High ability students have always achieved well at Uffculme School, but in order to inspire and motivate our very top students, we initiated our 'Aspire' programme in 2013.
Students in Years 7-9 are selected to be part of this programme on the basis of their prior attainment as this is a very good predictor of future success. This of course does not preclude other students from making excellent progress over these three years and being predicted grades 8 and 9 at GCSE. In Year 7, students are asked to complete an Aspire Project – they are encouraged to pick something that would challenge them and complete it to the best of their ability. They then present these projects to a group of parents and teachers at the end of the year.
In Years 8 and 9, we have a Core Aspire group. This group consists of students with the highest CATs, KS2 and Year 7 grades across the curriculum. We also then create subject specialist groups in English, Humanities, MFL and Performing Arts. Students in these groups are selected based on their attainment and specialist skills within these certain areas.
Students in Core Aspire have to attend a variety of events and complete some work in their own time. For example, they go on a trip to a University to encourage them to raise their aspirations. They also opt into some of the subject specialist days.
Subject specialist days include the BBC News Report for our English Aspire students; a Robotics day run from a specialist from Zobotics for our STEM Aspire students; a day backstage at the Northcott Theatre for our Performing Arts Aspire students and a day when the Language Aspire students were taught Mandarin.
In Key Stage 4, Year 11 Aspire students are involved in a successful mentoring programme where an individual member of staff supports them in their studies. The Year 10 Aspire cohort is selected based on their target grades. The Year 10 Aspire cohort attends a TEDx talk and attend a trip to Oxford University where they are given a tour and a taste of life at a prestigious University!
Students really enjoy the opportunities on offer through the aspire programme and develop a multitude of skills which complement their academic abilities.
If you would like any further information about the Aspire programme, please contact Mrs Michelle Ings, our lead member of staff for the Aspire programme, on IngsM@uffculmeschool.net
You can also follow us on Twitter - Aspire@Uffculme