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At Bishop Challoner we have a large number of more able students, with whom we work and monitor closely to best support their needs and future aspirations. We work with them in two main ways. Firstly, we ensure they are stretched and challenged within each of their subjects, and work closely with a link colleague in every faculty to ensure this is carried out across the Federation. For example, we are rolling out independent learning projects across all key stage three subjects for more able pupils, whereby students have to complete independent essays that are thoroughly researched, and offer an insight into university-style study from the earliest point in their secondary education. We also ensure that elements of challenge are incorporated into every lesson so that more able pupils are stretched at all times.
Secondly, we look to support the wider academic and personal growth of more able students outside of the classroom by creating a culture of academic rigour. For example, we offer bespoke mentoring for more able students who need additional support to achieve their target grades, or future aspirations, and this is done by working closely with faculties across the federation as well as a range of outside agencies including The Brilliant Club, Hampton School and Aim to Attain. This level of bespoke support had led to considerable successes with university places at Russell Group, Oxbridge and Ivy League Universities for Bishop Challoner students; we have the highest number of Russell Group places in the borough, and have had 6 Oxbridge places, and 1 Ivy League place in the last three years. We also have an organising team of more able Sixth Form students who have created an ‘INSIGHTS’ lecture series, inviting experts from a wide variety of fields to speak on topical or academic issues to our school community.