Junior School Awarded Accreditation for Provision for Able Children

The junior school has been awarded a Challenge Award from the National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE), in recognition of the school’s effective strategy in providing stretch and challenge for more able learners.

The Challenge Award was granted after in-depth visits by an independent consultant for NACE, a charity that works with schools, education leaders and practitioners to improve provision for more able learners. Accreditation is based on observation and analysis of the provision within the classroom and in co-curricular activities including art, sport, music and PE, observations of teaching staff and leadership, and interviews with pupils and parents.

Observing that “pupils were active, keen and productive”, the assessor reported that more able learners were appropriately challenged in all areas of the curriculum and co-curricular provision, with Mathematics and English particularly notable. Activities provided to stretch pupils include written activities and challenging questions to encourage critical thinking and develop subject specific vocabulary.

The overall culture of high expectation and celebration of achievement, demonstrated by all teaching staff, was applauded as being particularly encouraging and motivating for pupils.

The assessor noted that:

  • There is a coherent and effective strategy for more able (MA) provision, driven by senior leaders. It links to the golden threads of More Able, SEND support and pastoral development.
  • The Head of Juniors ensures priority is given to high expectations in all aspects of schooling and models the culture for the school. Her enthusiasm and passion are evident around the school.
  • The Director of Studies has led changes to the provision for more able learners effectively, leading to improvement in policy, identification, and delivery. She has been systematic in her approach to improvement of Teaching and Learning generally and specifically with More Able provision.
  • Parents commented that their children are supported and challenged. Their children are happy, safe, and secure. Parents liked that at parent evenings the teachers really showed how much they know their individual children.
  • Pupils said they were happy, active, safe, enthused, enjoy school and like to be challenged. They enjoy learning and feel especially challenged in English and maths.
  • Effective monitoring systems are in place for all learners, including the More Able, with close tracking of academic achievement and a high level of personalised pastoral care.

While the Challenge Award is focussed on the needs and provision for ‘more able’ learners, NACE also observed that all Colfe’s pupils are often working above age-related expectations: “Attainment at both national expectation and greater depth is high. For instance, 92% of pupils are working at, or above, National Expectation in English and Maths.”

Head of Junior School Marie-Clare Gilfedder-Bonnar said: “We are very proud to have achieved the NACE Challenge Award. Our aim is to inspire a love of learning in all our pupils, and to ensure that every child is motivated to achieve to the absolute best of their abilities. I am delighted that we received recognition for how we ensure appropriate levels of teaching and learning throughout the school while stretching the more able learners. I would like to thank my talented colleagues across the school, and to especially commend every one of our wonderful pupils for being the best ambassadors for the school that I could wish for.”

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