From September, the four mainstream secondary schools will be taking in all-ability year groups. This will allow all children in the future to be provided with similar opportunities at each secondary school. Whilst this has always been the case for the majority of primary aged school children, this represents an important milestone for the transformation of education in the Bailiwick.
The purpose of the policy is to provide clarity about how all States schools in Guernsey and Alderney should meet the needs of high attaining learners and learners with high potential.
What is a 'High Prior Attainer'?
High prior attainers will be determined by prior academic attainment on entry to secondary school and will be treated as a fixed group. This information will be obtained through baseline data taken at the end of Year 6.
Who is classified as a 'Learner with High Potential'?
Students with high potential are to be identified as those who show a particular aptitude and interest in any area; including academic subjects, sport and the arts. A flexible approach is to be taken in relation to all students, reflecting the fact that they develop at different paces and performance can vary during a school career.
In addition to the approach on ability grouping, a number of complementary measures are also to be implemented:
- Improvements are to be made to the sharing of information across primary and secondary schools. One key benefit of this approach is that the risk of students repeating work is reduced, with the Key Stage 3 curriculum designed to build on Key Stage 2.
- Schools will increase their monitoring of students' progress using detailed internal tracking systems and consideration is being given to where progress can be externally benchmarked. These measures will allow Guernsey to ensure that its students are performing at least as well as, or better than, peers in other jurisdictions. Identifying and tackling underperformance will also be assisted by the changes.
- For those students with high potential across the full spectrum of interests and subjects, a pilot scheme is to be launched aimed at providing high quality support to nurture and develop those talents. The support may include additional tuition for those students displaying particular passion for a certain subject, coaching for those gifted at sports, or extra opportunities for those with aptitude for arts, music and drama.
A copy of the Policy Directive is available in the downloads section of this page.