Most Able

***  Now taking self-nominations for the Budehaven Gifted and Talented Register 2015  Download Self-nomination Form  ***

At Budehaven, we want our most able students to aim high and fulfil their academic potential. National trends show us that the ablest students are capable of making progress at a quicker rate than is typical of their peer group, for example by making four levels of progress during their time with us, instead of three. Therefore, we would encourage a Year 7 pupil who comes to us with at least a National Curriculum Level 5 in both Reading (English) and Maths, to aim for A* and A grades at GCSE. Upon enrolment into our Sixth Form, we advise our most able students to select at least two of the facilitating subjects for study post-16, opening the door to the most acclaimed and prestigious universities the UK has to offer. Throughout their time at Budehaven, we will provide the encouragement, advice and support necessary to help our most able students go on to work in the profession, industry or field of their choice.

Teaching and Learning

Each subject area will know what works best in the classroom for their most able, but there are a number of general principles that our teachers understand and incorporate into their planning:

  • Seating plans, planned pairings and groupings are used to ensure variety and challenge
  • The spirit of investigation is fostered through structured problem-solving tasks
  • Questioning techniques are used to challenge and extended verbal responses are expected
  • Mistakes are accepted as a route to learning
  • Technical and specialist language is supplied and its accurate use encouraged
  • Students are encouraged to see themselves in a national context, against a wider peer group

Grit and Tenacity Calendar

Increasingly, we are looking to develop the character traits in our students that are known to lead to academic success.  A broad programme of enrichment activity is available to our Most Able, and/or Gifted and Talented students, through which they can challenge their capacity for work, grow their resilience and crucially, broaden their horizons. You can access our termly calendar here: Grit and Tenacity Calendar Spring Term 2015

Colin Ryan
Able, Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator
Email: ccr@budehaven.cornwall.sch.uk

  • Where relevant and possible, the school will make use of the knowledge of visiting experts and encourage our most able to look beyond the school walls for access to specialist knowledge. Eleven students from years 10-13, for example, are currently working towards GCSE Latin with an experienced Classics teacher in lunchtime and after-school sessions. This year, we have extended this to just under 50 students in years 7-8, who have just begun their after-school Latin lessons. Every year, Colin Ryan, our Able, Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator, facilitates or arranges for prospective students to access taster days and residential stop-overs with Oxford and Cambridge universities. Our ablest female scientists regularly represent the school at the Exeter ‘Women in Science’ festival and one Year 9 student each year successfully applies to the Future Scholar Award, through which they are granted a visit to a Russell Group university of their choice.

    Guided visits to institutions such as the National History Museum are also arranged with a view to broadening the mind and fostering a love of knowledge among our most able. In addition to this, the school has excellent links with both Exeter and Plymouth universities in order that annual subject-specific events can be accessed by students in all year groups, such as the Plymouth University Mixed Activity Day. As part of their Sixth Form experience, we invite students to participate in enrichment in our school library, where they can contribute to the cataloguing, human and resource management processes that take place there, preparing them well for the rigours of traditional academy study.
    Students applying to university with us in Year 13 are supported by an experienced team of Sixth Form tutors and our Head of Sixth Form, Matthew White, who is able to give expert advice on issues such as personal statement writing, the UCAS process and opportunities for study abroad.

  • In addition to our provision for the ‘Most Able’, we recognise that individual students have gifts and talents for specific subjects and skill areas. We identify these students by teacher nomination, and in January 2015, we will also be asking students to identify themselves to us, supported by an endorsement from two 'others', one of which could be a parent or carer .

    Once a student has been identified, they become a member of the ‘Gifted and Talented Register’ which runs from January to January, crossing the natural boundary of each academic year. We start the nomination process in January in order that our teachers have had proper opportunity to get to know the abilities of the students in their classes. In February, we will write home to advise students and parents that their child has been nominated, with details of the subject area(s).

    Most often, students are identified as particularly able in one subject area only. In these cases, subject teams will decide on the particulars of how to support their ablest learners. Where a student has been identified in more than one subject area, more co-ordination is required. In these cases, the Able, Gifted and Talented Co-coordinator will liaise with subject areas and meet with the student to negotiate how their needs can be best met.

    From time to time, invitations come into school for students on this register to access extra-curricular opportunities, for example:

    As far as possible, we will endeavour to support student access to enrichment events, as it is through events such as these that we can encourage our students to see themselves in a competitive national, if not global context. When students return from trips such as these, we politely ask that they be prepared to share their experiences with others.


Most Able- The Budehaven Offer

  • 1. Student Voice- listening and responding to the most able students

    Whole-school approaches
    The universal offer to all students

    Additional targeted support and provision

    Specialist, individualised support and provision

    The views and opinions of all students are valued and acted upon.

    Student voice is heard through:

    • - Student Parliament
    • - Barometer groups
    • - Focus groups
    • - Questionnaires
    • - Sixth Form Committee

    Consultation with students during lesson observations by senior staff.

    Consultation with students over staff appointments, internal and external.

    Students lead on key areas of school development e.g.
    The Haven Student Management Group.
    The Library Team, School Magazine.

    Most able students are represented on the Student Parliament and the Sixth Form Committee.

    In 2014-15 the Student Parliament will lead Barometer groups.
    Most able students will be consulted as a discreet group.
    Students who are nominated gifted and talented in multiple subjects are individually interviewed and matters arising are shared with teachers.

    Students are invited to self-nominate as able and gifted in subjects. Where self-nominations are not supported by teacher nominations, this is investigated and teachers consider the students’ view. Where there is agreement, the G&T register is altered accordingly.

    When students identify particular needs or aspirations, they are supported as appropriate
    e.g. through career interviews.
  • 2. Partnership with parents and carers

    Whole-school approaches
    The universal offer to all students

    Additional targeted support and provision

    Specialist, individualised support and provision

    The school works in partnership with parents and carers.

    Parents and carers are invited to attend study support, contact, careers as well as traditional parents’ evenings.

    Tracking reports, with aspirational targets, are sent home four times per year.

    Parents and carers make contact with CoLs and/or LoLs, if they have concerns, and senior leaders support this process.

    PlannerLive allows parents and carers to check homework.

    SAM Learning allows parents and carers to access learning resources at home.

    Prior to parents evening the parents and carers of most able and Pupil Premium children are telephoned and offered priority booking of appointments.

    Most able students in KS3 may be set extension work on e-learning platforms, allowing early access to GCSE content.

    Students will be invited to self-nominate for the Gifted and Talented register in January 2015. Student nominations must be endorsed by two ‘others’, one of which can be a parent or carer.

    Teachers and pastoral staff are responsive to specific issues as raised by parents and carers. Subject teams respond swiftly and fully to parental queries, adjusting provision where appropriate.

  • 3. The curriculum and extended curriculum

    Whole-school approaches
    The universal offer to all students

    Additional targeted support and provision

    Specialist, individualised support and provision

    The curriculum is designed to ensure the inclusion of all children, and stretch and challenge e.g. in Science, lessons are planned to allow access to a challenge route through the learning; in English there is a focus on reading whole-texts and demanding Literature is studied throughout the curriculum.

    All students study two languages in years 7 and 8, which allows them to follow a dual language pathway at GCSE, post-16 and beyond.

    Year 9 students participate in the Apps for Good scheme in their ICT lessons. Last year the Budehaven team won this national competition and will now be mentored by leading industrialists from Thomson Reuters and Dell.

    All ‘facilitating’ subjects for Russell Group universities are offered post-16

    A calendar of stretch and challenge/aspiration activity details opportunities available to students in years 7-11 through ‘The Zone’ e.g. social science sessions, additional guidance sessions around options and post-16 selections.

    Most able students in Year 7 are invited to access Latin tuition through a weekly after-school session in ‘The Zone’. Clubs fees may be paid for Pupil Premium students.

    Most able students in years 7-11 can develop their independence using challenging resources on SAM Learning and other e-learning platforms such as Sumdog and MyMaths.

    Advice and guidance in Year 8 encourages most able students to follow the Ebacc route. In 2014-15 supported by a ‘pathways’ session in ‘The Zone’, calendared to take place prior to the formal selection of options.

    At GCSE, most able students have access to the highest tiers of entry at e.g. triple science.

    In Year 11, able mathematicians currently study Further Maths in additional to their GCSE course.

    Advice and guidance in Year 11 encourages most able students to select facilitating subjects. This is supported by a ‘pathways’ session in ‘The Zone’ which takes places before students apply for post-16 courses.

    Students who come to us having been advanced a year in another school, are supported to continue on their accelerated course. These students typically progress to Oxbridge or Russell Group universities, such as the London School of Economics.

    Talented sportsmen/women are supported to achieve in school alongside national and international sporting commitments through the Elite Academy e.g. a series of talented surfers (and windsurfers) have been enabled to achieve top grades at GCSE and post-16 whilst maintaining international sports careers. A leading PE teacher acts as a mentor and advocate to such students.

    In Year 11, each student has a private interview with a senior leader. Most able students are encouraged to plan aspirational pathways through post-16, such as the selection of ‘facilitating’ subjects for Russell Group universities.

    At the start of Year 13, accompanied by parents and carers, students have an enrolment interview with a senior leader. Individualised advice and guidance is given to ensure that students dropping to 3 ‘A’ Levels continue with courses which allow progression to their target degree course. Most able students are encouraged to target Russell Group universities in these interviews.

    Individual students who perform exceptionally well in a particular field are given one to one coaching by subject specialists which enables them to compete in a national field e.g. one Year 13 student was given audition coaching and was accepted to RADA, another student was mentored by the Leader of Learning in Music enabling her to take up a place at the Royal Academy of Music. One Year 10 student was coached to compete in the South West Chef Junior Award competition.

  • 4. Teaching and learning

    Whole-school approaches
    The universal offer to all students

    Additional targeted support and provision

    Specialist, individualised support and provision

    All students are given opportunities to learn co-operatively (in pairs and groups) and also independently.

    Teachers use Assessment for Learning strategies so all students understand success criteria and are shown examples of excellent work.

    Work is marked every six lessons and detailed, written feedback is provided, which includes what went well and how to improve.

    Students are expected to spend time improving their work in tutor time, in lesson time and at home.

    Work is often handed back for re-drafting if it does not approach the student’s target grade.

    Reading age testing takes place bi-annually for years 7 and 8, and annually for years 9 and 11. This data is shared with teachers in their electronic marksheets, which enables them to identify appropriate texts for students.

    Extended writing is a priority for teachers this year.

    Most able students (those who achieved L5 in English (reading) and Maths at KS2) are flagged to teachers by an indicator in their electronic marksheets.

    Subject teams make special provision for most able students in their schemes of learning.

    Teachers make special provision for most able students through differentiation in their lessons.

    Senior leaders focus on the quality of provision for most able students when observing lessons, consulting with students and sampling work for quality assurance purposes.

    Gifted and talented students in specific subjects, are identified annually by teacher nomination and a central register is kept. This register is the central reference point used by the Able and Gifted Co-ordinator to identify students suitable for extra-curricular opportunities e.g. visits to Oxbridge.

  • 5. Self-help, independence and leadership

    Whole-school approaches
    The universal offer to all students

    Additional targeted support and provision

    Specialist, individualised support and provision

    Self-help is a theme for year group assemblies, in line with the school’s co-operative values.

    Development of the ‘Growth Mind-set’ is a priority for teachers, tutors and senior leaders.

    Tutor programme in KS3 asserts the importance of reading widely.

    Tutor programme in KS4 gives opportunity for students to act on their written feedback (Dedicated Improvement Time) and to use the computers before lessons start (Supported Study Time).

    Work experience programme in Year 10 and 12 provides opportunity for students to work in target field.

    Ambassador programme in Year 11 offers leadership opportunities to all.

    Further leadership opportunity is available through Student Parliament and form reps.

    Sports Leader awards (CSLA and HSLA) develop leadership skills.

    School library is well-stocked with challenging reads and is open before and after-school, and at breaks and lunchtimes to all students.

    E-learning resources are available to students in school and at home: SAM Learning, My Maths, Sumdog, Literacy Lounge.

    ‘The Zone’ offers specialist support for most able and gifted and talented students e.g. additional Literature qualification in ‘Living Texts’ is offered by the English department to most able students in KS4; specialist advice and guidance is provided to Year 11 students choosing their post-16 options (Informed Choice document from Russell Group universities is presented by a senior leader).

    KS3 tutors make special provision for most able students through a differentiated approach to most able students in the weekly Reading for Pleasure session.

    Our experienced librarian is available to support students looking to extend themselves e.g. through reading groups, award shadowing and guided access to challenging (more adult) reads. Our librarian plays a leading role in the regional network of school libraries.

    Individual students who perform exceptionally well in a particular field are given one to one coaching by subject specialists which enables them to compete in a national field e.g. one Year 13 student was given audition coaching and was accepted to RADA, one Year 10 student was coached by to compete in the South West Chef Junior Award competition this summer.

  • 6. Health, well-being and emotional support

    Whole-school approaches
    The universal offer to all students

    Additional targeted support and provision

    Specialist, individualised support and provision

    An identified senior leader oversees provision for students with well-being, emotional and mental-health needs.

    All students access the diverse PSHE curriculum.

    A range of support services are available to all students through The Haven (integrated health centre) e.g. counselling.

    Sixth Form tutors provide specialist advice, support, guidance and mentoring personalised to each student in post-16.

    Diverse extra-curricular and curricular provision for sports and PE encourages students to balance academic work and lead healthy lifestyles.

    CoLs arrange support for students who show signs of stress e.g. Mindfulness training.

    Associate tutors and senior leaders provide mentoring to underachieving students.

    CoLs are responsive to the emotional needs of their students, liaising with subject teachers as needed, ensuring that student vulnerabilities are known and handled with sensitivity.

    The Haven offers personalised support to students according to well-being and emotional needs e.g. some most able students access CAMHS, most access careers advice. Specialised support is also available to individuals for bereavement, LGBTQ.
  • 7. Social interaction opportunities

    Whole-school approaches
    The universal offer to all students

    Additional targeted support and provision

    Specialist, individualised support and provision

    All students experience a range of groupings e.g. mixed ability, fine setting and loose setting.

    All students experience a range of in-class groupings e.g. seating plans, working with friends, working with others, working with those of similar ability.

    All students belong to a tutor group, and a year group with a distinctive ethos.

    Competitive activities are offered through Team Aspire in KS3 (both academic and sporting).

    Tutor programme gives opportunity for discussion and debate of current affairs, exposing all students to a range of views and allowing them to test arguments.

    All students are invited on trips and visits, including residential trips abroad e.g. Ethiopia, Paris, Moreira, Greece.

    Full programme of extra-curricular activities is available e.g. Lego Robotics, STEM, School Magazine, Latin, Drama, Art, Languages Café, Music (wide range) through which most able students can meet students in other year groups, with similar interests and aptitudes.

    The school has an enduring partnership with Assosa School in Ethiopia. Although opportunities to visit Ethiopia are offered to all, typically, this experience has been well-accessed by our most able students (expenses have been paid for Pupil Premium students).

    Our ‘Able and Gifted Co-ordinator’ organises trips and visits to Russell Group Universities e.g. Oxford, Liverpool where most able students are able to meet their national peer group (see also Physical Environment and Resources section)

    Through ‘The Zone’ the school creates opportunities for most able students to work alongside peers of similar ability, and also work in vertical contexts (alongside older most able students).

    In Year 7 and 8, three able readers are identified through a screening process to represent the school at the international ‘Kid’s Lit Quiz’. These students are coached by our school librarian and an English teacher. The experience enables them to meet their regional peer group.

    One Year 9 student each year is identified as the lead applicant for the Future Scholar Award, which leads to privileged access to a Russell group university for 4-5 students (most recently Liverpool).

  • 8. The aspirational environment

    Whole-school approaches
    The universal offer to all students

    Additional targeted support and provision

    Specialist, individualised support and provision

    The school offers an attractive and aspirational setting in which to learn; through classroom and corridor displays and exhibitions, students can view excellent work.

    Subject areas provide access to specialist equipment e.g. photography lab, laser cutter, computer suites, data logger, gel electrophoresis chamber.

    High profile speakers from the STEM community deliver lectures (‘STEM sessions’) which take place in our school hall, to students, staff and members of the wider community.

    The school library is well-stocked with classic literature, as well as broad range of genre-fiction and non-fiction text types to appeal to all tastes.

    All students are expected to participate in work experience in years 10 and 12, which allows them to work in aspirational environments e.g. hospitals, veterinary practices, both locally and further afield.

    The Able and Gifted Co-ordinator organises opportunities for most able students to visit aspirational settings locally and further afield e.g. Exeter and Plymouth universities, Oxford, Nottingham and Liverpool universities have all been recent destinations.

    An annual trip is run to the ‘Academy Conference’. Most able students are invited to hear speakers from academia lecture on a range of topics at under-graduate level.

    Year 9 students are supported annually to apply for the Future Scholar award which enables privileged access to Russell group universities, and specialist advice and guidance (we have been successful in our applications for the past two years).

    In Year 10, students who are gifted in multiple subjects have been offered the Oxford Pathways experience, which includes a boat trip on the Thames and a guided tour of an Oxford college with the opportunity to talk to Oxford students. This opportunity is dependent on the school securing (limited) places year on year.

    One Year 9 student each year is identified as the lead applicant for the Future Scholar Award, which leads to privileged access to a Russell group university for 4-5 students (most recently Liverpool).

    In Year 13, students applying for Oxford and Cambridge are prioritised and supported by the Head of Sixth (CoL). Students who are likely to be interviewed are given interview practice by the Headteacher and members of the governing body with experience of industry.

    Students applying for Russell Group universities are given personal advice and guidance when writing personal statements by academic tutors and specialist subject teachers. These students are also given interview practice by governors, where appropriate.

    Individual students who perform exceptionally well in a particular field are given one to one coaching by subject specialists which enables them to compete in a national field e.g. one Year 13 student was given audition coaching and was accepted to RADA, another student was mentored by the Leader of Learning in Music enabling her to take up a place at the Royal Academy of Music. One Year 10 student was coached by to compete in the South West Chef Junior Award competition.

  • 9. Transition

    Whole-school approaches
    The universal offer to all students

    Additional targeted support and provision

    Specialist, individualised support and provision

    Access to school facilities is offered freely to future Budehaven students from their pre-school days (we host a storybook event) and throughout their primary schooling (e.g. through sports festivals and tournaments).

    All students in years 5 and 6 are invited to the annual Open Evening, where there is ‘open school’. Subject areas are fully staffed and teachers are available to discuss provision and share exemplar work. The GCSE experience is also showcased.

    A named teacher makes regular visits to feeder primary schools, supported by our Pastoral Support Assistants throughout Year 6.

    Teachers from English, Maths and Science departments teach taster sessions to Year 6 pupils in their primary schools. All students are invited to come up to Budehaven Science labs to experience a Year 7 Science lesson before their induction days take place.

    Teachers from our languages team work alongside teachers in local primary schools, supporting the teaching of languages all year round.

    All Year 6 students take part in two induction days, when they are given the full experience of secondary school (lessons in a range of subjects including PE and DT (which allows access to the DT suite and sports facilities).

    Special support is given to students coming to Budehaven from primary schools further afield, or in small numbers, in the form of extra visits and communications.

    On both induction days, ‘The Zone’ offers a lunchtime club to most able Year 6 students where a senior leader offers stretch and challenge activities.

    Most able students in Year 7 are invited to access Latin tuition through a weekly after-school session in ‘The Zone’. Clubs fees may be paid for Pupil Premium students.

    In 2015, ‘Level 6’ sessions will be available through ‘The Zone’ to Year 6 pupils in the spring term. These sessions are led by specialist subject teachers and target the skills for L6 in English and Maths.

    Parents are invited to request a private tour of the school if they would like one. On these occasions, it is possible for the transition co-ordinator to highlight ways in which the school experience can match the needs of individual pupils.

    Close relationships between ourselves and our primary schools ensure that the particular needs of individual students are passed on, enabling us to tailor provision.