Welcome to Excellence
Use the links below to read more information about the subject.
What is 'Pupil Excellence'?
Littleover Community School is committed to comprehensive education for all. We are committed to equal opportunities and this means making provision for all pupils whatever their ability. The most able children have particular educational needs and therefore a right to encounter suitable challenges to develop their abilities.
Staff at Littleover will attempt to ensure that our most able pupils develop their potential and are cared for academically and pastorally.
Our emphasis is on improving the provision for pupils within the classroom as we feel that this is most likely to motivate pupils and bring sustained improvements in attainment.
For the purpose of identification in Littleover Community School we shall define the term 'Pupil Excellence' as:
A pupil who demonstrates a particularly high level of ability in one or more subjects.
In Year 7, all pupils undertake Cognitive Ability Test (CATs). If a child achieves a score of 129 in one or more of the three components (verbal, non-verbal and quantitative) they will have met a nationally recognised criteria which places them in the top 5% of academic ability. Their parents are informed by letter and they are then put on our Pupil Excellence register.
We recognise that CATs are not always an indicator of future academic success and that some pupils make significant progress in attainment whilst at Littleover. We therefore monitor academic progress and will place a child on our register if we feel that the child has achieved the appropriate level of attainment.
The CATs are not an accurate indicator of excellence in a ‘performance’ based subject such as PE or Drama. Therefore, staff in the 'performance' subjects are asked to nominate their more able pupils based on subject specific criteria. These lists are passed on to the Coordinator and placed on the school's Pupil Excellence register. Their parents are informed by letter.
Although the main focus for provision at LCS is in the classroom, there are an enormous number of activities available in which our excellence’ pupils can take part (see extra-curricular activities section on website). There are also activities specific to the needs of our more able. These include:
- Subject specific trips e.g. Business Enterprise
- Subject specific competitions e.g. National Maths Challenge
- Enrolment on the GOAL Programme based at Warwick University
It is important to remember that the more able pupil, who may well be learning very well anyway, can, with the right resources and the right environment, probably learn even better. This is usually done in school through a process of differentiation.
Differentiation by task
The task, either in class or for homework, can be made harder by restricting, for example, the vocabulary they have to use, or to record the outcome using a mind map.
A modification of this process is to include in the task some ‘higher order thinking skills’ such as evaluation, synthesis and analysis
Evaluation – the ability to:
- Judge the value of something
- Make recommendations
- Give critical opinions on something
Synthesis – the ability to:
- Make predictions
- Be creative
- Put parts together to make a whole
Analysis – the ability to:
- Break something down into its component parts
- Compare or contrast
- Solve or interpret
More able pupils quickly reach the level of being able to apply their knowledge and therefore need to spend more time using the higher thinking skills in order for them to be challenged.
Differentiation by time
This usually involves imposing a constraint on the pupil which gives an impetus to succeed. By restricting the time allowed on lower order thinking skills (knowledge, comprehension, application), it focuses the attention on the higher order skills which the more able pupil needs to practice.
Differentiation by resource
Sometimes it can be valuable to make the pupils themselves decide what resources they need to complete a task. If the task is challenging, selecting the easiest resources may not allow them to complete it. Other methods may involve providing harder texts, more detailed maps etc..
Differentiation by support
A more able pupil may sometimes be given the opportunity to support another pupil or group. This can be very challenging because it means that they really have to understand something well before they can help others.
The school receives a small budget to help provide for Pupil Excellence learners. With this money, we have been able to:
- Send pupils on sports coaching courses at county and national level
- Help fund a variety of departmental activities
- Fund prizes for Arts competitions such as the Music Festival
- Buy specific literature and software for pupils on the excellence register
Monitoring Pupil Excellence
Once a pupil has been identified as working within the top 5% nationally, it is very important to monitor their progress. The overall aim is to try to make sure that the pupil is aware of their own progress and this is often done through feedback from the subject teacher, either verbal or written. End of unit/module assessments should also provide information for the pupil about their progress and what they need to do to reach the next level.
Reports are produced twice a year for each child, an interim and a full report. Rank order lists based on effort and attainment can be created from these reports which will identify the position of our ‘excellence’ pupils. If the pupils appear too far down the list, they are spoken to by me or a senior member of staff to find out if there are any issues or problems that are preventing them from being placed higher. Contact with parents may, in some cases, be necessary.