As part of our commitment to provide a well-rounded, effective and, where possible, personalised education for our pupils; we have been discussing our pedagogical approaches, looking especially at homework.  Teachers have looked at the latest research in detail and, as such, have discussed how they can make homework more engaging and effective. Consequently, you may see some changes to the homework your child brings home.

While subject homework will be ongoing, we will now also include more project work, offering your child the opportunity to develop longer pieces, which require research, independent thinking, problem-solving and extended writing. Pupils will be given more time to complete these tasks and may have ‘check in’ sessions with their teachers, to establish their progress and to offer ongoing support.

Additionally, some project and homework activities will be set as two-tier tasks. There will be a task that all pupils are expected to complete and then an ‘Aim Higher’ option, which will require thinking on a higher level. The Aim Higher task will be available for all pupils to complete should they wish to, and no one will be excluded from completing it. However, teachers will use it to target those pupils who have been identified as ‘Academically More Able’ and thus will benefit from the stretch and challenge opportunities these tasks will bring. Teachers may pinpoint specific pupils, asking them to complete the Aim Higher work.

In line with this, we are still running our Academically More Able (G&T) register and this programme will be rebranded as ‘Towering Above.’  We hope to expand and develop this aspect of our school, making it more inclusive and recognising the plethora of talents and abilities our pupils have.

We are very blessed to work with such fantastic children who are keen to drive their learning and, therefore, we have appointed Miss A Midgley as the second Lead in this area. Miss Midgley will work alongside Mrs J Nugent in supporting the staff, children and running events. They are already full of exciting ideas and are very much looking forward to the year ahead. Keep a lookout for news about Mensa testing.

Miss Midgley and Mrs Nugent also have plans to make the Towering Above Microsoft Team a hub for additional project work, supported by teachers across the whole school.  This is still being developed but do lookout for new resources on the Team. The Team also offers a virtual opportunity for pupils to share their work and offer each other feedback. The Team is currently accessed by those pupils on the Academically More Able register, however, Mrs Nugent and Miss Midgley are very willing to allow other children onto the Team as it develops, should they express a desire to work on extended projects not covered by the curriculum, in addition to their school and homework.

If you have any questions regarding the Towering Above Programme, please contact either Mrsnugent@towercollege.com or MissMidgley@towercollege.com.