Gifted and Talented

Gifted and Talented News

Gifted and Talented Student independent Learning Plans

As a new initiative to understand each gifted and talented student’s interests and aspirations the student independent learning plan was launched. Mr C Bradbury holds yearly meetings with all 130 gifted and talented students across Years 7 – 13. These plans discuss career interests, extracurricular, higher education advice and information. These plans then help teachers to tailor where possible to the gifted and talented student’s interests within stretch and challenge activities or enrichment opportunities.

Oxford University visits Painsley Catholic College

On the 19th October, 20 Year 11 students took part in Oxford University’s taster day. Students enjoyed learning about life at Oxford and speaking to university students and lecturers who shared their experience of university and studying at Oxford. They took part in many interactive and philosophical activities including dispelling myths about studying at Oxford and Cambridge, degree level literature sessions and a lecture in Egyptology. Students also learnt about the exciting opportunities on offer at Oxford and the benefits of studying at a top university. Furthermore, at Painsley Sixth Form College we have the Oxbridge nurture group which is led by Ms C Oberman and aims to provide additional support and guidance for more able students who wish to apply for Oxford and Cambridge. In this group support is provided for personal statement writing, entry exam bookings, interview practice sessions and much more.

In addition to the online or in person Oxford visits the students also have the opportunity to take part in summer schools and online mastery classes that are sent via the University College. The students can take full advantage of these opportunities by enrolling themselves and working on these independently.

Years 6/7 G & T STEM Family Evening

Years 9/10 G & T STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) Ambassadors helped to deliver with their teachers four workshops to G & T students in Years 6 and 8. The fun activities and sessions ranged from technology, science, engineering and maths. All families were encouraged to participate in the hands on activities to attempt to solve some of the STEM problems in groups.

Year 7 and 8 Critical Thinking Sessions

Throughout G & T students’ journey in education critical thinking is an apparent skill that is utilised throughout all subjects at primary school, high school and Sixth Form. We aim to continually improve and challenge the students’ critical thinking year on year. In June 2018 we provided a critical thinking day to the Years 7 and 8 G & T students to help them gain a further understanding of what critical thinking is and how they can actively use this particular skill. Year 12 Gifted and Talented students also worked with the pupils and delivered sessions on how they utilised critical thinking at A Level. Finally in July 2018 we offered Year 6 critical thinking sessions to all of the feeder schools of The Painsley Catholic Academy, where the students participated in hands-on activities where they needed to utilise critical thinking to solve the problems they faced in teams.

Additionally, Year 8 will take part in a more able leadership opportunity that has cross-curricular links with critical thinking. The students will be focussing on developing their initiative, team building and roles within a leadership setting. We hope that the students will be challenged as they implement their subject knowledge into management and leadership roles.

Year 9 Scholars Programme

In the 2022 spring term 12 Year 9 students are taking part in the Scholars Programme. This programme aims to expose students to supra-curriculum subjects and to gain further insight to what it is like to study/work at a university level and to raise students’ aspirations towards attending a Russell Group University (one of the top 24 universities). The Year 9 students’ supra-curriculum will be ‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall’ acceptance of imperfection and the philosophy of Kintsukuroi. They will be attending an in-school launch event and a university graduation event, both trips the students were given tours, taster sessions and opportunities to speak to both students and lecturers at the Universities (either in person or online).

In the spring term of 2018, 12 Year 8 students embarked on the programme and focussed on the supra-curricular topic of ‘Disease Detectives’ and experienced visits to Nottingham University and Leeds University. Both groups had to produce a 1500-word assignment to complete the course, which all students successfully completed and graduated through the Scholars Programme.

In the 2017 autumn term 12 Year 9 students took part in the Scholars Programme. The Year 9 students’ supra-curriculum was ‘Does text have an unconscious’ looking at Literature and Psychoanalysis. They attended two university visits one to Oxford University to launch the programme and a university graduation trip to Lancaster University, both trips the students were given tours, taster sessions and opportunities to speak to both students and lecturers at the Universities.

Y10 Business Club

Over the past three years the Y10 Business Club has been led by Mr C Bradbury with the aim of enriching, providing insight and inspiring students in the areas of business and enterprise. A group of 20 Year 10 students participated in this year’s business club attending sessions over Tuesday lunchtimes learning about the main functional areas of business including: Finance, Human Resources, Management, Marketing, Sales and Pitching. The groups worked towards creating their own hypothetical businesses. There was a great variety of innovative ideas which included a Gluten Free Online Bakery, a YouTube in-game betting service, healthy eating calorie application and an in garment technological reader for working out reading certain body statistics. The students pitched their ideas to the business department at Painsley Catholic Sixth Form College, covering all aspects of their business from financing it to marketing the product service. All students over the years have flourished and completed the club with flying colours.

n 2022 the Year 10 Business & Economics club will be organised by Mr Bradbury, Miss Blackburn and Mrs Parker. We hope this practical enrichment opportunity will continue to raise aspirations and get students utilising skills from all subjects and areas.

Year 12 World Class School Quality Mark

A group of Year 12 G & T students took part in the World Class School Quality Mark where they were challenged with working in a team with other students around the country to complete a real world activity. The students also completed an application form and video to first qualify for the scheme. The challenge the students faced was to create and cover all planning aspects from financing, materials and production of an extension of a school in Leeds. This activity utilised a variety of skills for it to be completed. The students worked extremely hard and gained the award of the World Class School Quality Mark for Painsley Catholic College. Making Painsley one of 16 schools in the UK that have received this prestigious award.

Year 12/13 Enrichment Programme

All Years 12 and 13 at Painsley Sixth Form College attend an enrichment programme every Wednesday afternoon coordinated by Mrs S Minor. There is a wide range of enrichment opportunities which consist of a law society, medical society, media society, physical education, yoga and Mindfulness and lastly the Young Enterprise programme. These enrichment opportunities have helped to stretch and challenge more able students across both year groups and engage them to develop their skills in new and exciting future pathways.

More able school audit

The More Able school audit is an opportunity for teaching staff and students to reflect on their stretch and challenge provision both in the classroom and outside of the classroom. This audit helps us as Painsley to continually reflect and progress within our provision for more able cohorts but also teaching strategies, class room environments and provision. Through a mixture of observations, work scrutiny, student voice and staff voice the audit is completed. This findings and results are then shared internally for staff to use and for the findings to help inform future practise and provision for more able.

Department aims

At Painsley Catholic College we believe that all children are entitled to an education that will enable them to realise their full potential; be that intellectual, physical, aesthetic, creative, emotional, spiritual or social individual, finding appropriate challenge in our learning environment. Painsley Catholic College will provide opportunities to nurture those who are more able and their talents and abilities. The cohort will reflect the College’s distribution in terms of gender and ethnicity. G & T Policy document, click here

Gifted and Talented Reading List

While grades are clearly very important when considering university and employment, showing that you are well read is vital in presenting yourself as a well-rounded and enthusiastic about your chosen path. Below are a few to get you started and will be updated. They are mature in content but generally accessible for Year 10 and upwards. 50 … Ideas You Really Need to Know- Various authors. Covers a variety of topics in a nutshell from a range of subjects including economics, psychology and philosophy. Fermat’s Last Theorem- Simon Singh. A fascinating story of mathematics. Freakonomics- Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner’s. An account of economic principles in unlikely places. Sophie’s World- Jostein Gaarder. A novel about the history of philosophy through the eyes of a girl. Lastly there is a large amount of reading and resources around critical thinking that G & T students can access and can be found on the following website.


The Russell Group of Universities

The Russell Group represents 24 leading UK universities which are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience. To find out more, follow the links below.

Making decisions about post-16 education

What to expect for the Student Experience at Russell Group Universities


Gifted and Talented Staff

Mr C Bradbury – G & T Lead Coordinator, Teacher of Business & Year 8 Pastoral Lead.

Students begin to attend events at Painsley Catholic College. For instance, we run science and modern foreign language events in Year 4. In Year 6, students attend workshops on a variety of themes, including: philosophy for children (P4C) and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). They are introduced to Russell Group Universities. It also provides an opportunity to meet some of the older Painsley Gifted and Talented students.

Each Gifted and Talented student and a parent are invited to an evening workshop. Visits to our Sixth Form College take place. This gives students the opportunity to hear from other Gifted and Talented students in Year 12 and 13 and they are always surprised to see the amount of courses on offer. Year 8 students took part in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) event recently on the theme of crime. This was led by our Gifted and Talented ambassadors in Year 10.

In Year 9, selected students are invited to take part in the government funded “Future Scholars’ Scheme”. Last year this involved a visit to Manchester University for talks about university life and some inter active workshops. Twelve Year 9 and 10 students undertook “The Brilliant Club” scheme. This involved visits to Oxford and Warwick Universities as well as four tutorials led by PhD students. Year 10 students took part in a series of master classes on the theme of psychology, philosophy and Latin. Year 11 students are invited to begin study of AS Level Critical Thinking after school. Year 10 and 11 students have also taken part in Oxford University talks.

For selected students, we run “The Brilliant Club”, which involves two visits to different Russell Group Universities and four tutorials led by PhD students. We promote and provide information and guidance on Oxbridge. Recently, a representative from Oxford University gave a talk to Year 12 students. Students who apply to Oxford are given a mock interview as part of the application process. Those who elected to undertake extra-curricular AS Level Critical Thinking complete the course in Year 12.

We strive to ensure that all students are sufficiently challenged. All teaching staff are made aware of which subjects students are identified as being Gifted and/or Talented in. Within each department, schemes of work identify opportunities for extension and enrichment. Below is an outline of just some of the activities undertaken at Painsley Catholic College. For further information, please contact the Gifted and Talented Lead Teacher.

There are numerous extra-curricular clubs which are suited to Gifted and Talented individuals. For instance, we have: chess, sport, music, textiles and history. In fact, there are currently over 100 clubs for students to enjoy. Please see Painsley’s homepage and the school notice board for more information on these.

Main School Open Evening

Please join us on Wednesday, 11th September at 6pm.

Click here to register your interest.

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