As the BBC 2 series Generation Gifted highlights, being academically more able alone isn’t a ticket to success. It also takes confidence and self-belief for a gifted children to fulfil their potential – which is why one-to-one tuition and support can make such a tremendous difference.
In March 2015, Ofsted concluded that many more able children attending ordinary state secondary schools were failing to achieve their potential. It’s no surprise then that many parents of more able children seek private tuition to help their children flourish.
Gifted or academically more able?
There has been considerable debate about which term to use for pupils with advanced abilities.
The Department for Education currently uses the term ‘academically more able learners’ for ‘those who have abilities in one or more academic subjects such as mathematics or English.’
Potential Plus UK (formerly known as the National Association for Gifted Children) uses the term ‘high learning potential’ (with ‘gifted and able’ in brackets). The decision to update the name and vocabulary of the NAGC followed concerns about a social stigma attached to the word ‘gifted’. Hopefully the BBC series will help to shake up people’s perceptions about what being gifted really means.
As NAGC say on their website: ‘Children with High Learning Potential are much more than high IQ scorers… These children are fascinating, complex, challenging, brimming with vast potential and an incredible thirst for knowledge.’
We couldn’t agree more.
Government strategies for supporting gifted children
The national strategy for supporting able pupils has seen many changes. In the past 15 years the government has implemented and then withdrawn various differing national and area-specific schemes. In 2009 the government reviewed its current national programme and concluded that it was not having sufficient impact on schools. Consequently, provision was scaled back and schools were expected to do more themselves for their most able pupils.
As a result, there is considerable difference between schools and the ways in which they support their most able students.
Which teaching strategies are most effective?
More able pupils often enjoy a creative and more cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning, a DfE report concluded. To engage gifted children, a wider variety of teaching strategies and approaches are often needed.
The DfE report also found that more able pupils may do only the minimum amount of work, if not sufficiently academically stretched – so pupils need to be ‘pushed to deeper thinking’.
In 2015, Oftsed reported that more able students thrive in schools where leaders provide a challenging and stimulating curriculum. The most successful secondary schools use information from primary schools to make sure students are doing work that stretches them as soon as they join.
Unfortunately, in other schools, Ofsted’s inspectors found many more able pupils were not being sufficiently stimulated or challenged. Disappointingly, around a quarter who showed very strong potential in English and maths at age 11 did not go on to achieve B grades at GCSE.
How does one-to-one tuition help?
In our experience, academically more able pupils benefit most from one-to-one tuition when tuition sessions are planned to foster independence.
Home-School Tutoring prides itself on being in tune with the needs of more able children and young people. Our specialist one-to-one private tuition is student-led, challenging and stimulating. Tuition can be arranged for after-school, at the weekend or in the school holidays.
Home-School Tutoring can also provide private tuition to help students prepare for the 11-plus and Common Entrance exams.
Margaret Sweetland, Director of Home-School Tutoring, says:
“Our tutors are committed to helping gifted students fulfil their potential and engage in learning. We have tutors who are experts in all subjects taught in school, as well as in other subjects that students may be interested in, such as extra-curricular languages or musical instrument tuition.”
Why choose Home-School Tutoring?
Home-School Tutoring has provided quality home tuition for over 30 years. A rigorous registration procedure ensures all tutors are suitably qualified and committed to delivering attentive and effective tuition. Certificates of qualifications are verified, references are obtained, and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are made for all tutors.
Our Area Advisors are available to provide advice to parents considering home tutoring, and can match pupils with the tutor best suited to their needs.
Parents can find contact details for their local Area Advisor via the locations page.
Home-School Tutoring is also currently inviting applications from qualified tutors interested in joining Home-School Tutoring. See Become a Tutor for details.
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