Who is a High Attainer?
High attainers are defined by their KS2 results. Those students that gained an average point score of 30 or above are classed as a high attainer. The average point score is generated by taking an average from their maths and English results.
Whole school HA provision
At Thomas Cowley, teachers have chosen to adopt an embedded teaching approach whereby we use meta-learning tasks with the HA students. Meta-learning having the knowledge and understanding of what we know and how we think, including the ability to regulate our thinking as we work on a task. Metacognitively able students are aware of a range of strategies to help them to learn, know that they can direct their thinking & essentially are active rather than passive learners– engage with material that is to be learned, with stimulating situations, actively question and plan. It also helps shape active rather than passive learners, gives students a sense of control over their learning, they are learning how to learn and it helps to promote “deep learning”
In year 7 students are put into four classes. There is a HA class, two middle attaining classes and a low attaining class. Apart from the occasional exception, students will remain in this class for the rest of key stage 3. In core subjects such as maths and English, students are further separated and streamed into ability set classes. This allows students to be effectively taught at their level and appropriately challenged to suit their needs.
HA students are invited to a progress meeting regardless of their progress. For those students who are working above their target grades the meetings will be to praise and encourage them to meet their aspirational targets. Those students who are not meeting their targets will be asked to personally set targets to support their learning and these targets are reviewed. Subject teachers are these students are often contacted and are advised of the targets so that teachers are working collaboratively to aid the achievement of these targets.
|KS3 – Students are set in English classes according to their KS2 results and this is with immediate effect in year 7. This allows HA students to be in a class with students that are of a similar or higher ability which helps promote higher level learning. Lessons are tailored accordingly to suitably challenge students’ learning and appropriate literary texts are chosen to ensure that students are exposed to texts of a mature and challenging nature. A KS3 book club is ran fortnightly whereby KS3 students work alongside each other and read and discuss the content of a book. This allows strong readers to develop the enjoyment and exploration of literature. It is important that HA students have access to an informal yet mature forum where literature can be discussed and appreciated, where the individual voice can be heard and where opinions and recommendations can be exchanged.
KS4 – Weekly lunch time sessions are set up and HA students are encouraged to attend to promote revision of both language and literature topics. A fortnightly HA English club is set up for year 10 students to deepen and broaden their knowledge of GCSE topics. Opportunities are provided for these students to practise additional exam questions with the help and support of an English teacher so that intensive exam skills preparation is received to allow students to push for higher quality written work. These sessions supplement their statutory English lessons and will enhance the skills and subject content being taught.
Library - Reading
HA year 9, 10 and 11 students are encouraged to assist less fluent readers by enrolling in the school’s Reading Mentors project. They provide reading and comprehension help on a 1:1 daily basis to students who have to work with extra effort to improve their reading and processing skills.
Whilst all KS3 students participate in the Accelerated Reader scheme, the library continues to cater for a growing number of students whose reading interests become more eclectic, ambitious and mature and in addition to the library’s stock of challenging books for these students, an additional list of recommended books (for KS3 and KS4) to read is provided. These books are categorised in the library in the ‘stretch and challenge’ section and are specifically targeted at the students with a high reading range.
|Stretch and Challenge Library List|| |
|KS3 –HA students are currently entered into the UKMT Individual Junior Challenge. This is a national competition entered by schools across the country. Students scoring in the top 40% nationally are awarded a gold, silver or bronze certificate and we have had great success with students from TCHS. Homework club is provided for maths which runs every Friday with all students welcome to attend to get support with homework or classwork.
KS4 – HA students are currently entered into the UKMT Individual Intermediate Challenge. This is a national competition entered by schools across the country. Students scoring in the top 40% nationally are awarded a gold, silver or bronze certificate. GCSE revision sessions run every Thursday after school to provide GCSE support for exams. We are hoping to run a trip to Loughborough University later this year. The trip is run by the Further Maths Support Programme and is designed to encourage students to consider taking A level maths when they go to sixth form or college. As part of the trip, the students will get to go on a tour of the campus and get a brief taste of university life, as well as participating in mathematics workshops.
|Science classes are sorted broadly in Year 7 according to the whole school setting system. High Attainers identified at Primary School are mixed with a higher proportion in one particular set and none in another. After whole school testing, the Year 7 groups are shuffled again and Higher Attainers can be identified, moved and placed accordingly. In Year 8, Science sets are again following the whole school setting structure. In Year 9 work begins on the GCSE and High Attainers will be appropriately set, usually into set 1. Other factors may affect the placement, but a high proportion of High Attainers can be found in Set one in Year 9, all students follow the separate Sciences of GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry, and GCSE Physics – with different specialist teachers. This provides the student with the best experience the school can offer to develop skills further and gain valuable knowledge and understanding. This system of setting and teaching continues into Year 10 and Year 11.
Science is a multifaceted subject with many skills to consider and develop. High Attaining students will benefit not only from specialist teaching but also the standard of Working Scientifically. Opportunities to practice planning, hypothesising, testing, investigating, analysing and evaluating are frequent and regular. Students will be challenged to think scientifically as well as draw upon specialist knowledge. Also within the curriculum, Science requires high level skills of literacy and numeracy in order to access and perform in Higher Papers in the exams. High Attainers will be identified from end of unit tests and book work and by observations. Opportunities to practice high-demand questions and answers are again, frequent and regular, particularly in Set 1. The introduction of the new exams and courses provides us all with the challenge to embed Working Scientifically into the topic much more than before. The Investigative Skills Assessment which focussed solely on this skill is no more and the exam boards tell us that more of this skill will be in the papers.
In Year 11, as the exams draw closer, revision clubs are offered in science starting from Term 1. These incorporate both lunch and after school sessions. Homework has changed in Science to practice more of the skills required to gain higher marks. A new scheme of work has been purchased and new text books have been bought. The drive for the science department is not a competition between biology, chemistry and physics, but a drive to make sure every student reaches their potential. A Science Ambassador from the student cohort has been appointed and a new science Club will open this year. The clubs aims are to motivate and investigate and it is hoped it will inspire those who find Science rewarding.
|KS3 – Students have the option to attend Mrs Coulson’s room every Monday, Tuesday and Friday to complete homework or extra work. A ‘History Club’ is set up where students can look at different periods of History that is not currently studied as part of the KS3 curriculum. This will allow HA students to broaden their knowledge of History topics that they wouldn’t usually cover and allow for deeper learning.
KS4 – After school and lunch time revision sessions offered weekly to thoroughly revise topics covered on the GCSE exam and to prepare for controlled assessments. This allows students to practise exam style questions and receive feedback to prepare for both assessments and exams in the subject.
|KS4 – Year 10 and 11 students are expected to attend revision sessions in order to expand their knowledge and understanding of higher order vocabulary and geography skills. Students are pushed to take the higher tier exam paper and mark schemes are provided on the school’s VLE so that they are familiar with the expectations and success criteria to be able to achieve the highest grade possible. |
KS3 – Year 7and 8 students have the opportunity to attend a homework club twice a week to receive support and assistance to allow them to provide high quality work.
KS4 – Year 9, 10 and 11 students are also encourage to attend homework club to not only do their own work but also have the opportunity to work with less able students and support term in their learning. These HA students are also invited to attend after school session throughout the academic year to deepen their knowledge, practise their language skills and receive concentrated support.
The Art Department provide afterschool club on Tuesdays (upon request), Wednesdays and Thursdays.
There is also lunchtime clubs on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Trips are provided as part of the GCSE art course to enhance exposure to all forms of art to help inspire students to create a range of different art pieces. Trips include outings to the Tate Modern in London and later in the year a photography day out.
Students also have the opportunity to use PDP time, form time and additional lunch times provided by early finishing of ICT, to complete their work in the art room. A two day revision session is also offered in the Easter holidays to push students’ coursework to enhance the detail and quality to qualify for the higher grades accessible in the subject.
|KS3 and KS4 HA students are encouraged to attend dance classes on Tuesday-Thursday after school. An annual school show is performed and HA students are encourage to attend whole school show rehearsals on a Friday after school in preparation for the performances in the summer term. Students are expected to learn dance routines, script lines and attend rehearsals.|
Students in BTEC Health & Social Care have the opportunity to progress at their own pace, which suits high attainers as they are encouraged to complete work to Distinction standard.
All students are able to complete assignments as a whole or to break them down into individual assessments. High attainers are more able to see the assignment as a whole and meet the criteria for Pass, Merit and Distinction in one assessment. In order to meet the individuality of the course and the students, staff are available in R17 Tuesday lunch and Tuesday & Thursday after school to assist with coursework to push for high quality pieces of work that meet the Distinction criteria.
|High attainers are stretched in Music via the instruments they play and the pieces that they select. The students are given a piece with a higher difficulty rating than other pieces that students would study. They are also encouraged to perform on instruments that require a wider range of skills to play. In the case of high attainers having one to one instrumental lessons, it is often beneficial for them to perform on their chosen instrument as this ensures that they make more rapid progress. The music department is open every day for extra practice and access to the instruments. A timetable of extra-curricular activities available can be found in the music department at school.|
|KS3 - In KS3 PE, extra-curricular opportunities are available in the form of lunchtime clubs, inter-house competitions and inter-school sport fixtures. These take place in a number of sports including football, rugby, netball, basketball, fitness, cross-country, athletics and rounders. These give students the opportunity to extend their skills and knowledge in the sport, gain invaluable experience and pride in being part of a team and playing against different opponents, plus the recognition of success through Inter-house and sports colours awards.
KS4 - In KS4PE, extra-curricular opportunities are available in the form of lunchtime clubs, inter-house competitions and inter-school sport fixtures. These take place in a number of sports including football, rugby, netball, basketball, volleyball, cross-country, athletics and rounders. These give students the opportunity to extend their skills and knowledge in the sport, gain invaluable experience and pride in being part of a team and playing against different opponents, plus the recognition of success through Inter-house and sports colours awards. Sports prefects and subject ambassadors can further develop their work on sports leadership by helping to officiate and coach in the extra-curricular sport programme.
After school sessions are provided on a Wednesday evening 3.15pm – 5-00pm to allow students to develop their work both in practical form and theory. Form times prove very useful and are widely used for the HA students where they spend 20 minutes in a small group of like-minded students working under supervision from Mr.Marshall. This session helps promote deep learning of the topics covered and useful discussion that will support classwork. Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes are also available either for practical or computer based work.
An after school club is open to all students and provides opportunity for HA mentoring (KS3 to KS4). It also allows them to attempt much more challenging practical tasks under supervision.
There are many opportunities for high attaining students in food technology to further practise their cooking or baking skills. There is an annual Christmas bake off competition where HA students are encouraged to bake high quality cakes and biscuits which allows students to practise higher level baking skills at home. There is also a Let’s Get Cooking club which encourages students to attend a cooking club to help learn skills that will be useful at home. They will receive a folder where they will be issued a new recipe each week and they can take home any products that they have made. They are encouraged to practise their new skills at home to ensure that they advance at a quicker pace.
There is a weekly after school food technology club that allows students time to discuss their coursework in more depth and they have the time to work on this in a smaller, more concentrated environment. This makes sure that the HA students have the opportunity to increase the quality of their work.
All year 7 and 8 students can come to room 11 Monday to Friday and attend an ICT club during which prefects and myself will individually assist them so that they could improve on their both quantity and quality of work.
ICT club is open to Years 9, 10 and 11 students including High Attainers so that they can work on their homework and classwork so that they could improve it to achieve higher marks. They can also work on Level 3 European Computer Driving License Advanced skills work so that when they have completed their level 2 units, they could sit Level 3 exams.
|Year 10 HA students go on a trip to the University of East Anglia to attend a conference day. The conference offers students the chance to take part in a campus tour with our current student ambassadors, attend two academic sessions of their choosing and an information, advice and guidance session where students will get the opportunity to ask questions.
All students in year 11 have at least one, twenty minute Careers Advice and Guidance Information Session. These sessions are completely impartial, and focus on what the student wants. Sometimes we invite Parent/Carers in to be part of this process to help guide a student into an educational path that suits them.
We have the Careers Fair which year 9, 10 and 11 attend which is when a wide range of post-16 providers attend Thomas Cowley and advertise the courses available at their educational setting. This allows students to be aware of the courses available to them as well as knowing what course providers are available to them in the local area. We also have College Taster day (Boston & Stamford) which proves hugely beneficial to students as they get to experience college life.
As well as this, we have students who attend taster days at the Spalding & Boston High Schools, and Grammar School. In the past we have arranged visits to Lincoln University & Loughborough University. We also advise all students in an impartial manner as to the financial aspects relating to studying at University to ensure that they are fully informed of all aspects relating to under graduate education.