Academically More Able (AMA)
At Regents Park Community College we believe that all students, whatever their ability, deserve the chance to lead a happy and satisfying life. Academically more able children have a great thirst for knowledge and it is vital that this need is recognised as early as possible so that parents and teachers can give them plenty of opportunities to develop their talents.
At Regents Park Community College we believe in treating all students as individuals and so catering for their individual needs. This includes those 5-10% of students of higher ability who we refer to as ‘Academically More Able.’ This identification is a process in which all teaching staff have a part.
Additionally, students are offered the support of learning mentors who provide support in order to help students achieve. We believe that one of the most effective strategies for helping academically more able students to reach their full potential is ensuring that they develop as rounded persons, and so their progress in social and interpersonal skills is monitored as well as their progress within curriculum subjects.
Recent and current student challenges include
- Solent University Learning Mentors
- Model United Nations
- Southampton University trips
- Richard Taunton’s and Southampton Challenge Days
- Junior University projects
- Learn with us project at Southampton University
There are three basic ways of meeting the needs of academically more able students: acceleration, enrichment and extension.
Acceleration consists of enabling a student to access work which would typically be for older students. This is achieved by students being given work which would more typically be given to older students. In some subjects, students are also accelerated by working in ability sets.
Enrichment consists of broadening a student's education. Enrichment can consist of targets set individually or opportunities provided outside of the normal curriculum, either in the school or at external locations.
Extension occurs when students are encouraged to develop more sophisticated thinking and reasoning skills. This should take place in all aspects of our provision. All staff are trained in developing thinking skills through their teaching.
What are the characteristics of Academically More Able Children?
Very often parents are the first to recognise that their child is bright for his or her age. There are many checklists of gifted characteristics. In general they contain several common elements.
- has a wide vocabulary and talked early
- asks lots of questions and learns more quickly than others
- has a very retentive memory
- is extremely curious and can concentrate for long periods on subjects of interest
- has a wide general knowledge and interest in the world
- enjoys problem-solving, often missing out the intermediate stages in an argument and making original connections
- has an unusual and vivid imagination
- could read from an early age
- shows strong feelings and opinions and has an odd sense of humour
- sets high standards and is a perfectionist
- loses interest when asked to do more of the same
No one will show all these sorts of behaviours, but very bright children will fit a significant number of them.
The child of high academic ability may be identified by Intelligence tests. They may, however, be gifted in areas in which intelligence tests are poor predictors.
They may, for example, be
- an imaginative or creative thinker
- socially, or ethically gifted, with a well-developed sense of the moral implications of actions or situations
- good at drawing, building or designing though poor at writing
- a well-developed ‘high achiever’ who performs well in academic work but who scores poorly on
- intelligence tests because their relevance is not immediately apparent to them.
We use a range of measures to identify our Academically More Able students including test results, and the professional judgement of staff. We have students on our register who are talented across a wide range of academic subjects, to those whose expertise is limited to one area in which they excel out of school.
How can parents get involved?
Parents play an essential role in the development of their academically more able children, a role which the school supports but cannot displace. All parents are welcome to make an appointment to come into school and meet with us to discuss their child’s potential.
We welcome any input from parents and carers, please use the link below for any comments you may have: