Gifted & Talented
At Stewards Academy, we believe that all children are entitled to an education that will enable them develop their potential. We are committed to providing a sufficiently challenging curriculum for all of our pupils.
We define pupils who possess a general academic learning ability that is significantly greater than their peers as ‘Able and Gifted’, and those pupils who show an exceptional talent in a practical area such as Art, Music, PE, Dance & Drama are recognised as ‘Talented’. Additionally, we are now looking at and acknowledging pupils who exhibit strong leadership skills, have a creative imagination and show social maturity.
In 2011, Stewards was visited by the *National Programme Director for Gifted and Talented and Education to examine the provision for Able Gifted and Talented young people and to accredit the work we were doing. This involved meeting staff, parents and governors, observing lessons and talking to many students. As a result, Stewards exceeded the requirements for leading practice and became a Lead School for Gifted and Talented, recognising expertise, not only within the school, but also in terms of outreach work in support of other schools.
‘There is an ethos of aiming high that is shared by staff (who want to be outstanding teachers) and pupils who want achieve’. (*Carol Singh, National Strategies 2011).
The Academy has maintained a successful partnership with universities under the Widening Participation Scheme, offering an insight into life and experiences for students from families with no previous experience of a university education. In addition, we continue to be successful in obtaining places at university summer schools providing fantastic opportunities for students to experience a taster of university life during residential stays.
HOW IS MY CHILD IDENTIFIED AS GIFTED AND TALENTED?
You may have been told by your child’s previous school that they were on the Gifted and Talented register, but many of you may have not been aware. No one method of identification can be entirely accurate, therefore we endeavour to obtain as much information as we can about individual pupils. We gather and use the following information:
· Information from primary schools
· Internal and external assessment and testing i.e. SATs and CATs data.
· Staff nomination by subject area.
· Parental Interviews.
Parents have a vital role in their children’s development including the encouragement to read, an introduction to new and stimulating experiences, and the opportunity to have access to their own space in which to experiment and develop interests in their own time. It should be remembered that perhaps the greatest influence on any child is that of their home circumstances.
Some of the following areas may allow you to make a tentative judgement about a child’s potential:
• Thinking skills: e.g. developing faster intellectually than would be expected of children at that age; quick and accurate recall; understanding of abstract concepts.
• Motor abilities: e.g. early awareness of left and right; ability to put together new or difficult puzzles; ability to make interesting shapes or patterns.
• Speech/language skills: e.g. Early comprehension; ability to modify language as appropriate; advanced vocabulary.
• Social skills: e.g. bringing their experience to their play; leadership skills; early interest in social issues.
• Emotional and behavioural characteristics, e.g. very sensitive, intense and responsive; perfectionist; non conformity.
Advice on Identification and Assessment:
We realise that success in school and in life is not down to ‘ability’ alone. We know that self-confidence and self-belief, determination, willingness to work hard and personal motivation are very important. Opportunities to find out what you are good at, to know what future opportunities are available, and the encouragement and support of others are also vital. Stewards are committed to ensuring that your child is given every opportunity to reach their full potential.
Research shows that good links between parents and school improve their enjoyment and chances of doing well. The more you know about what your child is learning, the more you can offer support.
PROVISION FOR ABLE, GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS.
Stewards is committed to providing a whole school approach and a whole school understanding of how to meet the needs of Able, Gifted and Talented pupils. We seek to create a climate where achievements of all are valued and success is celebrated. This commitment is an intrinsic part of the Teaching and Learning Policy and is reflected in all policies of the school.
We encourage a ‘growth’ mindset and believe that intelligence is not fixed, and with this in mind, we recommend that all pupils seize the opportunity to become involved in the extensive number of clubs and events that go on within school. Unless something new is tried and practised it is difficult to identify a flair for it.
Celebrations of success of our high achievers are seen in assemblies and ceremonies and include prize giving that acknowledge abilities and achievements as well as activities of those who demonstrate a particular talent or ability in an area outside the curriculum. The policies adopted are culturally and socially inclusive. Displays of photographs from the many visits undertaken and of pupils’ work can be viewed in public areas of school where they can be appreciated by staff, students and visitors alike.
The provision supporting Able, Gifted and Talented pupils is the responsibility of all staff and includes the principles of equality of opportunity.
GIFTED AND TALENTED STAFF TEAM MEMBERS
• Miss T O’Neill - Coordinator/Assistant Headteacher.
• Mrs H Sherwood – Lead Teacher/Head of Sociology/PSHE
• Mr G Cooper – Student Mentor/Guidance Officer.
Please feel free to contact the school either by phone or preferably email to Mr Cooper with any concerns or questions you may have.
• The National Association for Gifted Children, www.nagcbritain.co.uk
• www.gridclub.com, lots of ideas to support able pupils.
• www.bbc.co.uk/schools (Look at for touch typing, Science and revision).