Many children are gifted in particular ways and the Academy aims to develop such talents to the full by providing a challenging programme for our Outstanding students. We are delighted by the results that they are showing and it is exciting to see them being stretched and challenged, both in the traditional classroom setting and beyond.
Students are identified early on as to whether they are Outstanding in a particular subject. The key to a successful Gifted and Talented programme is that different work is set for students with abilities, rather than just additional work. A range of strategies is used to develop talents, including classroom activities where able students are grouped to allow advanced study of particular subjects. Students may also follow accelerated courses to enable early entry for GCSE examinations.
All students on our Gifted and Talented core register will have a meeting with the Gifted and Talented Lead Teacher every term to discuss their Individual Education Plan (IEP). The Plan considers their future hopes, aims and ambitions, as well as their feelings about their lessons and the challenge provided within them. Each of their teachers then receives a copy of their IEP, so that everyone is working towards a common goal. A great success this year, has been our mentoring programme in Maths and English where students who have a high ability have been coaching younger students to engage and progress in areas that they find difficult.
Beyond the classroom, the programme is highly engaging. Our Gifted and Talented Co-ordinators organise a calendar of enrichment events across the curriculum to cater for students. The Academy also aims to offer extension activities to the normal curriculum. These may include master classes at the University of Sussex, instrumental tuition at the Royal Academy of Music, as well as a wide range of extra-curricular activities organised at The Burgess Hill Academy.