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More Able Students

Great Baddow High School values all students equally and endeavours to ensure that everyone should have the opportunity to realise their potential in a challenging and supportive environment.

We will have, at any time, a number of More Able, talented or gifted students, some of whom may perform at a level that well exceeds the level of others in their class, or than is expected for children in their own age group. This may be in one or more areas of learning.

At Great Baddow High School, all lessons are adapted to match individual needs and we have a comprehensive programme of extra-curriculum activities and after-school clubs aimed at offering additional enhancement opportunities.  A host of enrichment trips, workshops, competitions, external providers and guest speakers are available to support all students, with More Able students stretched through challenging teaching methods that builds abstract thinking, encourages extension and synopsis and provides the opportunity for students to access knowledge at a higher level.

We believe that we can make a difference in enabling students to achieve the greatest possible progress and recognise the value and importance of identifying and celebrating their achievements and successes.  Research has shown that by making provision for More Able cohort the standard of achievement is raised for all students.

Parents' Guide

Suggestions for Parents/Carers of More Able Children

As a parent, you are the most constant and important factor in your child’s development. You, better than anyone else, know your child and you may feel that the school would benefit from knowing more about your child’s abilities, barriers to learning, and pastoral needs. Parents, teachers – and, most importantly, children – all benefit from close school-parent liaison.

Parents can support their children in many ways such as:

  • Discuss homework and schoolwork. You don’t have to be an expert in the subject, let them take the lead and provide and encouraging ear. Asking them questions about the work will stimulate their thoughts.
  • Taking them to museums, galleries, places of historic and scientific interest.
  • Actively encouraging their hobbies.
  • Playing games and solving puzzles and enjoy interacting both with adults and their peers. Parents need to try and provide opportunities to take risks and get them out of their comfort zone. Intellectual development of children is supported particularly well when they are regularly exposed to intellectual stimulation. This promotes a growth of knowledge and problem-solving skills.
  • Read with them, even if they are good readers, and develop their curiosity through questioning. 
  • Able children enjoy learning new words – have a new word of the week at home.
  • Extend their general knowledge with a fact of the week.
  • Encourage physical activity to develop co-ordination and general fitness.
  • Do not always focus on your child’s obvious skills – encourage them to sample new activities.
  • Puzzles, crosswords, logic games, word games, card games, board games all help to develop the thinking skills and social interaction.
  • Encourage children to ask questions and answer them as fully and honestly as possible but admit it when you do not have a full answer.
  • Utilise the local library and the internet as learning and research resources.
  • Watch educational and current affairs programmes such as the news, wildlife/nature programmes and documentaries, and discuss them.
  • Read a quality national newspaper.
  • Discuss and debate topics, such as politics, the environment and the media.
  • Encourage your child to take an active part in family decision-making.
  • Allow More Able children to socialise and relax in between work and learn to ‘switch off’
  • Give them the opportunity to experience unstructured 'free time', where children have the responsibility to amuse themselves and develop their imagination and creative skills.
  • All children, including the most able need to develop self-esteem and confidence, to be given praise and encouragement.
  • Talking with, and listening to a child is one of the most important factors in the development of language. Language develops the learning pathways of the brain. Use of adult language when talking to your child.
  • Children need to know that parents are proud of who they are and not what they achieve. Their ability should not become the centre of the relationship between parent and child. 
  • Children need to be allowed ‘failures’ and mistakes – they are a necessary part of growing up and learning. Building a resilience in children is an important life skill. Indeed, parents should never be afraid to say they do not understand something or that they made a mistake – it can be reassuring for the More Able.
  • Able children can be self-absorbed and need to be encouraged by parents to appreciate and listen to the views of others and learn to interact with others.
  • It is important to be aware of the needs and talents of the other children in the family.
  • Above all – try and encourage the ethos that learning should be fun and enjoyable.

Resources for Parents/Carers