More Able Students
Forest Gate Community School is a learning community where our students have high aspirations for themselves and each other. We want our students to grow into well-informed, well-balanced and confident citizens. We aim to provide a disciplined, safe environment where children learn effectively and respect each other.
How do we identify the most able?
At Forest Gate Community School we believe in the principle that any student who excels in any given subject should be regarded as more able within that subject area regardless of their prior data or how they perform in any other subject. Therefore the school will identify more able students based on two strands:
- The first strand will be more able students identified based on their prior data in English and Maths. Students identified as level 5 in English will be more able in English, similarly in Maths. For foundation subjects, students with an average level 5 (between Maths and English) will be regarded as more able in those subjects. In the case that a student does not have prior data, then the baseline test in English and Maths will determine their status.
- The second strand of identifying more able students will be those who excel within any subject regardless of their prior data (below level 5). It is the prerogative of the subject teachers to determine which students are more able based on a series of rigorous formative and summative assessments.
In the classroom
Forest Gate Community School is committed to raising the achievement and attainment of all students. Research shows that where the highest expectations are made of more able students, learning and achievement for all students improves. All students, including the most able, have a right to an appropriate and challenging education. Like all our students, our most able students have individual needs.
At Forest Gate Community School we recognise the needs of the individual and the importance of providing a personalised curriculum. As teachers, we recognise that many of our students are more able and we endeavour to foster and extend their abilities to their maximum potential.
At Forest Gate Community School we believe that the most effective way to develop more able students is through excellent teaching and learning. We are committed to ensuring that more able students are continually challenged in their learning, they meet demanding curriculum targets and that they achieve the highest grades in public examinations. We expect students who are identified as more able in particular subjects to excel in those areas of learning within and beyond the boundaries of Forest Gate Community School through extra-curricular activities.
Outside the classroom
We feel it is vital for our all our students to enjoy a full and rounded education and this means encouraging them to take part in the many clubs and extra-curricular opportunities on offer to explore and develop their talents. For example, talented musicians are able to have additional music lessons and take part in our concerts, performing in bands or one of the many other groups that practice regularly and perform together in school. The drama department offers many opportunities for both writing and performing in plays and musicals and our able sportsmen can compete in a whole range of sports.
We have strong links with a number of universities and as we encourage our more able students to aspire to attending university, we reinforce this by taking them on university day trips so that they can experience university life for themselves.
Each year selected students take part in The Brilliant Club Scholars Programme. The Brilliant Club is an award winning organisation which matches leading PhD researchers with schools to help stretch students beyond the curriculum. Students take part in university style tutorials, attend launch and graduation trips at prestigious universities and complete an extended project.
What do we expect for our most able students?
We expect our most able pupils to make outstanding progress, to study the EBACC and their choice of creative subjects, and to achieve A/A* (Grade 8/9) in as many subjects as possible so that they are able to progress on to success in their choice of A levels in 6th Form and have access to the top Russell Group Universities. We have helped numerous students obtain places at prestigious colleges across London.
Assessment, tracking and targeting
Close attention is paid to the progress of our most able students. Frequent assessments are differentiated and a range of intervention measures are put in place when underachievement is measured.
We were awarded the NACE Challenge Award in November 2016. This is a national award for excellence. Schools that are successful in gaining the award have high quality provision for all students and more able students in particular.
Able students from disadvantaged backgrounds
We help students and families to overcome socio-economic and cultural barriers to attending further and higher education. Some of our most able students come from homes where no parent or close relative has either experienced, or expects, progression to university. Using the PPG (pupil premium grant) Forest Gate Community School positively discriminates and engages proactively with the parents or carers of these students to tackle this challenge and students are provided with curriculum provision, access to cultural and social activity and personalised support.
As a parent, what can I do to support my child?
There are many practical steps that you can take to support and nurture your child, for example by encouraging him/her to:
- Utilise the local library and the internet as learning and research resources
- Visit museums, science centres, nature reserves and art galleries
- Watch educational and current affairs programmes such as the news, wildlife/nature programmes and documentaries, and discuss them
- Read a quality national newspaper
- Discuss and debate topics, such as politics, the environment and the media
- Discuss homework and schoolwork
- Take part in extra-curricular activities
- Take an active part in family decision-making
- Listen to different types of music
- Read for pleasure, including demanding/challenging books
- Take regular physical exercise
- Socialise and relax in between work and learn to ‘switch off’.
You can also support your child by:
- Providing suitable learning resources such as books, encyclopaedias, magazines, computer software etc.
- Organising day trips and visits to places of cultural, historical and educational interest
- Building cultural experiences, trips and excursions into family holidays.
Who should parents contact in school?
Parents sometimes need to contact the school: if things are not going well; to seek advice; or to obtain more information in order to better support their child. The following key personnel should be contacted:
- The subject teacher or subject leader for subject-specific questions
- The Head of Learning for questions relating to student well being