More Able Students (MASt)
At RBA, as part of the Scholars’ Education Trust, we believe that:
- All students are entitled to be stretched and challenged.
- Effective more able and talented provision improves teaching and learning within the classroom.
- By planning for MASt and talented students and scaffolding learning for all, aspirations and standards are raised.
- The focus on stretch and challenge is a key driver for whole school improvement.
At Robert Barclay Academy we are committed to ensuring all students achieve more than they ever thought possible, both academically and in other areas of their lives. To help More Able Students (MASt) meet their potential, we have key principles and procedures which we hope will provide the right support and environment for students at the top end of the ability range to thrive and reach their academic potential.
The key principles and procedures of our More Able Programme include:
- Identifying our More Able Students. We do this by using scaled scores stemming from their CAT and KS2 SATs results. In addition to this, departments are able to identify students as being talented in their specific area based on the department specific definitions.
- These students being challenged to a higher degree, and this is especially true in their daily lessons. Teachers to plan higher order thinking questions in their courses and these are differentiated to scaffold students’ learning. One of the Academy’s teaching and learning priorities is stretch and challenge which creates a greater understanding of topics covered, deepens metacognition and increases independence.
- Providing extra-curricular opportunities
- Providing careers information, advice and guidance package in liaison with local, national and international business links we have developed at the school.
Our aim from this is to strengthen the following from our More Able Students:
- greater student independence and resilience.
- an environment which enables and motivates students to want to learn new things.
- an environment that motivates them to aspire to be the best they can be.
We understand that students shine in various areas. To support and challenge MASt, students’ grades from every subject are tracked 3 times annually to see if they are performing as they should be. This can lead to discussions with the student, parents and interventions to help them get back on track.
At the heart of delivering opportunities for growth to students is the teachers and the quality of teaching and learning. Our aim is to ensure all learners reach and ideally surpass their targets to achieve beyond their expectations.
As well as lessons there are ample enrichment opportunities for MASt, with a wide range of clubs and trips to cater for their needs. Different departments also run targeted MASt clubs or projects throughout the year. The curriculum is also supported with competitions and additional reading/tasks.
Parents and carers play an important role in unlocking the potential of More Able Students. Some ideas to help you help your child include:
- Watching and discussing (eg BBC4) documentaries
- Encouraging reading generally: novels, non-fiction books, newspapers and online articles
- Listen to an interesting podcast series and then discuss it with them
- Visit places of cultural importance
- Discuss what they learnt at school and how they learnt it
How can MASt students help themselves?
- Talk to your teachers about units that are coming up and prepare for them
- Enrol in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
- Read around your study areas using the reading lists provided
- Set up a study group with your friends
- Ask your teachers if you have any questions
As co-ordinator for more able students, I welcome any thoughts or suggestions for you have for the MASt program at Robert Barclay Academy. Please feel free to get in touch.