Gifted and Talented
At Abbot’s Hill we recognise pupils as individuals with unique strengths and weaknesses, gifts and talents and we create opportunities for all abilities to nurture and flourish. The Gifted and Talented initiative is an integral part of the school’s improvement plan, to challenge and extend the thinking of all its pupils via a broad and balanced curriculum.
In line with current research, this term is not intended to be seen as a mark of innate ability or an indication of “potential” which separates and or limits the possible learning of all. We should recognise that “being smart is as much a matter of determination and self-discipline as it is of intellect.” (Guy Claxton 2008) It is for this reason that our Gifted and Talented register is shared by teachers and not to parents and pupils. All pupils at Abbot’s Hill are entitled to an education that appropriately challenges them.
In catering for able pupils, the school aims to achieve
- An entitlement to an appropriately challenging education
- A suitably differentiated and challenging curriculum
- Distinct and discernibly different personalised learning opportunities (i.e. for able pupils to work at higher cognitive levels
- Opportunities to develop specific skills or talents
- Strategies to heighten motivation and raise aspirations to fulfil potential
- Support for the emotional well-being of the child
In the classroom, teachers provide a stimulating learning environment, where opportunities exist to enable independent learning. The lessons are well differentiated to ensure that G&T learners are stimulated and stretched by:
- Developing an effective and secure learning environment (new technology, resources, celebration of achievement)
- Relevant and challenging curriculum
- Appropriate and effective setting/group arrangements
- Develop a range of flexible learning strategies to meet the needs of able pupils and able underachievers (higher order thinking skills, problem solving, independent learning)
- Subject specific differentiation (outlined in departmental G and T policies)
- Encouraging learners to reflect on the process of their own learning
There are also opportunities for all pupils to learn outside of the classroom environment. The school provides enriched and extended activities for pupils, to compliment teaching and learning and also to help identify pupils’ gifts and talents. The following list is indicative of the range of opportunities offered to the girls, however, it is not exhaustive.
- Provision of out of hours support
- Enrichment opportunities
- Partnership with other schools
- French Exchange Trip in Year 10
- Science Club
- Art & Design Workshops
- Trips to Concerts and Musicals
- Debating Club
- Magazine Club
- Maths Challenge
- Visiting Speakers
- Educational Trips
- Various Sports Clubs
- Drama Club
- IGGY Membership (International Gateway for the Gifted and Talented)
INSET January 2012 was run by Matt Dickinson from London Gifted and Talented, an independent learning and challenge company. Staff have had follow up discussions on a departmental level in the Senior School and on a department level in the Prep School. Building Learning Power was introduced in September 2013 to prepare the pupils for a lifetime of learning and to create “21 century explorers”. The pupils need to have learnt how to be tenacious and resourceful, imaginative and logical, self-disciplined and self-aware, collaborative and inquisitive. This initiative was further reinforced in September 2014 by a speaker from the TLO to embed BLP further into the curriculum.
INSET January 2013 was run by Dragonfly, with an emphasis on creating more independent learners.
Whole Staff INSET will include provision for the Gifted and Talented cohort, often delivered in the form of Teaching and Learning training. Heads of Department are responsible for maintaining the level of knowledge, skills and understanding and expertise to teach the most able students.