that students can apply to their own learning
  • Broaden horizons & improve life chances
  • Increase cultural awareness

 

RATIONALE

Students at Walthamstow Academy are regarded as being Most Able & Talented if they achieve an average Key Stage 2 Point in excess of 30 points. This broad cohort of students are often referred to as having high prior attainment. Within the Academy this represents around 60 students per year group; roughly a third of the cohort. From these students 24 per KS3 year group are selected by Learning Managers, Form Tutors, teaching staff and the students themselves to participate in the Academy’s MAT provision. These 24 students represent around 14% of a typical year group of 180 students. During the course of their progression through the school, the composition of these student groupings does change as some drop out and others are included based on the overall progress they are making at the Academy, keeping the groupings dynamic and representational. At KS4 provision is extended to cover a broader range of around 50-60 students per year group, with different groups of students participating in different programmes such as the Brilliant Club, Franklin Scholars, LSE Potential and the school’s own A*Star Wars programme.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 the academy’s provision for MAT students is skills based and aims to develop ‘hard’ skills such as creative thinking, problem solving, public speaking and making logical connections, alongside ‘soft’ skills such as teamwork, commitment, resilience and independence.

Around 24 students are selected from each year group’s potentially most able cohort using Key Stage 2 APS & CATs data, alongside holistic teacher recommendations from Form Tutor’s, the Head of Year Learning Manager and individual subject specialists. Students are also invited to put themselves forward for inclusion.

Every Thursday, from 3pm until 3.45pm three separate MAT sessions run, one for each year group, each one supervised by an experienced teacher with a particular passion for working with gifted students. Three skill strands are offered: Practical Science, Debate & Discussion and Logical Puzzles. KS3 provision runs on a carousel system, switching every half term, so through the course of one year (6 half-terms) each student will attend each skill strand twice. This allows students to revisit and improve upon skills learned earlier in the year as well as embedding pace and variety in the year’s programme.

External providers may also feature in the carousel. This year a team from Imperial College London will be running a five-week programme called Technopreneurship which combines both Science and Business Skills. This programme will consist of a four week course of two hour workshops running from 2.30pm until 4.30pm, with 20 Year 9 students working in teams of 4, and culminate in a competition judged on a 10-minute presentation that the students must deliver at Imperial College during a half day visit to the South Kensington site.

Last year we ran the nationally recognised Brilliant Club Programme for the first time with 24 Year 9 students taken from the MAT cohort with a focus on pupil premium students. The programme consists of six one-hour tutorials with students working in groups of six on a choice of Arts & Humanities or STEM based topics, following which students completed a written independent research task marked and graded to the key stage above. The extremely positive feedback provided by students showed an increase in knowledge, aspiration and dedication. Following this we will be running the Club again this year in the Summer term with Year 9 students

We also work with the Citizenship Foundation to run programmes for younger students. Last year we trialled a four-week programme that looked at the trade implications of Brexit with students working in groups representing different companies all around the world making and exporting fashion T-shirts to the UK. This year we hope to compete in the Magistrates Mock Trial – a junior version of the Bar Mock trial programme that has been running successfully for Key Stage 5 students for several years at the Academy.

One feature of the KS3 MAT provision is its ties with nationally recognised programmes such as the British Science Association CREST awards, two of which students can achieve by completing the Practical Science strand of the carousel.

KS3 Most Able Carosel Teachers:

 

Ms Adem

Debate, Discusion &

Philosophy for Children

Ms Mir

Practical Science

Skills

Ms Nacak

Logical Puzzles

 

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 the academy’s provision is split into two distinct strands.

For year 10, at a vital transitional stage of their educational & social development, the focus is on working with external providers. Our aim is to ‘push’ students out of their comfort zone, to broaden their academic, social and aspirational horizons and to encourage them to work with, and both talk and listen to, less familiar adults than their teachers, developing vital ‘soft’ social skills in the process. An example of this early in the year is the chance for 30 students to compete in the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge and really begin to develop their vital public speaking and interpersonal skills.

During the Spring Term 24 Year 10 MAT students, with a focus on FSM and pupil premium students, will be participating in the LSE (London School of Economics) Potential High Achievers Academic Mentoring scheme. During this 10-week programme students will work in groups of three with undergraduate and postgraduate students from LSE who are themselves from a diverse range of ethnic & socio-economic backgrounds. The aims of the programme are to help students acquire and develop study skills, develop greater self-esteem, motivation and confidence, and to raise student awareness of Higher Education opportunities.

In the Summer term 20 Year 10 MAT students will be given the opportunity to participate in the NHS Health Education England Reach out for Healthcare Science Programme. This week long course includes 2 days spent at either UCL or KCL University and 3 days working in the UCL and KCL University Hospitals – the sort of ‘hands on’ experience that can be invaluable in any student’s vocational development.  Working with the respected external education provider Exscitec, there are a number of other vocational courses on offer to Year 10 students in the summer term such as the three-day Marine Biosciences residential course at Southampton University that 3 students attended last year.

There are also a number of year-long widening participation programmes on offer to students in Year 10, many of which are internationally recognised and will aid students considerably in making their future University applications. Two such examples are the UCL Horizons programme and the Imperial College STEM programme, both of which currently include a number of Year 10 students from the academy. For all these courses the onus is on the students themselves to submit their own applications and to write their own supporting personal statements, further developing vital life skills.

This year we have recently implemented the Franklin Scholars Programme - a nationally recognised peer mentoring scheme where fifteen Year 10 students lead a weekly mentoring session with 15 of the academies most vulnerable Year 7 students who may be facing transition problems in moving to secondary school. The programme is part of the academies on-going focus on peer support throughout the school from the oldest to the youngest student to create a learning community built upon our core values of respect, integrity, commitment, empathy and equality.

Year 10 students must apply online for the chance to participate in the programme, after which they are interviewed by an external panel, followed by a day’s training and a daylong induction alongside the Year 7 students. The programme takes place, as does the majority of the academies Most Able provision during the extended tutor time allocation at the end of the school day.

For Year 11 the emphasis in their GCSE year switches to exam-based academic advancement; specifically raising attainment amongst the academies cohort of MAT students and increasing the percentage of students attaining A or A* grades, or grades 7 to 9 in the new number system that begins this year. 60 students from Year 11 (one-third of the cohort) are selected to participate in the A*Star-Wars programme. The programme begins at the end of Year 10 and includes sessions on differentiated study and revision skills tailored towards achieving higher GCSE grades, alongside subject-specific masterclasses that include advanced content and ‘gold dust’ tips for success.

KS4 Most Able Provision Coordinators:

 

Mr King

Assistant Principal

 

Mr Bell-Brown

MAT Coordinator

2iC English KS5 

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