The driving principle behind our HLP policy is based on the CWLC ethos that every student should have the opportunity to attain their full potential and achieve excellence. In light of this principle, it is important that we challenge all students including those who have been identified as possessing higher learning potential.
HLP students are now identified as those entering Key Stages 3, 4 or 5 at a significantly higher level than their peers.
Standardised assessment offers evidence that individuals possess the potential to achieve through a wide range of abilities in academic subjects, sport, the arts and leadership, which links directly with the school ethos of pursuing excellence. These standardised assessments are Cognitive Ability Tests, or CATs.
These tests are, of course, only part of the picture as far as a child’s ability goes. Ability and flair in the creative and performing arts, in practical subjects and in sports needs also to be recognised and nurtured. From September 2020, this has been undertaken in a separate way to the academic identification that CATs provides. This leaflet aims to give you information about the academic potential of students with higher than average CAT scores.
Please take a look at our HLP webpage where you can find guidance and information for students and parents, as well as details of the Momentum and Masterclass programmes.
In the Classroom
Through our professional development and departmental review systems, we endeavour to ensure all teachers have access to the most effective methods for meeting HLP students’ needs:
• All HLP students are identified to teachers (privately) to help with grouping and planning;
• Teachers know how CATs scores correlate with their subjects and how this might show potential;
• Enriched or wider content provided wherever appropriate;
• Consistently high expectations;
• Questioning is tailored to stretch and challenge, with a differentiated approach to which students are asked more sophisticated and higher order questions;
• Models of excellence shared and practised.
• Build on our existing opportunities and liaison with careers and higher education links;
• Online tutorials about memory, the brain and mindsets, so that students HLP understand more about how to maximise their learning;
• ‘Master classes’ (mostly online) will be introduced as the year goes on and offered by members of staff based on personal specialist knowledge;
• Regular access and links with our sixth form and the students;
• HLP/HLP* students 7-11 invited to Impetus lectures; extended to parents and carers too where appropriate;
• Mentoring for disadvantaged HLP students; all offered a significant adult.
Try not to refer to or think of your child as ‘gifted’, as this often doesn’t help motivate students to learn. A more helpful message is that even innate ability needs to be worked at if potential is to be realised. As the famous film producer Samuel Goldwyn is often quoted as saying: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
Your child will only occasionally be asked to complete extra work because they have finished first; completing content is not a sign of a higher standard or better quality work. Instead, they may be encouraged to consider the depth of their thinking; apply their knowledge in more detail; complete the work with higher expectations than their peers, or approach tasks in a more creative way.
Don’t forget also, you are parent or carer of a bright child but one who is also a teenager! Do not despair if they have a period of disengagement and seem oblivious to your enthusiasm and intervention. Too much pressure may even make them feel resentful. Gentle guidance, a range of opportunities offered and the acceptance that potential needs hard work to blossom will all help to work towards the goals we know they are capable of.
Being placed on the HLP register is not a label of ‘genius’, nor is it a guarantee of success, but we will do our best to bring out your child’s potential and offer opportunities that create interest, challenge their thinking and engage their learning.
Ms R Stevens | HLP Coordinator
If you would like to discuss this further or have any questions about High Learning Potential at CWLC then please feel free to contact me at school on:
01905 423906 ext 311
Christopher Whitehead Language College and Sixth Form,
Phone: 01905 423906