Extending more able learners

West Wimbledon Primary School is committed to ensuring that every child makes the greatest amounts of progress and achieves everything of which s/he is capable.

To that end, we focus on the needs of children who are more able, just as we provide additional support for those children who require that to access fully the curriculum and the level of work we demand of them.

In terms of more able children, our priorities can be summarised below:

  • To ensure that lesson plans provide appropriate opportunities for more able learners, in the form of extension and challenge activities. To support teachers in their planning and setting up of ‘challenge’ areas.
  • To continue to evaluate and purchase relevant resources to ensure all staff have access to the materials they need to extend and challenge more able learners.
  • To raise the expectations of staff in relation to the potential of Pupil Premium children.
  • To continue to use tracking data to assess the progress of more able learners who are working above ‘age-related expectations’ at the end of Key Stage 1.
  • To support teachers in researching and planning successful trips / workshops / assemblies to extend and challenge more able pupils.

Examples of how this has been put into practice include the introduction of philosophy from October 2014 for a class of more able children in Year 5 and another class for more able Year 6 children. As the result of this work and the impressive developments that were observed in both groups of children’s thinking and their abilities to dissect and respond to complex questions and issues, philosophy is now taught as a one hour lesson for all Year 4 children, to accelerate the development of their analytical and creative thinking. More able children in Year 6 attend a bespoke Latin course, which is being taught by a subject specialist from Wimbledon High School. This is an extra-curricular class, taking place at the end of the school day. This year it has been supplemented by a higher level Maths class, also for Year 6.

Since January 2018, we have also introduced a Debating club and a General Knowledge club: both for children in Year 4 and both working towards friendly competitions with Wimbledon High School

In Year 2, there are English and Maths booster classes for more able children. The English classes include extended writing sessions, where children are given opportunities to reflect on their work and make improvements. Maths boosters invite children to take a more investigative approach, tackling topics from different angles, allowing for deeper learning and understanding. For example, a maths question about time could be presented as a word problem that children have to break down into small steps in order to successfully solve.