Skip to content

More Able And Talented

Mr. R. Howard

More Able and Talented Coordinator


Ferndown Upper School is constantly striving to develop exciting and varied opportunities for our More Able and Talented students. Our aim is to endure that these incredible young people can maximise their potential and achieve to the best of their ability in their desired fields.

Throughout all their years at Ferndown Upper School, more able students are challenged by rigorous curricula and staff that look to challenge and stimulate their academic ability. Subject leaders and class teachers alike support this cohort with intervention groups and extra-curricular activities.

Owing to the school’s membership of NACE, the National Association for Able Children in Education, we can provide staff and students with expert material to support their knowledge. Our membership NACE provides CPD materials, workshops and seminars for staff and a range of resources that support higher level learning, attainment and progression for our students. For example, potential Oxbridge applicants are supported for their interviews with mock questions and detailed insight into the interview process, which has contributed to successful applications for members of our Year 13 student body.

Additionally, our more able Year 9 students are given the opportunity to apply for The Brilliant Club’s Scholar Programme. This highly selective programme gives successful applications the chance to work with a PHD tutor on their specialist topic and produce their own 2000-word assignment that is pitched at a higher Key Stage and introduces them to Post 16-level work. The students are also given the freedom to select a particular topic within that field that best matches their own personal interests and aspirations. As part of this process, the school is paired with a leading university and in recent years has successfully worked with Oxford University, joining launch and graduation events hosted by the colleges. Students have found this to be a rewarding, enriching experience that has aided them both with their work in school and with their own personal life choices and decisions.

For the 2022-2023 academic year, we are delighted to be furthering the school’s successful partnership with the Brilliant Club by introducing the opportunity for Year 12 to apply to their own bespoke course, pitched at university undergraduate level. This is a very exciting development that will allow some of our most aspirational students to experience University-level academic rigour and research, while also supporting their applications to their chosen institutions.

In addition to these, the EMPOWER scheme is designed to give the school’s most able learners even more opportunity to exceed and excel through a bespoke programme of enrichment. Launched for the 2021-2022 academic year, EMPOWER symbolises the qualities we are looking for in our more able cohort. These are:

Exemplar: Be a model for behaviour and attitude

Mastery: Target mastery of skills and subjects.

Possibility: Explore endless possibilities: ‘Why stop there?’

Opportunity: Make the most of given opportunities

Winner: Striving to be the best with competitive spirit

Enrichment: Continuously developing cultural capital

Responsibility: To oneself and others. 

The learners chosen to be a part of this programme receive additional academic opportunities in the form of academic lectures that aim to develop in extracurricular areas such as study skills, growth mindset and resilience, and metacognition. These are hosted by a combination of expert staff and specialist external speakers, all of which are experts in their chosen field and are selected deliberately to imbue their knowledge with our learners. The mentoring received is also intended to support these students with their current progress and help them achieve their goals and ambitions in the future, whatever that might be.