Tudor Scholars

Gifted & Talented – The Tudor Scholars Programme

Rationale

At Tudor Grange Academy Redditch we have high expectations of all of our students and have established a culture in which success for all is valued and celebrated. However, academic research has shown that applicants from independent schools are 14% more likely to receive an offer from the University of Oxford than students from non-selective state schools with the same grades.  Students from the independent sector are twice as likely to apply to Oxford in the first place.  Oxbridge admissions tutors report that students from independent schools are more likely to come across as confident, eloquent and well-informed during interview.

The Tudor Scholars programme is intended to ensure that Tudor Grange students have the same chances as their peers from the independent sector when applying to the most prestigious universities and employers.  It identifies the most talented students early and supports them throughout their academy careers in developing:

  • Passion and interest in a subject area;
  • Knowledge and skill in that subject and related subjects;
  • The ability to research, write and speak effectively about the subject area.

Definition of Gifted & Talented

The Department for Education has defined Gifted and Talented as follows:

  • Gifted Top 5-10% of pupils per school as measured by actual or potential achievement in the main curriculum subjects.
  • Talented Top 5-10% of pupils per school as measured by actual or potential achievement in the subjects of Art, Music and PE.

However, such terms are used flexibly and the notion of ‘giftedness’ and ‘talent’ may be used across subjects to describe students who either evidence ability or have latent potential ability to achieve at the highest level compared to their peers.

Evidence or potential, may be exhibited in the following areas:

  • General intellectual aptitude
  • Specific academic aptitude
  • Leadership ability
  • Creativeness
  • Sporting or artistic achievements

Gifted & Talented students are identified using the following:

  • Liaison with Middle Schools
  • Regular identification of Gifted and Talented students by departments
  • Annual questionnaire to tutor groups identifying any gifts/talents outside of school
  • Parental referral

Support for Gifted & Talented Students

Using the criteria outlined above, all Gifted and Talented Students are registered on a database within College that all staff have access to. The database records why the student is identified and in which subject(s).

Differentiated work and a variety of teaching styles are utilised in all lessons to ensure that students of all abilities, including the Gifted and Talented are challenged to achieve their best.

We also provide extracurricular ‘enrichment’ activities to support all students, but which may appeal to our Gifted and Talented students. Examples include:

  • Trips to universities (including Oxford, Warwick and Aston)
  • ’Master classes’ from the University of Warwick
  • Educational visits
  • Sports clubs
  • Sports Leaders Award
  • Musical and creative arts opportunities
  • A wide variety of clubs
  • Young Enterprise Scheme

The Tudor Scholars Programme

As well as the support outlined above Tudor Grange Academy Redditch will aim to develop the potential of those students identified as Gifted and Talented through the Tudor Scholars Programme as detailed below.

Key Stage Three: Discovery

This phase aims to equip students with both the skills and the desire to steer their own learning through the use of sophisticated academic resources.  Students will be introduced to complex and stimulating questions in areas and subjects not covered in the key stage three curriculum.  Lessons on this material will also allow students to develop their study skills.

  • Use one hour of curriculum time per week.
  • The first two terms students examine a range of stimulating questions from the sciences and humanities, from ‘Why do we have two genders’ (Evolutionary biology) and ‘What is the best way to fairly divide a cake? (Mathematics) to ‘Are some people just born evil?’ (Sociology and psychology) and ‘what would happen if nobody paid taxes?’ (Politics and economics)
  • In the final term, students prepare a paper for presentation to staff, peers, and families at the Tudor Talks conference.

Key Stage Four: Specialism

This phase aims to give students the opportunity to control their own academic development in the Extension Studies Programme.  At the same time, students are supported to ensure that they make sensible choices, make steady progress, and so they have a source of help and advice if they come across a challenging problem.

  • Students will progress onto this stage from the Key Stage 3 programme but new students have the possibility to join if identified by teaching staff.
  • The will be no use of curriculum time, as students must now focus on GCSE examinations.
  • Students will have regular meetings with an academic mentor, at least once per half term.
  • After the first half term, students will participate in period 6 seminars where one student presents their research or reading, and participating students discuss the questions raised.

Key Stage Five: Mastery

Students who have graduated from the Specialism programme will have been exposed to a wide range of material in and around their chosen area.   The Mastery stage allows them to complete a rigorous academic piece of work addressing a single question.  In effect, students will complete work at an undergraduate level and in doing so they will demonstrate that they have the full array of skills needed to be successful within higher education.

  • Students complete a level 3 extended project, working independently, with support from a mentor when required.
  • Students are expected to participate in the Developments programme by supporting and leading sessions where their research is directly relevant, and assisting students with research.
  • Students may attend the Specialism seminars.
  • Working with mentors, students will identify other areas of extracurricular challenge as in Key Stage 4.

What can you do as parents of Gifted & Talented children?

  • Let us know if you feel your child has a gift or a talent that we may not know about
  • Let us know if your child needs support if homework clashes with training schedules etc.
  • Keep your eye on this website for updates and links
  • Encourage your gifted child to seize all opportunities