Able, Gifted and Talented Programme
At Ashmole we intend to provide an education suitable for all students and where every child can make excellent progress. In January 2015, the school achieved the NACE Challenge Award. This Award is the highest accolade awarded by the National Association for Able Pupils in Education (NACE). To achieve this the school was visited by NACE inspectors who observed lessons, inspected pupils’ work and spoke to parents, staff and governors
To ensure that more able students make excellent progress, we identify them on the School Able, Gifted and Talented Register. Such students have all round ability, across the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science and have developed to a level significantly ahead of their year group. These students enter the Sixth Form with a significant number of A* grades or grade 8 and above at GCSE
In an increasingly competitive world, it is important that we guide and support our able learners so that their applications for higher education and employment are as enriched as possible. To achieve this, we have created a bespoke programme for our able learners called the Ashmolean Programme. The programme involves a variety of activities including opportunities to visit higher education institutions to encourage aspiration. In addition, students can make use of Firefly – our virtual learning environment. The Gifted and Talented pages are filled with suggestions for able students to extend their learning. There are also suggestions for wider reading and exhibitions along with information on events and courses. Each subject area also provides a Gifted and Talented section with resources to extend learning
A successful Oxbridge programme has been developed for able students with aspirations to apply to Oxford or Cambridge. The programme begins early in Year 12 and continues until the application process is completed in Year 13.This bespoke programme provides individual advice, guidance and support for potential Oxbridge applicants. The programme includes assessment test practice, interview skills and specialist UCAS mentoring. Weekly debating sessions are run by the Gifted and Talented Lead Teacher to support the interview process. Year 12 students also have the opportunity to attend, Lumina, a week-long application preparation course, at The Harrow School.
Similarly, Ashmole’s MedSoc is well established and meets weekly to provide extensive information, advice and guidance to aspiring doctors, dentists and vets. This includes in depth preparation work for UKCAT and BMAT. The programme is supported by visits to various institutions which have in the past included the Hunterian Museum and King’s College along with workshops conducted by St George’s amongst others.
Students interested in studying or a career in Law are supported by our specialist LawSoc programme. Meetings are held on a monthly basis and, once again, the programme is supported by visits from representatives of City law firms such as CMS McKenna and Law Schools such as the University of Law. Potential law students have the opportunity to attend talks on studying and careers in law as well as interactive activities such as an Oscar Pistorius workshop based upon the recent court case. Support and guidance is also given to students who wish to sit the LNAT.
Science Technology Engineering & Maths
Additionally, for students with an interest in STEM subjects, the school participates in the UK Maths Challenge and the Biology and Chemistry Olympiads annually. Students who are interested in this area are given encouragement and help in applying to various programmes and summer schools.
Year 12 Able, Gifted and Talented students are invited to the Ashmolean Lecture Series. This focuses upon varied topics outside of their A Level studies and is delivered by both internal and external speakers. Topics range from film and politics through to environmental issues and economics.
Classroom teachers plan for varied students’ needs through differentiated outcomes and activities. Departments recognise those that have strengths in their subject area and plan accordingly. . In addition, able students are mentored following attainment checks and examinations. Each faculty has a named staff member who supports the needs of able learners. Most of our Able, Gifted and Talented students are likely to follow a university career at prestigious institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, LSE and other Russell Group Universities and the UCAS process formally starts in Year 12. The school fully supports students in their ambitions.
Students are encouraged to attend our ‘Able, Gifted and Talented’ Clinic on Wednesdays after school. Teaching staff and individual mentors also advise on such matters.
The school has a team of specialist staff for Able, Gifted and Talented students including an Able, Gifted and Talented Manager and a Co-ordinator.