Higher Achievers

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Please be aware that this page is currently under review.

Welcome to our page specifically aimed to inform parents/ carers of Higher Achievers at Lord Derby Academy. In this area of the website, you will find relevant information about our identification process, teaching and learning priorities and all the events and extracurricular activities that we offer to enrich the learning of our Higher Achievers.

How we identify Higher Achievers

At Lord Derby Academy, we acknowledge that outstanding achievement may be demonstrated in a particular subject area or more generally in areas across the curriculum. Higher achievers will therefore fall into two strands:

Ebacc Higher Achievers
National curriculum tests at the end of Year 6 (SATs) are administered in mathematics, English reading and English grammar, punctuation and spelling. Scores are used to report the results of these tests with 80 being the lowest score and 120 the highest score. Current Year 7 and 8 pupils who obtained an average score of 110+ in Mathematics and Reading (including working at a greater depth in Writing) at the end of Key Stage 2 are considered as Ebacc Higher Achievers at Lord Derby Academy. We expect our Ebacc Higher Achievers to make outstanding progress, to study the EBACC and their choice of creative subjects, and to achieve Grades 8 or 9 in as many subjects as possible.

Subject Specific Higher Achievers
At Lord Derby Academy, we also believe in the principle that any pupil who excels in any given subject should be regarded as a “Higher Achiever” within that subject area regardless of their prior data or how they perform in any other subject. Departments are responsible for identifying pupils who are excelling in a particular subject area. Departments have a rationale for identification and are able to provide up to date and accurate information on the provision and intervention made by that subject area, both in the classroom and beyond. We recognise that Higher Achievers need additional challenge and stretch to ensure they reach their fullest potential. We have a very active programme for our Higher Achievers that operates across all year groups and is led by our Ambassador for Higher Achievers, Mrs Herridge. Special trips, developmental events and exciting experiences are provided for these pupils and all teachers track their progress across the curriculum to maintain learning momentum and efficacy.

Teaching and Learning

As a school, we strive to ensure that pupils receive good quality whole class teaching. Teaching and learning approaches which are particularly appropriate for challenging Higher Achievers are used to benefit the whole class, whilst ensuring that the needs of the Higher Achievers are met during whole class lessons. All pupils benefit from regularly planned differentiated group work as part of the curriculum. For our Higher Achievers, this will include guided tasks with the class teacher, independent group work at an appropriate level and suitably challenging homework tasks. Individual provision may be used on occasions for the small number of pupils who demonstrate exceptional ability, or who require an individualised programme to support their needs.

We strive to ensure that pupils receive a good quality of education.

All pupils benefit from the Doug Lemov pedagogy approach and planned differentiated etc.

Outside the classroom opportunities

We feel it is vital for all our pupils to enjoy a full and rounded education and this means encouraging them to take part in the many clubs and extra-curricular opportunities on offer to explore and develop their talents. Every June, we organise for our Ebacc Higher Achievers to sit the Mensa Supervised IQ Test. Pupils passing the test are considered as Exceptionally Able pupils (top 2% of the pupil population). Passing the Mensa test will not only stand out in the future on CVs and university application forms, but it is also a great confidence boost for our pupils. We have strong links with a number of universities from the Russell Group as we encourage higher achievers to aspire to attend university. We reinforce this by taking them on university day trips so that they can experience university life for themselves. Pupils take part in university style tutorials, attend launch and graduation trips at prestigious universities and complete an extended project. Please see the Department Information Section for the Higher Achievers provision in each subject area.

Departmental Information

Higher Achievers in Computer Science:

Profile of Higher Achievers in the department

Strand 1: E-Bacc Higher Achievers

  • In Years 9 to 11, pupils who attained a Level 5b or above in both Mathematics and Computer Studies at the end of Key Stage 2.
  • In Years 7 & 8, pupils who attained a scaled score of 110+ in Mathematics and Reading (including working at a greater depth in Writing) at the end of Key Stage 2.
  • Pupils who have passed the MENSA test

Strand 2: Subject Specific Higher Achievers

Higher achievers in Computer Studies:

  • Perform to a continually high standard in end of term assessments
  • Have a good ability to program computers
  • Have a good computational thinking skills
  • Have an enquiring mind – ask searching and deeper questions
  • Can develop creative solutions to problems
  • Excellent use and knowledge of subject terminology
  • Can explain/articulate their thinking to others coherently (in multiple ways)
  • Have a good problem –solving skills and are able to design, develop, test and improve solutions

1. Opportunities within Computer Studies lessons

  • Peer marking and target setting
  • Emphasis on learning by discovery rather than rote
  • Extension task in lessons
  • Use online programming resources such as “Codeacademy”
  • Opportunities to improve problem-solving skills in programming setting
  • Growth mindset – encourage willingness to take risks and make mistakes

2. Opportunities outside lessons

  • Use of microcontrollers to control external devices (BBC Microbit)
  • Access to GCSE revision materials and examination papers
  • Access to online training materials such as:Snakify This is another website which we will be offering to pupils because this website covers the GCSE specification. The website is interactive and covers 100 exercises. This is excellent for helping with improving their problem solving skills. 

Higher achievers in Design and Technology:

Profile of Higher Achievers in the Department:

  • Exhibit very high level communication skills (written, oracy, drawing, modelling, CAD/CAM)
  • Exhibit an aptitude for the application of mathematics and science within a design and technology context
  • Apply their skills with independence and proactively engage in the design task
  • Develop ideas without design fixation; use non-stereotypical responses, be innovative
  • Take risks when designing and developing solutions to design problems
  • Independently engage with users/clients, undertaking comprehensive investigations of their needs and wants, and analyse the feedback to inform their design ideas
  • Show a level of motivation and interest in design and technology industries
  • Use Computer aided design (CAD) and manufacture (CAM) to reflect industry standards

2- Opportunities within Design and Technology lessons

  • Activities that encourage problem solving
  • Opportunities for paired or group learning
  • Increased opportunities for pupils to lead the learning within lessons
  • Use of visualizer to reflect on skills, learning and misconceptions
  • Increased opportunities to reflect on vocabulary to aid high level communication
  • Increased opportunities to use CAD/CAM, reflecting industry standards

3- Opportunities outside lessons

Pupils will be notified in advance to apply for the following opportunities:

  • Entering design competitions, for example Design Ventura
  • Visiting Liverpool University/LJMU to see how a degree in Design and Technology subjects leads to a wide range of careers
  • Visiting museums, for example STEM Centre in York or The Design Museum in London
  • Applying for work experience in local design or engineering businesses

Higher Achievers in English:

Profile of Higher Achievers in the Department

Strand 1: E-Bacc Higher Achievers

  • In Years 7 & 8, pupils who attained an average scaled score of 110+ in Mathematics and Reading (including working at a greater depth in Writing) at the end of Key Stage 2
  • Pupils who have passed the MENSA test

Strand 2 :Subject specific Higher Achievers

Higher achievers in English:

  • Analyse and infer perceptively
  • Have a desire to explore ideas
  • Write with creativity, imagination and flair
  • Challenge others’ viewpoints and perspectives
  • Critically self-evaluate
  • Communicate and articulate with coherence
  • Lead learning experiences
  • Apply skills across a range of contexts and texts
  • Have a conceptualised approach
  • Are resilient
  • Produce confident responses

2. Opportunities within English lessons

  • Leading learning opportunities
  • Debate, discuss, collaborate and challenge
  • Metacognition
  • GCSE Grade 9 exemplar and skills
  • References to the bigger picture
  • Modelling and exposure to tier 2 and tier 3 language
  • Challenging grammatical inaccuracies in spoken language

3. Opportunities outside lessons

  • Debate and public speaking enrichment (external organisation)
  • Theatre/ Drama production tours
  • College and university links
  • Professional writers, journalist
  • Ex-pupils/college students studying English/Drama in Further Education
  • Cross-trust enrichment
  • Examiner/expert lectures
  • Roscoe Lectures University of Liverpool
  • Shakespeare North
  • National Trust/Heritage sites

Higher achievers in Expressive Arts:

Profile of Higher Achievers in the department

  • Generates a range of appropriate ideas or solutions to problems and questions; can offer unique and creative responses
  • Confident in expressions of opinion; is articulate and informed in constructing alternative view points
  • Displays an appreciation of aesthetics within their selected art forms studied
  • Demonstrates a flair and innate ability in their selected art form
  • Is self-motivated and driven to complete independent and sustained learning through their passion
  • Recognises mistakes as an integral part of their process of learning and future progress

2- Opportunities within Expressive Arts lessons

  • Opportunities to take the role of a lead learner and become specialist practitioners
  • Opportunities to showcase work and inspire others
  • Opportunities to recognise alternative outcomes as means of creative thinking
  • An environment is created where constructed criticism is valued as a learning tool
  • Access to industry standard technology (pending funds)

3- Opportunities outside lessons

  • Targeted enrichment clubs – HA are directly approached by their teachers
  • Showcase opportunities – Christmas and Summer showcases
  • Trips to arts venues to sample experienced work – theatre trip to London in the Summer term
  • Workshops with professional practitioners and links with graduates of Expressive Arts subjects – LIPA will host several workshops during the autumn term. Other workshops after Christmas are to be confirmed.

Higher Achievers in History:

Profile of Higher Achievers in the Department

Strand 1: E-Bacc Higher Achievers

  • In Years 7 & 8, pupils who attained an average scaled score of 110+ in Mathematics and Reading (including working at a greater depth in Writing) at the end of Key Stage 2
  • Pupils who have passed the MENSA test

Strand 2: Subject Specific Higher Achievers

Higher achievers in History consistently:

  • Provide a developed analysis of sources
  • Use a range of accurate and detailed contextual knowledge
  • Write structured well-ordered accounts
  • Can give a balanced argument leading to a substantiated conclusion
  • Have the ability to make a critical comparison of two differing interpretations
  • Have awareness of the historic environment
  • Explain the rate, development and complexity of change
  • Explain the significance of key historical people and features/people/events
  • Explain similarities and differences between two historical features/people/events

2. Opportunities within History lessons

  • Annotation of sources using visualizer
  • Answering open ended questions
  • Asking pertinent questions to move the learning forward
  • Producing high quality written work
  • Leading class debates
  • Taking the lead in think, pair, share activities
  • Becoming group leaders in investigatory lessons

3. Opportunities outside lessons

  • Teachers will highlight appropriate local historical sites which link to the curriculum under study. Pupils will be encouraged to visit these sites independently to complement their learning in class E.g. ‘The Maritime Museum’ for Year 8 pupils studying the Titanic. Pupils will be expected to provide feedback to the class and use their experiences to lead the learning.
  • Participation in the ‘Humanities Quiz League’ – Pupils will play off against other pupils and teachers to test their knowledge of Humanities and other areas of school life
  • Organised school trips – High achievers will be consulted around the suitability of trips for the whole year group. They will then be encouraged to help promote the trip and lead the learning during the session itself.

Higher achievers in Mathematics:

Profile of Higher Achievers in the Department

Strand 1: E-Bacc Higher Achievers

  • In Years 7 & 8, pupils who attained an average scaled score of 110+ in Mathematics and Reading (including working at a greater depth in Writing) at the end of Key Stage 2
  • Pupils who have passed the MENSA test

Strand 2: Subject Specific Higher Achievers

Higher achievers in Mathematics:

  • In Years 7 & 8, pupils who attained a scaled score of 110+ in Mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2
  • Pupils who display exceptional progress and match the attainment of other higher achievers
  • Good memory/recall of formula and techniques
  • Display resilience and perseverance and when faced with challenging problems
  • Ability to make connections between different topics/subjects
  • Ability to reflect on their own work when they have a misconception
  • Being passionate/inquisitive and having an interest in the subject
  • Determination to achieve

2- Opportunities within Mathematics lessons

  • Share their learning with their peers
  • Demonstrate solutions using the visualiser or class whiteboards
  • Set challenges that requires deeper thinking
  • Increase the use of NCETM resources in planning and delivery lessons that promote deeper understanding
  • Encouraged to solve problems independently
  • Opportunities to lead the learning of others
  • During DEAR time pupils have the opportunity to read from the Maths Enrichment Library (MEL)
  • Increase the use of the higher order Bloom’s verbs

3- Opportunities outside lessons

  • Engage higher achievers in external competitions e.g. Mathematical Education on Merseyside (MEM) Competitions
  • Encourage higher achievers to borrow books/articles from the Maths Enrichment Library
  • Subscription to the National Geographic: Our Mathematical World Students can borrow books to read at home or for during DEAR time.
  • Enrichment trips – Cheshire Ice Cream Farm
  • Encourage higher achievers to engage in further independent research where appropriate, e.g. When covering averages and distribution students will be encouraged to research standard deviation even though it’s not on the GCSE course or further research when covering a difference between two squares student could research how to factorise polynomials with powers of 3 or 4
  • Encourage higher achievers to attend enrichment clubs that will develop their thinking e.g. STEM, chess club
  • Prioritise access to laptops at lunchtime/after school so pupils can engage in higher level work from ENRICH

Higher Achievers in MFL

Profile of Higher Achievers in the Department

Strand 1: E-Bacc Higher Achievers

  • In Years 7 & 8, pupils who attained an average scaled score of 110+ in Mathematics and Reading (including working at a greater depth in Writing) at the end of Key Stage 2
  • Pupils who have passed the MENSA test

Strand 2: Subject Specific Higher Achievers

Higher achievers in MFL:

  • Independent learning
  • Responsibility for own learning
  • Curiosity
  • Ambition
  • Motivation
  • Thirst for learning – research
  • Resilience
  • Determination
  • Embrace challenge

Manipulation of language

  • Memory skills
  • Risk taking with language and skills
  • Adaptable to task
  • Transferable skills

2- Opportunities within MFL lessons

  • Self-help area
  • Differentiated H/W – upside down learning
  • Authentic materials
  • Planning for ‘out of box’ tasks
  • Carousel activities
  • Vocabulary tasks & tests – learn by heart / memory tasks
  • All skills considered in planning
  • Ninja challenge activities: extra challenge activities requiring application and manipulation of the language to really stretch and challenge.

3- Opportunities outside lessons

  • Trip to Spain / Spanish exchange
  • French trip
  • Bastille Day / día de los muertos Bastille Day – National French celebration to commemorate France becoming a republic and the end of the French revolution. Pupils will be given information about this celebration in their lessons and in assembly.
  • Dean Trust MFL spelling bee /translation bee. Pupils will be given a presentation in their lessons the week.
  • Día de los muertos – Day of the dead is a Mexican Festival celebrated throughout Mexico on 1st November, the day is dedicated to honour the Dead. Pupils will take part in various cultural activities in their language lessons and across school
  • European Week of Languages – We celebrate this week once a year, the MFL Department hold a variety of events across school in order to promote the importance of learning a language. Potential career pathways are highlighted to pupils throughout the week and pupils enjoy taster sessions of other European languages.
  • Film Club / enrichment club. A variety of films shown in both Spanish and French
  • Y7 Spelling Bee with some of partner schools.

Higher Achievers in PE:

Profile of Higher Achievers in the Department

Higher achievers in PE:

  • Will have ability 2 years in advance of their age
  • Will have exceptional ability in one activity or very good ability in a wide range of activities
  • Perform at county level or above
  • A significant commitment to extra-curricular sport / events
  • Highly keen on developing knowledge of a wide range of sporting theory
  • Will have a commitment to learning from setbacks and helping others

2- Opportunities within PE lessons

  • Differentiated tasks / questions
  • Leadership / coaching of sport
  • related skills. HA pupils clearly identified
  • Homework – research tasks
  • HA pupils to provide high quality peer assessment
  • If the opportunity is available, move pupils into different Year groups for certain sports

3- Opportunities outside lessons

  • In school extra curricular-club / competitions. Basketball club takes place every morning before school from 7.50-8.30am. GCSE PE practical club runs from 12.40 -1.15pm every Monday and Tuesday. Football club and Netball club runs every Tuesday 3.00 – 4.15pm. Trampolining club runs every Wednesday from 3.00 – 4.30pm.
  • External competition : We participate in a number of competitions within Knowsley : Netball; Football; Rounders; Indoor and outdoor Athletics; Basketball. Our Football teams compete within the Merseyside Schools cup competitions as well as on a national basis within the FA English Schools cup competitions. We also host our own junior middle distance race at Knowsley Hall and have competed in Athletics competitions against other Dean Trust schools
  • Specialist coaching: Specialist coaching for Rock Climbing, Canoeing, Trampolining, Netball, Badminton and Table Tennis will be available for our GCSE PE pupils
  • Teacher mentor for each PE HA pupil. Each PE HA pupil will be allocated a teacher mentor from the LDA PE staff. The mentor will be available to provide advice about opportunities to maximise the pupil’s talent inside and outside of school. They will also be able to provide advice regarding careers in the Sport / Physical Education sector
  • Support pupils performing at a high level, for example, advice on getting financial support
  • Mentor Programme for PE HA pupils
  • Links with external clubs. We have recently formed a link with Prescot Netball Club who train in our school sports hall between 7-8pm each Wednesday. The club is keen for our KS4 pupils to train with them and this helps our pupils improve their Netball skills as well as providing them with a way to carry on playing the game once they have left school

Higher Achievers in Science:

Profile of Higher Achievers in the Department

Strand 1: E-Bacc Higher Achievers

  • In Years 7 & 8, pupils who attained an average scaled score of 110+ in Mathematics and Reading (including working at a greater depth in Writing) at the end of Key Stage 2.
  • Pupils who have passed the MENSA test

Strand 2 :Subject Specific Higher Achievers

Higher achievers in Science:

  • Show a passion for science
  • Have a curiosity of the world around them
  • Excellent communication skills using scientific terminology
  • Recall scientific words and equations and apply them to a real life situation
  • Make links between science subjects and cross curricular
  • Process, synthesise and apply scientific concepts to new situations

2- Opportunities within Science lessons

  • Use of visualiser where appropriate
  • Peer marking and self-marking
  • Extension tasks and challenge work
  • Planned questions of varying difficulty to target pupils and to pose questions for discussion
  • Use ‘experts’ in class to help support other pupils in a mentoring role
  • Think, pair, share opportunities

3- Opportunities outside lessons

  • Jodrell Bank outreach sessions – staff come into school to deliver interactive workshops which engage pupils with the research conducted at Jodrell Bank, and at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Pupils test their problem solving skills with laser puzzles, see hidden wavelengths with an infrared camera demonstration, and learn about some of the benefits to society from science research. Pupils also get an insight into what it’s like studying science at university
  • GCSE live seminars with Prof Robert Winston who is a distinguished scientist, particularly in the area of human fertility and many other eminent scientists
  • We will be sending our MENSA pupils to the Royal Institute Christmas Lectures, which are broadcast on TV every year
  • A London trip is in the works where pupils will be able to visit science museums and have a tour of London. Pupils will be able to see how British scientists have shaped the world as we know it
  • Interschool competitions will occur throughout the year. There is currently a UniLever STEM project running for higher achieving year 8 and 9 pupils
  • A STEM club runs every week for all pupils in year 7

NACE Award 

  • We are working towards achieving the NACE Challenge Award. This is a national award for excellence. Schools that are successful in gaining the award have high quality provision for all pupils and high achieving pupils in particular. Visit their website by clicking here.

How you can support your child

There are many practical steps that you can take to support and nurture your child, for example by encouraging him/her to:

  • Utilise the local library and the internet as learning and research resources
  • Visit museums, science centres, nature reserves and art galleries
  • Watch educational and current affairs programmes such as the news, wildlife/nature programmes and documentaries, and discuss them
  • Read a quality national newspaper
  • Discuss and debate topics, such as politics, the environment and the media
  • Discuss homework and schoolwork
  • Take part in extra-curricular activities
  • Take an active part in family decision-making
  • Listen to different types of music
  • Read for pleasure, including demanding/challenging books
  • Take regular physical exercise
  • Socialise and relax in between work and learn to ‘switch off’

You can also support your child by

  • Providing suitable learning resources such as books, encyclopaedias, magazines, computer software etc
  • Organising day trips and visits to places of cultural, historical and educational interest
  • Building cultural experiences, trips and excursions into family holidays
  • To ensure that your child’s behaviour for progress both inside and outside of their classroom learning is outstanding at all times

Who to contact in School

  • For any information about our Higher Achievers provision, please email Mrs Herridge, Ambassador for Higher Achievers at office@lordderbyacademy.co.uk 
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