“It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.” Rene Descartes
The vital concept which animates the CCHS curriculum is ambition. This is clearly communicated through the school vision – developing the leaders of tomorrow.
- The pursuit of excellence
- Fulfilling potential
- Contributing to the community
To realise the vision and aims requires institutionalised curriculum challenge, i.e. demanding and stimulating experiences across the school. Our challenge model has seven elements:
- Scheduled: habitual challenge, e.g. daily lesson activities
- Extension: amplified challenge, e.g. Parental Support Booklet activities. Click here for Years 7-9 booklets.
- Enrichment: deep challenge, e.g. Enrichment Day activities
- Overarching: cohesive challenge, e.g. Internationalism activities
- Excellence: examination challenge, e.g. GCSE, and A2
- Ancillary: complementary challenge, e.g. extra-curricular activities
- Innovation: novel challenge, e.g. special projects
- Preserve subject integrity and rigour
- Develop further opportunities to enrich and challenge students
- Capitalise on opportunities to highlight and develop our broad and balanced curriculum.
Seven tips for supporting high performing students
In a Guardian Teacher Network Q&A, experts discussed the latest thinking on what teachers and parents can do to help able children excel in their chosen areas. Please click on download button below for a summary of their thoughts.
Oxplore – the home of big questions
Oxplore is an innovative new digital outreach portal from the University of Oxford. As the ‘Home of Big Questions’ it aims to engage those from 11 to 18 years with debates and ideas that go beyond what is covered in the classroom. Big questions tackle complex ideas across a wide range of subjects and draw on the latest research undertaken at Oxford. Oxplore aims to realise aspirations, promote broader thinking and stimulate intellectual curiosity.
Our Big Questions reflect the kind of thinking students undertake at universities like Oxford. Everything on Oxplore draws on the University of Oxford’s expertise in everything from archaeology to zoology to offer approaches to challenges and questions underpinned by the latest thinking and research.
A new section of the Times Educational Supplement (TES) website has been launched, called ‘Subject Genius’. Subject Genius pulls together some of the best subject specialist writers around. It explores challenging topics and enjoyable ways to approach difficult parts of specialist subjects. Please follow the link below to view the material presented so far.
‘A History of Ideas’
BBC Radio 4 and The Open University have collaborated to produce a wonderful resource called ‘A History of Ideas’. This major 60-part series offers listeners a fresh take on some of the big questions that have preoccupied thinkers down the ages. A programme of animated films voiced by actress Gillian Anderson, TV personality Stephen Fry and The Simpsons star Harry Shearer complement the series. The links below will take you to the relevant websites. This is a rich resource for girls to learn beyond the classroom. Some of the questions tackled include: What is justice? Has technology changed us? What makes me human? How did everything begin? What does it mean to be free?
BBC iWonder is a factual and educational brand designed to feed the UK’s curiosity. BBC iWonder provides answers to the questions sparked in your everyday life – questions inspired by television programmes, what is in the news, important anniversaries, or what is trending on social media. BBC iWonder Interactive Guides provide thought-provoking explorations across subject areas, including History, Literature and Science.
A host of UK and international universities have collaborated to provide a variety of free online academic courses for young people. The courses can last from 2-8 weeks and cover a wide range of topics across the Arts, Humanities and Science. These courses can be taken by students aged 13 years plus. For example, there is a course entitled ‘Developing Your Research Project’, which is offered by the University of Southampton. It is suitable as preparation for a variety of research tasks, including the IB extended essay.
TED is a nonprofit community devoted to “ideas worth spreading”. It was founded as a conference bringing together people from three worlds:Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. TED “believes passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.” The TED website offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.
If you have heard of QI (Quite Interesting), the chances are that you have heard of the BBC2 comedy panel quiz of the same name, hosted by Stephen Fry. At its core, QI enshrines the original view of Lord Reith that the BBC should ‘educate, inform and entertain’, all three of which duties are carried out to the great enjoyment of panel and audience alike. The activities of ‘The QI Universe’ website are organised around a central concept or set of attitudes – those of curiosity, discovery and humour.
BBC Radio 4s Moral Maze provides combative, provocative and engaging live debate examining the moral issues behind one of the week’s news stories.
3 Minute Thinking!
King’s College London has launched ‘3 Minute Thinking!’, which is a series of bite-size videos on a host of exciting and curious topics with King’s academics every Thursday. Topics addressed include, ‘Was Shakespeare German?’ and ‘Can pigs and seaweed cure diabetes?’
‘The Floor is Yours…’
The University of Leicester offers a new way to engage with key issues that shape our society. Students can join debates on a host of topics, including ‘should we go to Mars?’ Join some of Britain’s leading academics and high-profile opinion formers in these challenging ‘the floor is yours’ debates.
Useful Links and Resources
National Association for Able Children in Education
NACE has been working to support teachers of gifted and talented students for over twenty years and has some excellent publications.
National Association for Gifted Children
NAGC is an excellent organisation which was set up to support parents and their children.
London Gifted and Talented
The London Gifted and Talented website provides useful information, worksheets, policies and courses.
World Council for Gifted and Talented Children
The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children is a worldwide non-profit organisation whose goal is to provide advocacy and support for gifted children.
World Class Arena
World Class Arena is an international initiative designed to identify and assess gifted and talented students around the world.
The Arts Council provide well funded and successful creativity programmes.
English Heritage provides excellent site visits and educations resources.
The fascinating history of the Olympic Games.
Provides excellent materials to enrich the mathematics curriculum.
Youth Music is a charity which funds and supports music activities for disadvantaged children and young people.
A resource and collaboration service for Philosophy for Children.
A content-rich site bringing together images and viewpoints to create insights into science and culture.
The Youth Sport Trust nurtures young people talented in PE and sport.