At Wycliffe Preparatory school, we strive to challenge our most able pupils and we provide them with a host of opportunities. We value academic achievements very highly and pupils are proud to achieve. We encourage their independence to make the most of the opportunities on our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), our pupil’s resource room and extra enrichment mornings.
It is our policy to look at every pupil as a whole person, to identify the emotional and academic needs of that child and to realise the potential in an atmosphere of exciting and stimulating endeavour where there are high expectations that reflect the child’s ability. Pupils are presented with an Academic or subject badge in assembly to recognise their success and to raise the profile of academic achievements.
Gifted and Talented pupils usually perform within the top 5% of the cohort, based on standardised scores and other tests. However, pupils also need to demonstrate curiosity, inquisitiveness and a love of learning. The term Gifted relates to Academic based subjects, including modern languages, Humanities and ICT, whilst the term Talented is used in reference to Art, Drama, Music, Sport. High order ability can manifest itself in the classroom, on the sports field, on the musical or dramatic stage, in the artistic environment, in fact, in any aspect of life.
An array of opportunities is available for Gifted and Talented pupils. Firefly (our VLE) has a separate section which is only visible to pupils on the register. This contains puzzles, challenges, competitions, brain-teasers and a variety of reading material such as FUSE, Aquilla and MENSA magazines. In the Learning Centre, there is a Gifted and Talented challenge room with a selection of books which are designed to challenge more able readers. Also, they find a variety of MENSA books and magazines, other non-fiction material, and puzzles. There is also a range of stimulating board games specifically designed to challenge. The environment is created to be a quiet but relaxing and comfortable. In order to provide opportunities for all, we also have a ‘Challenge club’ section on Firefly where a whole school challenge is set and announced in assembly. We also have challenge club activities to appeal to the Gifted and Talented pupils.
Pupils are also invited to attend extra events including, STEM days and Robotics days at the Senior School, out of school visits, Saturday morning sessions working with a small group of pupils to provide opportunities to extend their skills further. Various other opportunities are available. For example, in French, pupils are invited to take part in the annual ‘Language Perfect World Championships’ where they extend their enjoyment and learning of languages in joining the world’s largest online languages competition. In Art, our talented artists have participated in an exhibition of Prep School art, whilst also having the opportunity to show their work at the annual art exhibitions in school. Those children identified on our register for Music and Drama are supported through our excellent creative provision that encourages our children to showcase their talents in a variety of musical and dramatic events that take place on a regular basis through the year. Of paramount importance is the requirement for all teachers to identify the Gifted and Talented pupils on planning and ensure provision is planned to challenge these targeted pupils.
In September 2011, we became a member of the National Association for Gifted Children which is the UK’s foremost membership charity supporting all aspects of giftedness in children. They changed their name to Potential Plus in April 2013. Amongst other objectives, their aim is to enable every child with high learning potential to grow in confidence, thrive and achieve fulfilment. As part of their provision, they offer individual and family memberships that provide support and advice as well as resources, forums and activities for children to access. In addition, they offer a number of family days and special events. You may therefore be interested in visiting their website at www.potentialplusuk.org/
Wycliffe Preparatory School maintains a register of those regarded as Gifted & Talented and reviews its provision annually. Our approach to recognition and provision is outlined in our Gifted & Talented Policy which is available on request.