‘More able and talented’ is now the DCFS term for pupils whose ability is beyond conventional expectation. ‘More able’ refers to those students with high ability in academic subjects and ‘talented’ to those with high ability or potential in the expressive or creative arts or sports. More able and Talented students are the top 5% - 10% of pupils within the school, regardless of cohort.
Age should never be a barrier to ambition and in addition to the differentiated teaching within the classroom, we have launched the ‘Sparks' programme at Thornton for our Year 6 to Year 8 students. The programme at Thornton is aimed at allowing students to explore their academic passions from a younger age. It is open to all Year 6 to Year 8 students, but is especially aimed at the ‘More Able and Talented’ in this age range. The programme requires students to stretch and push themselves in a particular subject area by working independently of subject teachers. They will develop the independent research and analytical skills that are so important in preparing them for further study and, in the longer term, the world of work. In the senior school we run the 'Aces' programme to ensure that all learners are being stretched and challenged across the curriculum, identifying and promoting excellence in every subject area.
At Thornton we aim to provide:
- A classroom climate that promotes excellence
- Planned opportunities for demonstrating and developing high levels of aptitude
- Systematic encouragement and specific praise
- Scope for intellectual initiative
- Quality assessment and focused feedback