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Developing More Able and Talented approaches to learning
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Often ensuring continued high levels of motivation for the more able students ( of which there are 20% in each year ) is a constant challenge for class teachers. A recent HMI inspection ( 2014 )and through Its own self evaluation has indicated that the school should continue to seek ways to extend its more able learners across the school. Furthermore, emphasis on improving standards in Wales and the UK as a whole with a particular emphasis on the lowly position in recent PISA results which has prompted many to look at the position in Scandinavia, where schools continue to perform well. Effective independent learning approaches are often cited as key to the success of these schools, where students actively learn to set their own goals, manage time effectively and whereby the teacher acts as a facilitator of learning. Indeed well planned outdoor learning activities, open ended individualized learning programmes, supported by effective principles of assessment for learning appear to further their success .Much of the recent research has tended to focus on looking at this from a secondary school stance. However we believe that as a school that pupils of a higher ability with in the primary sector may well be capable and could greatly benefit from such an approach to learning. The principle aim of our projects is to therefore to seek to enhance provision for it more able pupils by exploring the practices within Scandinavian schools. It will seek to focus on the following : * To ascertain the philosophical and pedagogic beliefs underpinning the approaches taken in Scandinavia schools which leads to high levels of achievement • What sort of learning environment has been created and how does this affect the students? • What part does the interaction between tutors and students play in the promotion of independent learning? Is this transferable to support more able pupils ? • How is Information Technology being used to promote or enable independent learning? • How is the curriculum arranged, and what effect does this have on independent learning to challenge More able pupils? -To what extent does outdoor learning contribute to children's creative and problem solving needs ? Can it be effectively utilized to support and challenge the More able child ? • What part do external assessments play, and how do they affect independent learning for more able pupils and others? Furthermore the school is keen to raise its cultural awareness of Europe amongst its pupils by completing the project it will also act as a cultural exchange link which can only enhance the curriculum of the school. *Participant Profiles The Headteacher - will lead and organise the event. He is keen to see how independent learning can be used to challenge the more able pupil in the primary phase of their education. The deputy headteacher is the more able and talented coordinator, literacy and assessment. She has taught at both key stage 2 ( 7-11 years )and foundation phase levels ( 3 - 7 years )and is keen to look at how infant practice ( below 7 yrs ) is implemented and how More able pupils are supported , nurtured and challenged at this age. She is also keen to look at how outside learning can be a real benefit to pupils of all age groups. The year 6 teacher is an innovative teacher and reflective practitioner who is keen to explore how provision for more able and talented pupils can be enhanced through ICT / digital technology. The school believes the most effective means of gaining an understanding of the Swedish and Finish schools to take part in this training following which each member of staff will have a focus area and all will feedback daily culminating in an agreed final report containing recommendations in the form of an action plan. The school foresees the following results and Impact -Increased knowledge and understanding of Global Citizenship and ideas to increase and enhance provision in lessons - Enhanced approaches / strategies to the teaching of more able pupils which will impact positively on current performance levels - Enhanced knowledge and understanding of the utilisation of Outdoor learning to develop and enhance all pupils skills - Increased understanding in the development of Independent learning impact on improved standards in performance levels for the school. The longer term benefits for the school are that it will be better placed in challenging and supporting pupils irrespective of background to perform to the best of its ability.

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