King Edward’s is committed to the promotion of excellence and the support for every student to realise their potential. By nature of our selective intake we have a high number of academically very able children, and indeed a significant number who excel in sport, drama, art and music.The School is committed to providing opportunities for all students to develop and achieve to their highest potential.The School’s formal policy statement on ‘Gifted and Talented’ students can be accessed via the link below.Each academic department has its own development plan activities for our most able students, whilst Music, Art, Drama and Sports Scholars have their own programmes too, in addition to the Academic Scholars programme. We liaise with our feeder schools to ensure that students who come to us with recognised exceptional abilities are identified and supported, and support extends throughout the School year groups culminating in dedicated preparation for Oxbridge and other leading universities.
As a selective school we do not always follow the Department for Education’s prescribed approach for Gifted and Talented students, although we keep abreast of government policy and thinking and borrow from it where appropriate.By some recognised measures virtually the entire student body at King Edward’s would be classified as Gifted and Talented and indeed this reflects our own view of our students! Partly for this reason we prefer to use the term ‘most able’ to identify those students who may require or benefit most from extension to the academic curriculum in one or a range of subjects. However we do not believe that the public identification and separation of a cohort of most able students is beneficial or appropriate to the ethos of the school; rather, students are stretched and supported through their subject provision and encouraged to develop their interests and intellectual enthusiasms in a wider sense, too.
Student aptitude and performance is assessed on a regular basis at KES, both internally through tests, examinations and ongoing classroom assessment, and externally through public tests and examinations such as MidYIS, GCSEs, AS, A2 and subject specific university aptitude tests. This information is collated and used by teaching staff to personalise learning, for example identifying where a student requires extra challenge, or where a student is underperforming their potential.
Provision for most able students has since 1999 been recommended by the Department for Education and its forerunner the DCSF to take the form of a combination of enrichment and extension, with consideration given to acceleration. In this context enrichment means exposing students to a wide range of activities outside the normal curriculum, whilst extension entails going beyond basic prescribed tasks within the normal curriculum. (Acceleration is taken to mean getting students to work at the level of a more senior school year group. The School does not promote acceleration in this way, but there are opportunities in many subjects for younger years to work alongside older students.)
The School is proud to offer a rich and varied programme of extension and enrichment activities, too innumerable to list in any one place although some of the major structured opportunities can be seen in the document below.Enrichment includes the many educational trips and visits run by academic departments, as well as the multitude of clubs and societies.Extension activities take place both in and outside of the classroom and include the many external competitions, lectures and study programmes offered by academic departments, as well as the Scholars' programmes (with most events open to all interested students). It is important to the ethos of the school that while some of these activities are designed with the most able students in mind, and indeed our most able students will be encouraged to participate or take leadership roles in them, in general our enrichment activities are inclusive in nature rather than exclusive.
The promotion of excellence and the support to stretch all pupils is built in to what the School strives to do. The activities listed below do not attempt to capture the personalised guidance and intervention that takes place to steer a student into pursuing their learning beyond the confines of a syllabus, but they do offer a flavour of some of the more structured opportunities available.