Providing for Able Students

Two of our core aims as a school are:

  • to inspire students through a broad, challenging and stimulating curriculum; and
  • to extend students’ horizons and provide opportunities for students to learn and succeed within and beyond the classroom.

We have a very strong track record in ensuring that students who start with us with lower than average educational attainment make very good progress, and we take just as much pride in ensuring that more academically able, gifted and talented students achieve excellent outcomes too.

The first responsibility for supporting students to gain these good outcomes rests with classroom teachers. In years 7, 8 and 9 students are “set” according to their ability in English, maths and science. They are in an ability based “stream” for: art, citizenship, computer studies, French, geography, history, music and religious studies. In years 10 and 11, students are in “sets” in English, maths, science and RS. Where numbers permit, they are also in “sets” for their optional subjects. Students in all year groups undergo regular formal assessment and can move between sets on the basis of the results they achieve. Students in upper sets are prepared for higher tier GCSE examinations. Teachers draw on their knowledge of and enthusiasm for their subjects to inspire students, many of whom go on to study for “A” levels and at university.

We also provide a wide range of enrichment opportunities designed to enable students’ gifts and talents to flourish. These include:

  • School sports teams (in recent years we have won the High Wycombe cricket league and cup on a number of occasions).
  • School music ensembles (our steel pan band is highly regarded and sought after for summer fetes and festivities). Instrumental lessons can also be arranged in conjunction with the Bucks Music Service.
  • Activities offered in conjunction with our partners (e.g. Eco Club with Asda; Summer School with Wycombe Abbey; course “tasters” at Bucks New University; pharmaceutical project with Johnson and Johnson; opera-based projects with Garsington Opera; girls’ football coaching with Wycombe Wanderers FC).
  • Activities to learn about citizenship and democracy, such as the model United Nations General Assembly and the Wycombe Magistrates project.
  • Visits to universities such Oxford University, Oxford Brookes University and Bucks New University.
  • Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.

All Year 10 students take part in one week’s work experience. We encourage students, where possible, to find a placement that suits their interests and aptitudes.

As with all other aspects of school life, we welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with parents/carers in supporting the learning and achievement of our more able, gifted and talented students.