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Provision for Highly Able Students

How does The Dorcan Academy identify Highly Able learners?

A range of information has been used in this process including information from our primary feeder schools, students’ CAT scores and KS2/3 results, together with teacher assessment of students’ ability in the different subject areas.

Highly Able (HA)

At Key Stage 4 this group consists of those students with either:

A KS2 Level 5 in English Reading and Maths

A KS2 Level 5a or 5b in English

At Key Stage 3 this group consists of those students with either:-

A KS2 Scaled Score of 110+ in English Reading and Maths

A KS2 Scaled Score of 115+ in English Reading

A CAT (Cognitive Ability Test) Score of 110+   

High Learning Potential Group (HLP)

This group consists of the top cohort of students in each year group who have been identified as Highly Able in a specific subject(s) in the curriculum.

How often are these groups reviewed?

The Highly Able groups will not change.  The High Learning Potential groups will be reviewed on a half yearly basis. Parents will be informed if their child is in one of these groups at the beginning of the year and again in May. Students may join and leave this group as they progress at different rates.

The role of the Highly Able Co-ordinator

The Highly Able Co-ordinator; Mr A Robinson, plays a pivotal role in meeting and exceeding the needs of the Highly Able students. Please read letter which is sent from Mr Robinson to the parents of Highly Able students:

Dear Parent

It is wonderful and challenging to be the parent of a Highly Able student. You want to support them so that they achieve their potential, challenge them so that they aspire to great things and achieve their dreams, but at the same time not push so hard that they give up or collapse with exhaustion. The Dorcan Academy realises that it has a duty of care to these students to ensure that they achieve their potential. It is my role to support your child, you and the teaching staff at the Academy so that they do very well indeed. To that end please feel free to contact me at if you have concerns. If we all work together, I am sure that your child will make themselves and us all very proud indeed.

I will be meeting personally and regularly with the Highly Able students who are not making expected progress in order to provide support and monitor their performance. We will discuss and endeavour to resolve any barriers to learning. I will also coach the students in effective revision strategies and how to balance an academic and social life.

I will also, among other things, raise the profile of Highly Able students at the Academy and support teaching staff to ensure Highly Able students are challenged in the classroom.

Thank you in advance for all your support.

Yours faithfully

Mr Robinson

How does The Dorcan Academy provide extra challenge and support for Highly Able learners?

Beyond the many subject specific activities offered there are extra- curricular enrichment opportunities.  We organise skill sessions, encourage participation in local and national initiatives, visit top Universities and discuss with students their needs and listen to their proposals for enrichment activities. 

It is also important to mention that not all Highly Able/High Learning Potential students will be invited to participate in every enrichment activity. Rather, students may be invited to certain events which will aim to target the specific areas in which they excel.  

Our Extended Pathway was introduced to support the accelerated progress of our high achieving students who have shown an aptitude through the curriculum and is designed to stretch and challenge. Students will study Combined Science, treating each of the three subjects separately in preparation of the opportunity to study Separate Science (Triple) at GCSE and two Languages from Year 7 along with a range of other academic and vocational options.

Upcoming events for our Highly Able and Higher Learning Potential students 2019-2020

The following are being planned by Departments to address the needs of our Highly Able and High Learning Potential Students in the Academic year 2019/20. These activities are above and beyond the normal high-quality teaching expected in the classroom. This list will grow as the year progresses.

1. United Kingdom Mathematics individual and team challenges for years 7 to 10.

2. Swindon maths league for years 7 and 8.

3. Visit to Bath University for year 9 and 10.

4. STEM visit to Babcock.

5. National Young Mathematicians award for years 7 and 8 and problem solving for year 10.

6. Cooking competition

7. Coding Club

Enrichment opportunities undertaken in 2018-19 included;

In Maths:

Students took part in the highly successful Maths Challenge run by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust. This included individual challenges for all years and a team challenge for years 7 and 8.

A visit to Bath University took place for year 10 girls, including the Highly Able to encourage the pursuit of mathematics in Further education.

The Mathematics Department works closely with the Further Maths Support Programme (FMSP) provided by the Mathematics Challenge for both individuals and teams of students to provide enrichment activities.

Students within the mathematics Department also took part in the Swindon Schools’ Mathematics league.

In English:

Highly Able students took part in workshops prior to the GCSE English exam. They were required to successfully complete a challenge task independently in order to take part in the workshop.

In Music and Performing Arts:

Highly Able and High Learning Potential students auditioned for the Academy production of Hairspray.

The successful and popular Chamber Choir was heavily supported by Highly Able and those with High Learning Potential.

KS3 Highly Able and High Learning Potential students supported the development of their KS4 peers in the development and refinement of their GCSE productions.

Within lesson time teachers developed a programme of facilitated coaching between the Highly Able students and students that need to increase their rate of progress to great effect.

In Modern Foreign Languages:

Delivered a trip to Europe with a focus on increasing the fluency of Highly Able students and those with High Learning potential.

In Physical Education:

Many High Learning Potential students gained County representative honours during this year and were offered further opportunities at a regional level.

Highly Able students and those with High Learning potential were supported to attend Swindon Schools and County trials and encouraged to join local clubs to realise their potential.

An extensive sporting provision was, and remains on offer to all students at Dorcan, with teams entered for the Swindon leagues in: netball, football, rugby, basketball, athletics, rounders and cricket.















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How Parents can Help.pdf 03-Oct-2019