Exceptional Potential

    Our most able students arrive at DGGS with an additional educational need: the need to be challenged at an extremely high level in order to fulfil their potential.

    As a school, we aim to ensure that these students are offered the precise, differentiated support and extracurricular opportunities necessary in order to realise their potential and to hold their own in an increasingly competitive world.

    How are students with exceptional potential identified?

    Students who score 129 and above in the verbal, non-verbal or quantitative reasoning tests (‘CATS’) taken in Year 7 are identified as demonstrating ‘Exceptional Potential’ based on cognitive ability. In addition, a separate list is maintained in order to identify students who are demonstrating ‘Exceptional Potential’ within each subject. Further details can be found in the school’s ‘Gifted and Talented Policy’.

    Parents of students who are identified as displaying ‘Exceptional Potential’ in the Year 7 CATS tests will be informed via letter.

    How will they be supported?

    In addition to receiving differentiated support within lessons, students with ‘Exceptional Potential’ are encouraged to extend their learning by participating in the following ‘supercurricular’ activities:

    • Project ROAR

    Project ROAR (Russell Group or Alternative Ready) is a programme which aims to raise aspirations for students in Years 7-10 by promoting early discussions about university choices and by fostering a sense of intellectual curiosity through independent subject-specific enquiry projects.

    Participating students conduct initial research into possible university and career pathways and then embark on an independent enquiry project within their chosen subject domain. The finished project is assessed using a university-style grading system and then displayed publically so that students can present their findings and reflect on their learning through viva voce style questioning. Previous projects have ranged from a creative reinterpretation of Mary Shelley’s novel ‘Frankenstein’, to film reviews written in Russian and French and an investigation into how prime numbers can keep us safe through the science of encryption.

    Debate club

    • Optima magazine (creative writing)
    • Entry into competitions in fields such as public speaking, STEM, creative writing and mock trials
    • Trips to higher education providers such as The University of Cambridge and King’s College London aimed at raising students’ future aspirations.
    • Inspirational guest lectures delivered by speakers from a range of different academic and professional backgrounds.
    • An Oxbridge group which offers advice on entrance tests and personal statements in addition to mock interview practice
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