Tuxford Academy is committed to developing the potential of every student. We believe that everyone has the right to be supported and challenged in order to reach their potential. We care for all our students equally, regardless of ability and encourage them to thrive.
The government asks schools to identify various groups of students and the higher attaining students are such a group. The provision for our more able/higher attaining students is all about equity. Such students have a right to be educated according to their potential needs and abilities.
It is important to recognise that our more able students are individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses. In order to support, stretch and challenge this group we have a more able/higher attainers register. This register is a working document and is updated. This allows our staff to help support and challenge our students.
Our more able/higher attaining students are identified using a number of measures; for example, CATs results, key stage 2 SATs results and primary school recommendations are used. In addition, for later years, faculties also identify our more able using criteria established by subjects and teachers; peer comparison (performing two to three years ahead of peers) and talent identification (sport, music, drama, art and dance).
More able/higher attainers provision
The enhancement of learning opportunities for our more able/higher attainers is part of ensuring that the needs of all of our students are met.
All students are encouraged and stretched academically in their lesson as we believe that ‘a rising tide lifts all ships’.
Additional support for more able/higher attaining students includes:
Challenge within lessons
Our more able/higher attainers are encouraged to work through Higher Order Thinking (HOT) tasks and teachers extend this through questioning and differentiated homework. This is designed to encourage abstract thinking, problem solving and help encourage higher level answers. All our students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning and help other students in their class through various metacognition techniques, leadership opportunities and super-curricular learning.
Super-curricular learning takes the subjects students study/their regular curriculum further. The resources attached are additional resources going beyond (but linked to) subject syllabus. They are key to students demonstrating their curiosity for a subject (particularly at GCSE and A level.) They help to stretch and challenge student thinking and are useful for all year groups but particularly useful for A level personal statements and interviews. Please see below for suggested resources.
Our students are encouraged to become independent, resilient leaders. All faculties are encouraged to provide suitable activities and opportunities outside of the classroom.
There are a number of whole school more able/higher attainer clubs, such as chess club, Go and Scrabble club, debate club and astronomy club. Each academic year other opportunities are available at a faculty level, such as our STEM competitions and various university trips; including trips to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and local Russell Group universities. Nevertheless, we strive to provide a range of opportunities and university trips for all our students, not just our more able.
University visits programme
At Tuxford Academy we aim to raise awareness of, and aspirations towards, higher and further education. We have an ongoing programme which enables all our students, including our more able/higher attainers, the opportunity to visit a different Russell Group university, local university or Oxford and Cambridge in each year group from year 7 to year 13. Each year group visits a different university. This is to raise awareness and aspirations of Higher Education. We continue to work with universities and as we begin to return to normal with Covid, we hope to restore these university visits to pre-pandemic levels. See our news page and social media for more details.
How can you help?
You can help your child flourish by encouraging them to:
- watch educational and current affairs programmes such as the news, nature programmes and documentaries
- read a quality newspaper and discuss and debate topics they have read
- read varied texts (suggested by subject teachers where relevant) such as novels, online articles and non-fiction
- listen to podcasts and engage with what they are saying (Oxbridge admissions officers
- emphasise the need to engage and critique such ‘super-curricular’ resources as part of their successful admissions interview)
- be resilient and accept that they will be challenged at school and that is a good thing
- listen to different types of music
- visit places of cultural and educational interest particularly whilst on holiday such as nature reserves, art galleries and museums
- explain what they have learned at school and, in particular, how they have learned (metacognition)
It is important for students to research Higher Educations institutions such as universities and degree apprenticeships so that they can make an informed decision about their future. We are working closely with the University of Sheffield and HEPP (‘the Higher Education Progression Partnership’ of Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam) and they have a range of helpful resources, films, campus tours booklets on student finance/loans and blogs to help your child think about higher education. Please go to www.hepp.ac.uk for these resources. You will need to register first (free) and then go to the ‘students/parents tab for resources and advice. Please also visit the HeppHUB pages. This website contains generic information on universities and degree apprenticeships and is applicable to all universities not simply Sheffield.
How can more able students challenge themselves?
- Work on non-academic skills – the Russell Group universities, universities of Oxford and Cambridge and top employers want students who are intellectually curious as well as having good grades, resilience and independence
- Complete a MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) and read relevant subject journals
- Attend an Oxbridge admissions evening at Tuxford Academy
- Do super curricular reading: ask teachers for reading list or suggested texts (on future topics or additional ones)