"Meeting the needs of the gifted and talented is about building on a good general school provision, not something entirely different"
- Professor Deborah Eyre
In every school and college there are students with a range of abilities. Gifted and talented is the term applied to those young people who are achieving, or who have the potential to achieve, at a level significantly beyond the rest of their peer group. This refers to the upper end of the ability range in most classes/cohorts. It’s important to recognise that gifted and talented students are individuals, with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. A student may be very able in some areas, but may appear on the Special Educational Needs (SEN) register in recognition of behavioural, social, physical/sensory or specific learning difficulties.
We at The Hastings Academy have called our gifted and talented programme the Falcons programme.
Falcons student are identified using a variety of methods. The specific procedure will vary but includes elements of the following:
We ensure that daily teaching and learning is meets the needs to all students through planning of lessons, questioning, groupings and tasks. Every member of staff has seating plans and profiles of learners (including prior attainment data) which ensures that they can provide the right amount of challenge to secure good progress. We have a highly effective Feedback for Learning policy to ensure that every learner receives informative feedback and has the opportunity to act on the feedback and improve their work. It is paramount here at The Hastings Academy that every students is clear on what aspects of their work is good and why and what they need to do to improve their work. Amongst our students this is known “Medals and Missions”. To secure good to outstanding progress, the feedback loop is closed through the use of DIRT (Directed Independent Reflection Time).
Refer to our Feedback for Learning policy
Questions that stimulate higher order thinking
|Thinking Skill||Explanation||Key Words||Key Questions|
|Analyse||The learner breaks down learned information into its component parts, makes inferences and finds evidence to support generalisations||conclude, contrast, classify, divide, discover, examine, group, infer, inspect, simplify, sort, test for||
Why do you think...?
What conclusions can you draw?
How would you categorise...?
What is the function of...?
Can these ideas be grouped into three categories?
What motive could there have been to...?
|Synthesise||The learner creates new information and ideas from previous learning||choose, compose, construct, develop, devise, imagine, improve, modify, predict, propose, solve||
What would happen if ...?
How could you change ...?
What facts can you compile?
Can you predict the outcome of ...?
How could you estimate the result of ...?
|Evaluate||The learner makes judgements about learned information on the basis of established criteria||agree, assess, choose, compare, criticise, defend, determine, interpret, justify, recommend, review||
What is your opinion of ...?
Would it be better if ...?
How would you justify ...?
How would you compare ...?
Why did [name] choose ...?
How would you prove that...?
We offer a range of enrichment opportunities outside the normal classroom which enable our students to widen their experience and develop specific skills. Some of these opportunities are linked to the curriculum whilst others are ‘one-off’ events and visits.
We have an extensive extra-curriculum timetable of clubs and societies which take place after school. All our Falcons pupils are encouraged to take part in extra-curricular activities as indeed are students who have talent in specific subjects.
Our enrichment programme includes:
Challenge Lectures are a new and exciting part of our enrichment programme at The Hastings Academy. The aims of these Challenge Lectures are to broaden understanding and inspire interest in the topic being presented. Challenge Lectures take place after school and are open to students, parents and staff. The lectures will last for around 30 minutes and will be on a variety of topics.
Please refer to our Events page for more details on the upcoming lectures.
In this, the most able year 7, 8 & 9 students are supported to complete a research project of their choice. This project is run in conjunction with Villiers Park and Sussex Coast College.
Once each student has selected a research question the Villiers Park Scholars and teams of Sussex Coast College students will provide twice termly academic supervision to assess the progress of the research; question and guide the future direction; signpost reference materials and support the writing of an academic research paper.
Between supervision sessions the Villiers Park Programme Manager and Learning Mentors will run academic surgeries fortnightly to ensure that all students have the chance to discuss their project.
Following the completion of the research papers the students will take part in a Viva Voce (oral examination) to present their work and answer questions on the findings and research process.
We are working in conjunction with Villiers Park Educational Trust. Villiers Park work with students who are identified as having high academic potential, to promote the fair access to university of under-represented groups from Hastings and Bexhill, through the Scholars Programme. To widen the benefits of the programme they have developed Villiers Park Involve; a method of working through Scholars, to share advantages that come with the Scholars Programme, with a greater number of students with high academic potential in the area.
Scholars’ Support Sessions and hand-in dates
Scholar’s Support Sessions will take place on either a Monday or Tuesday at least once per term. To help us ensure you meet up with your scholar please ensure you attend on the day that you originally selected, i.e. Monday or Tuesday
|Session||Dates (Mondays and Tuesdays)||Time||Location||Content|
|1||30th & 31st January||3.15 – 4.15pm||Firehills||Research priorities
|2||27th & 28th February||3.15 – 4.15pm||Firehills||What is in a name?
Structuring an essay
|3||27th & 28th March||3.15 – 4.15pm<||Firehills||Supported writing task|
|4||24th & 25th April||3.15 – 4.15pm||Firehills||Supported writing task|
|5||22nd & 23rd May||3.15 – 4.15pm||Firehills||Editorial and review
Students will be asked to hand in their completed dissertations in term 6. We will confirm these dates in due course.
The final strand of our Falcons programme is to provide coaching and monitoring to our Falcons students. This is our next phase. In small group our Falcons students will look discuss the following themes: