At Bishop Thomas Grant School we inspire our most able learners with a passion for learning and an enthusiasm for the subjects in which they excel. Each subject area works collaboratively with the school’s MAGT coordinator to provide opportunities and experiences that will challenge and will raise the attainment of our most able pupils. We work with many different partner agencies including major arts institutions and top universities and encourage our pupils to aim high in their future education and careers.
We believe that our most able learners need a curriculum that stretches them and broadens their horizons and the primary focus of our MAGT provision at the school is the learning that takes place in the classroom. At Bishop Thomas Grant School we have designed distinct curriculum pathways that stretch our more able learners and provide the breadth and academic rigour necessary for these pupils to access the top levels of provision at the next stage in their education.
Bishop Thomas Grant School is a member of NACE (National Association for Able children in Education). We are currently working towards achieving The Challenge Award which provides external validation of school-wide high-quality provision for more able learners.
The Aspire Programme
Aspire is an extra-curricular programme for the highest achieving students in Years 8 to 13, with selection for the programme based on academic attainment.
Each Friday, Aspire students meet to participate in a range of different activities, all of which are designed to help them become articulate, informed and curious intellectuals by the time they leave BTG. Aspire is divided into four core strands:
A termly focus, each of which is designed to develop students’ confidence and intellectual curiosity:
- Debating in the Autumn Term,
- University Challenge in the Spring Term,
- Public speaking in the Summer Term.
A programme of lectures from academics and professionals in a wide range of exciting fields, giving our students access to knowledge and ideas which they do not meet in their lessons. Some recent topics have included:
- Risk management in aviation and medicine
- Artificial intelligence and Google’s Deep Mind programme
- Representations of Cleopatra in art and film
Each year, Aspire students pick from a range of clubs offered by staff, run especially for them. As with all aspects of the programme, clubs offer intellectual stimulation as well as opportunities for students to interact across year groups.
Individual Academic Progress Checks are held termly with all members of Aspire, to discuss their experience in school and to ensure that they are making excellent academic progress. These meetings both support students’ in their academic careers and also enable them to take responsibility for their own learning.
The core of the programme runs in school but participation in Aspire also opens up opportunities to attend a wide range of talks, lectures and events outside of school. Recently, Aspire students have attended a talk by notable academic Yuval Noah Harari in conversation with Russell Brand, visited some of the country’s most prestigious universities, seen Michelle Obama interviewed by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at the Southbank Centre, and attended a humanities symposium.
We offer additional support to students in Year 12, with access to a tutorials programme that is specifically tailored to their own interests and is designed to facilitate successful applications to Russell Group universities. Year 12 Aspire students are also given guidance with applications to university Summer Schools, masterclasses and Subject Taster sessions.
How Can I Help My Child?
There are many ways in which you can help your child if they have been identified as more able or as gifted and talented in a particular subject, for example by encouraging your child to try new activities or taking them to places such as museums and galleries. You should also encourage them to participate in extra-curricular activities as well as supporting them in their ability to organise their own learning, meet deadlines and so on. If your child has an interest in a particular area be sure to encourage them and foster their interest. If they are involved in an activity outside of school (for example a particular sport) at a high level please let us know.
For subject specific information and advice please contact the relevant department coordinator.
You may also find the websites below helpful.
www.potentialplusuk.org (Formerly the National Association for Gifted Children)
www.nace.co.uk (National Association for Able Children in Education)
www.education.gov.uk (Website of the Department for Education gives links to research and information about Gifted and Talented pupils)
www.londongt.org (An organisation that provides support and services to London's gifted and talented students and their teachers)
www.tomorrowsachievers.co.uk (An organisation which provides master classes and support for exceptionally able children)
www.villierspark.org.uk (Villiers Park Educational Trust helps able young people to reach their full academic potential and develop a passion for learning)