Our inclusive ethos enables all children to be challenged in every lesson in every subject. We believe that challenge and support just as important for more able as for weaker learners. We build on prior attainment and develop mastery in order to build confidence and depth of understanding in high prior attaining students. Within this, we also recognise the need to develop and support high attainers with SEND.
How do we identify Most Able students?
At Aureus, the Most Able and Exceptionally Able students are identified using a three part process:
- Analysis of KS2 entry data - if a student has attained a high scaled score in either English and Mathematics or in both Literacy and Mathematics, they are identified as Most Able/High Prior Attainment;
- Ongoing attainment/teacher assessment - if students continue to meet and exceed attainment levels appropriate to their age;
- Ongoing assessment in subjects outside of the core subjects may lead to Most Able status in a particular subject.
We support the Most Able in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to, the following:
In class differentiation
Our quality first teaching pledge applies to students of all abilities. It is an expectation that we will aim high with the content of our curriculum and ensure it is accessible and challenging for all. Lessons will include:
- Rich questioning
- Higher order and abstract thinking (e.g. handling ambiguity and paradox)
- Problem solving and enquiry
- Development of advanced language skills, to include accuracy, precision and fluency
- Independent work and self-study
- Development of metacognition
- Transfer of knowledge across disciplines
Extended Learning and Personal Development
With an enormous range of extended learning activities already available, there are plenty of opportunities to develop high attainers’ skills, using cross-curricular disciplines. It may be that photography requires an in depth understanding of Arts, Maths and Physics. It may be that taking part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival requires a high level of understanding of Literature and the physicality of Drama
We work with external organisations to ensure that students have a clear focus on their destination after Aureus. Professionals from local and national organisations are invited to speak to students on a Friday afternoon to explore their career pathways and explain their roles, particularly in the ‘STEAM’ subject portfolio. Each year we will create opportunities for students to visit or access Higher Education Institutions.
Provision of leadership opportunities
Students are encouraged and supported to participate a number of leadership roles. The Student Council is a position to aspire to and students have to rise to the challenge of representing the student body. Leadership roles may be offered in a range of disciplines - Sport, Design, STEAM and Languages will require different sets of skills.
Most Able Programme
The progress and development of the Most Able students is an ongoing research field at Aureus. A carefully designed programme of assessment, intervention and evaluation enables staff to ensure that progress is on track for the Most Able. These interventions can take the form of one-to-one progress checks, the completion of a Scholars Passport and regular extra-curricular opportunities for debate and discussion.
With the change in national context of how ability is identified, please see below an outline of agreed terminology with definitions from Ofsted.
More Able: high attaining pupils in pupils in primary schools
Most Able/High Prior Attainment (HPA): high attaining students in secondary school - students whose progress significantly exceeds age related expectations
Exceptionally Able: students who are performing above the Most Able. Exceptionally able pupils are those who have the capacity to achieve or perform at the very highest academic levels.
Dual Exceptionality: this is a term for high performing students who also have a complex additional need, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder.