Challenging the Most Able

The pressure is on to prove that level 5 students are making beyond expected progress and achieving those A/A* grades at GCSE. So how is this being tackled in your school? With the introduction of Progress 8 for our current Year 11s, maximising progress from the top students becomes even more important. In order to achieve a positive progress 8 score our top achievers have very demanding expected outcomes. These outcomes will become even more challenging with the additional changes to the 1-9 system the following year.

Can your staff:
• Track the progress and effort of the most able and feedback to parents and tutors for further discussion?
• Involve parents more by providing top tips for key topics, in each subject?
• Use mentoring to engage the most able and challenge them on their new knowledge each term in small group seminars?
• Create an A/A* criteria page for students to complete in a booklet for each subject, identifying targets to meet and skills/ vocabulary to include in their exam responses- could they highlight these for quick evidence that the booklets are being used?
• Meet occasionally to discuss which types of homework, motivation and incentives work with the most able students to ensure good practice is spread across the curriculum?
• Introduce flipped learning homework activities for the most able so they can prepare for lessons in advance?
• Use technology to engage students by modelling how to create a revision pod cast for a key topic that needs to be revised from Year 10. Can students create a pod cast for a range of different topics so a complete revision programme can be uploaded to the school website and used as future starter or homework activities?
• Can you use podcasts to create your own guided writing homeworks? Talking students through the stages of planning a response and timing them? Eg Your voice-over can offer guidance such as : ‘By now you should be …’
• Put on weekly or fortnightly lunchtime revision sessions for A/A* students, starting now and inform parents of A/A* students of the opportunity provided. To spread the workload, each session could be led by a different subject specialist to pilot a different revision strategy linked to their subject eg Literature topic with brainstorming or a History topic with question/ answer cards. The co-ordinator will need to keep a register for each drop in and arrange for the office to inform tutors and parents of the students are/ are not attending them.
As busy periods are reached, students could lead part of the sessions, creating their own resources and testing each other’s responses or teaching a concept to someone who doesn’t study that subject.

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