What is 'Most Able'?
A 'most able' learner is one who has achieved a level 5 or higher in both English and Maths by the end of Key Stage 2. These learners demonstrate an academic aptitude from an early age and are expected to achieve at least a B grade by the end of their Key Stage 4 studies.
'Most Able' at St Martin's School
At St Martin's we maintain high expectations for all of our learners, and so it is particularly important to us that our 'most able' students are pushed to achieve their full potential.
With 39% of the students at St Martin's being listed as 'most able' (significantly higher than the national average), finding ways to support and extend the work of these students whilst regularly monitoring their progress across Key Stages 3 and 4 as well as into the Sixth Form remains a priority.
We believe in nurturing independence, ambition and drive in our students and we therefore set our sights high and encourage our students to do the same. Both class work and homework is personalised to suit the abilities of all our students. In order to cater for our ‘most able’ learners we have introduced extension tasks; offering learners additional challenge within lessons, directed independent learning; encouraging St Martin’s students to independently extend their own studies outside of lessons, and stretch and challenge activities; which ensure that all students are sufficiently challenged in every lesson.
Outside of the classroom there are opportunities for our 'most able' learners to extend their skills through extra-curricular clubs, trips and workshops. Most recently our ‘most able’ learners have participated in some of the following activities:
- The Big Bang Science Fair
- Particle Physics Day
- German Speaking Theatre Workshops
- Maths Inspiration Team Workshops
- Oxford University English Master classes
- Irish Music Vertical Learning Day
- Essex University PE Workshops
- Early entry to AS Level exams for KS4 students
In order to ensure that all our learners are making outstanding progress throughout their time at St Martin’s we are currently using the recent Ofsted recommendations to cater for and extend our ‘most able’ students.
Ofsted’s recommends that schools and academies should:
- develop their culture and ethos so that the needs of the most able students are championed by school leaders
- help the most able students to flourish and leave school with the best qualifications by providing first-rate opportunities to develop the skills, confidence and attitudes needed to succeed at the best universities
- improve the transfer between primary and secondary schools so that all Year 7 teachers know which students achieved highly, know what aspects of the curriculum the most able students have studied in Year 6, and use this information to plan and teach lessons that build on prior knowledge and skills
- ensure that work continues to be challenging and demanding throughout Key Stage 3 so that the most able students make rapid progress
- ensure that senior leaders evaluate mixed ability teaching so that the most able students are sufficiently challenged and make good progress
- evaluate the quality of homework set for the most able students to ensure that it is suitably challenging
- give the parents and carers of the most able students better and more frequent information about what their children should achieve and raise their expectations where necessary
- work with families more closely, particularly the families of first generation university applicants and those eligible for free school meals, to overcome any cultural and financial obstacles to university application
- develop more in-house expertise and up-to-date knowledge to support applications to the most prestigious universities, particularly in relation to the knowledge and skills required for undergraduate courses
- publish more widely a list of the university destinations of all their students.
The Most Able Students, Ofsted (June 2013)