Gifted and Talented

Vision and Mission

At Barton Court Grammar School we wish to nurture and develop all students and to provide an environment rich in opportunities for learning and for the development of individual gifts and talents.

We aim to inspire our students to be global citizens prepared for the exciting opportunities and challenges of today’s world. They will be encouraged to develop thinking skills that can be applied across disciplines, to learn languages which will allow them to communicate with confidence, and to develop the skills of leadership, collaboration and self-knowledge essential for happiness and personal fulfilment.

Each student at Barton Court Grammar School is unique and our programmes are designed to support the developing needs of our students. The Gifted and Talented programmes are created to ensure the very best success for those students identified as having a particular gift or talent but are also open to all students who wish to aim high and achieve the very best in their academic and personal development.

Enrichment

There are a wide range of opportunities and activities available at Barton Court Grammar School for students to enjoy. These enrichment opportunities are provided to expose our students to exciting and interesting ideas which will in turn help them to develop into confident and curious young men and women. In addition, undertaking a wide variety of extra-curricular activities and demonstrating a wide learning experience is a vital element of preparation for university application.

Leadership

Students will be encouraged to develop their leadership skills over the course of their years at Barton Court, particularly in Years 10 -13, and we wish to see them become independent and confident leaders in our school community. Therefore, in addition to our prefect system, we provide opportunities for students to become subject prefects, to lead clubs and societies and to establish their own extra-curricular activities and societies.

All students will be encouraged to organise an event, either for a charitable cause, to promote a club or society, or to entertain and exhibit work to the public.

In addition, students will be encouraged develop confidence and ability in public speaking and presentation through participation in debate and public speaking societies. All students will receive coaching and guidance in effective presentation and public speaking skills. Students will also be given the opportunity to participate in formal debate competitions, the Youth Speaks public speaking contests and to sit for the LAMDA speaking examinations.

Experiential Learning

There is a wide range of trips and visits available to students over the course of the year and we urge students to take advantage of the opportunity to develop their understanding and experience of the world.  Students will also be encouraged to suggest and plan trips which they regard as beneficial and exciting for a group.

In addition, students will have access to a range of workshops and Enrichments Days. It is our aim that students regard enrichment as an essential element of learning and that they feel comfortable in new and challenging learning environments. These experiences are designed to encourage independent learning and the investigation of possible career paths.

Students will also be given help and guidance when looking at opportunities for work experience and every effort will be made to ensure that students find placements which will meet their ambitions and career interests.

Inspire Lecture Series

Students will be able to attend inspirational and motivational lectures by a range of professionals. The lectures are held once a month at Barton Court and they focus on a wide variety of subjects from medicine to music. Lectures are advertised on SharePoint and by form tutors and we hope that our students will take advantage of the opportunity to hear professionals talk from a position of experience and wisdom.

Independent Learning

Students in Year 10 and 11 will be encouraged to undertake the EPQ 2. This is a student designed and led learning project on a subject of their choice. They will undertake the research and writing independently with the support of a ‘tutor’. This experience will prepare them for the longer EPQ, which they will complete in Year 13 and will also allow them the time to develop their ability to work independently and with curiosity and determination.

In addition students on the Gifted and Talented registers will be encouraged to undertake a number of extension tasks based upon a theme or ‘problem’  over the course of the year. Their work and efforts will be celebrated in displays and in a culminating celebration event in the summer term.

Four Year Support Programmes – supporting and encouraging ambition and passion

At Barton Court Grammar School we aim to provide support and direction for our students. There are several programmes available which are intended to help students aim for success with a real sense of purpose and determination in their vital years at school. Students will have the benefit of guidance and support in Years 7 – 9 and in Years 10 -13 and these bespoke programmes are intended to meet their needs as their interests and abilities emerge and develop.

However, it is also vital that our students learn to take control and ownership of their own path and that they become independent and confident in their pursuit of success. With this in mind, students will be expected to keep an Aim High Progress Log that demonstrates and celebrates their intellectual and personal growth over the four year period.

Aim High

The Aim High programme is open to any student who wishes to attend a Russell Group or Top 25 University in any subject. As competition for places is challenging, it is essential that students are supported in this ambition from Year 10. Students on the Aim High programme will be encouraged to research courses at the universities, attend open days and maintain excellent academic progress with a top university goal in mind. In addition, students will be encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities so that they can create an interesting and attractive Curriculum Vitae prior to application.

Medics, Dentists and Vets

Students who are interested in a career in medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine will be placed on a four-year programme designed to stimulate their interest in the field, support the challenge of application and ensure that they are prepared for a challenging career. Students will have the opportunity for university visits, support from mentors in the field and attendance at open days and tasters. In addition, students will have the support of a staff mentor from the science department and regular opportunities to meet with professionals for guidance, advice and inspiration.

Oxbridge Programme

Preparation for Oxbridge must begin early! Any students who are identified as having Oxbridge potential in Year 10 upwards will be placed on the four-year programme. In addition, students who have ambition, but may not have been ‘identified’, to apply to Oxbridge are welcome to join the programme. Students will have access to a range of activities intended to develop their understanding of and interest in an Oxbridge degree. They will attend open days, short courses and visits, research the application process and develop an academic and rich extra-curricular profile prior to application. Academic progress will be monitored and students will be supported in their quest for excellence. In addition, students will be given opportunities to practice for the Oxbridge examinations and the interview so that they develop a confident understanding of the process.

Law

Any students considering a law degree will be offered support and guidance specific to their needs. Students will be encouraged to research the various fields of Law including Jurisprudence and Ethics so that their application is strengthened by an understanding of the philosophical and political importance of the field. In addition, students will be encouraged to attend open days and relevant talks and workshops in aspects of Law. They will be offered support in preparation for the LMAT and interview process. Potential law students will also be encouraged to work with a professional mentor in the field. Future lawyers need to demonstrate an ability to think and argue rationally and clearly. We will, therefore, encourage our future lawyers to participate in debate, public speaking and philosophy clubs.

Engineering and STEM

Our future engineers, mathematicians and scientists will also benefit from a four-year plan tailored to meet their particular needs. As the world of science and technology changes so rapidly it is vital that students keep abreast of developments through attendance at workshops, lectures and open days. In addition, there are many opportunities for students to compete in various fields of science and technology and our future scientists will be encouraged to participate in a range of extra-curricular events and competitions. STEM activities will be advertised through tutor groups and by the Science and Maths Departments.  There are also regular opportunities for young women who are hoping to undertake a degree or career in a STEM related subject. The Gifted and Talented Coordinator will ensure that the young women of BCGS are aware of these opportunities.

Support and Mentoring

Students at Barton Court Grammar School will have access to a wide range of support as they prepare for success. Each student on the Gifted register will be designated a staff mentor who will track and monitor their progress and ensure that they are achieving their academic potential in the subject in which they have displayed ability.

In addition, all students will work closely with the Gifted and Talented Coordinator who will meet with them on a regular basis. The Gifted and Talented Coordinator will hold regular focus groups in which students can share ideas and concerns, develop ideas for events and presentations, and determine the future of the programmes on offer. Student voice is essential so that programmes are fresh, innovative and interesting for the student body. 

In addition, we expect our Gifted Year 12 and 13 students to develop their potential as leaders through mentoring younger students and running clubs in specific areas to inspire students and aid their learning.

Curriculum Support – providing stretch and challenge in subject areas

All staff are aware of the particular gifts and talents of students in their classes and will always provide activities and tasks to stretch the most able within their subject area. Each department has created a number of wide and open ended learning tasks with this stretch and challenge in mind. Students will be asked to choose TWO of these tasks over the course of an academic year and to complete those tasks to an agreed deadline. The extension tasks will be marked and displayed. In addition, many of the products will be presented and displayed at the celebration event in the summer term.

In addition, students will be expected to demonstrate personal development in a portfolio record of achievement. A vital element of this portfolio will be the meta-cognitive response designed to encourage students to become more reflective and aware of their own thinking process, abilities and problem solving strategies.

Parent Support

Parent support is vital and there are many ways that you can become involved and help us to support the development of happy and successful young people.

  • If you have a particular experience within a professional career we would welcome your input and time in the form of lectures, workshops or support sessions.
  • We frequently require professional support for mock-interviews in a range of fields
  • We will hold a number of careers events, including a career fair which require a variety of professional representatives to help students learn about the world of work.
  • Professional mentors are vitally important and help us to support students who aspire to careers unique to those of their own family members
  •  We aim to help students find rich and interesting work experience opportunities that pertain to a possible career choice. If you are able to offer students a short placement we would love to hear from you.
  • We hold several information evenings over the school year to help and support parents and offer advice on ways that parents can help their son or daughter to become happy, independent and passionate life-long learners.

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