Higher Ability Students

We recognise that students of higher ability have the potential to excel. The leadership, teaching and pastoral staff support these students to aspire to and achieve the highest academic standards.

How We Identify Higher Ability Students

We identify our Higher Ability students in two ways. The first is through scores achieved in Reading and Maths on the Key Stage 2 SATs that are completed in Year 6 of Primary School. The second is through scores on Cognitive Ability Tests (CATS) that are part of the Year 7 assessments. These students are our core Higher Ability Group who have the potential to achieve highly across the curriculum. Teachers in all subjects plan and teach to encourage high aspiration in and to meet the learning needs of these Higher ability students.

A second group are identified by subject teachers as more able in individual curriculum subjects. Teachers in these subjects work together to create resources and activities that challenge students to develop higher level knowledge and understanding in their subjects. Exceptional students in this group have the opportunity to join the core Higher Ability Group.

Years 7 to 11

In Years 7 to 9, the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) curriculum is designed to provide opportunities for higher ability students to extend their thinking and independent learning. The principle of inquiry is at the heart of the MYP. Teaching and learning in Years 7-9, based around big, overarching inquiry questions gives higher ability students the opportunity to develop their higher order thinking skills and plan the direction of their own inquiry.

Students in Years 7 to 9 have the opportunity to be part of the West Kent Independent and State School Partnership (WKISSP), attending themed lectures and masterclasses with Higher Ability students from other local schools. In the Academic Year 2022-23 the theme was Revolution and this academic year it is the Olympics.

In Year 9 some students will have the opportunity to take part in the Kent Academies Network (KAN) Core and Aspire programmes, which develops the aspiration and skills needed to apply to university in Higher Ability students for whom there are barriers to High Education.

Across Year 7 to 11, the teaching team focus on Quality First Teaching, planning together to meet the needs of higher ability Students. The careers programme across these year groups encourages aspiration so that higher ability Students see the link between high achievement and future careers to which they may aspire. These students’ progress towards meeting their target grades is regularly monitored through individual meetings where achievement is praised, and targets set.

Across all year groups trips and activities inspire and extend students’ knowledge and horizons. Recent trips and activities included:

  • The Science Museum and The Royal Botanical Gardens Kew
  • STEM competition with Skinners’ Hackney School
  • Maths trip to the University of Oxford
  • Creative writing workshop led by author Jenny McLachlan

Year 12 and 13

In the Sixth form we develop and support the aspirations of our Higher Ability students in their educational and career choices beyond the Academy.

Our IB Programme supports high academic achievement through the range of diploma subjects alongside high quality vocational courses.

Our Higher Ability students are supported with bespoke careers advice, including Higher and Further Education, and Apprenticeships.

We have a comprehensive programme to prepare our students for university applications, including interview practice for students applying to University of Cambridge or University of Oxford.