Archbishop Holgate’s School is committed to developing the full potential of each member of the school community, within the context set by its mission, its strategic aims, and its Christian values as a Church of England school. Care for the individual is central to our mission as a Church of England school, we are committed to equal opportunities for all and believe that every student, whatever their ability, has the right to be challenged and encouraged to develop to their full potential.

The school sees enhancement of learning opportunities for the most able students as a natural progression in meeting the needs of all and as a school community we seek to foster a climate of ‘scholastic excellence’ for the benefit of every learner. All students at Archbishop Holgate’s School are encouraged to speculate, be creative and develop independence through a range of learning opportunities. We believe that our dynamic, engaging, enriching curriculum, which challenges and inspires, fosters a love of learning and engenders the excitement of discovery, is a vital part of meeting the needs of our more able students.

Who are able, gifted and talented learners?

Gifted and talented students are those learners who achieve, or demonstrate the potential to achieve, at the highest levels in comparison to children at a similar age or stage in their education. Each subject assess for the identification of AGT in their curriculum area, as measured through actual and potential performance in a curriculum area or discipline. At Archbishop Holgate’s many pupils are identified as AGT in one subject; only those who are AGT in five subject areas or more are recorded on our register, as these are the most able children across a whole spectrum of subjects.

How do we identify our able, gifted and talented learners?

Our register of able, gifted and talented students is a working document that is updated and on an annual basis. Parents will be notified of their child’s identification as AGT and specific opportunities available to students will be communicated. Identification takes place through subject specialist teachers, as those best placed to help realise and develop those pupils with the potential for excellent performance in their subjects. Identification is based on qualitative and quantitative data and is supplemented by the registers of our feeder schools which are communicated during the KS2 to KS3 transition process.

What provisions are in place for our able, gifted and talented learners?

AGT provision is evidenced most strongly through the outstanding classroom provision in all subjects. Students are challenged, stretched and extended in every lesson by developmental ‘bright sparks’ tasks, and are encouraged to develop their creativity, independence and communication. AGT students are encouraged to take up leadership positions within the school and are offered the opportunity to do so through peer mentoring, the prefect system, the school council and the Sixth Form Senate.

Currently in development for 2019- 2020 the school will be launching a further reading club for our most able students. This will grant the students an opportunity to sit down with teachers from a range of subject areas and discuss/debate historical theories, literature, mathematical theory and scientific research. The purpose of the club is to grant the students access to further academic thinking, and develop a skillset that will be invaluable as the students approach further education.

This academic year, selective students shall once again be invited to be part of the ‘Brilliant club’ qualification. The Brilliant Club exists to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly selective universities. They do this by asking the PhD community to share its academic expertise with state schools. The Scholars Programme is designed to emulate the learning that students experience at highly-selective universities, and students will work alongside a PHD tutor that will assist them in writing a short dissertation. After a 5 week course, the work will be graded using the University grading system of a 1st, 2:1, 2:2 etc. The students can then look forward to a graduation ceremony at the university, where parents can attend to celebrate their child’s success.

Students are also offered the ability to develop their gifts and talents and aspire to future success through a range of enrichment activities, these include visits to universities, entrance into academic competitions, participation in the York Independent- State School Partnership (ISSP) events, subject specific visits with an AGT focus, external speakers and participation in student leadership across the school. Archbishop Holgate’s School is a member of the Independent State School Partnership, this provides collaborative working with state and private schools across the city to offer a range of AGT experiences, including studying GCSE Latin and GCSE Astronomy.

How is progress monitored?

The progress of all students is monitored rigorously through whole school systems and communicated to parents through the student planner and formal reporting. The Assistant Head with responsibility for AGT also monitors the progress of AGT students across their range of subjects providing intervention and action plans for those students at risk of underachieving.

How can parents and carers help?

Parents and carers are asked to inform the school of gifts and aptitudes their children may have and encourage their child’s participation in a range of enrichment activities, both inside and outside of the school. To support their child at home, parents should refer to the ‘Bright Sparks’ challenges in the newsletter and encourage their child to enter each half term. If parents or carers have any further questions about able, gifted and talented provision at the school they are encouraged to contact Mr Nick Avery, Assistant Head with responsibility for AGT.