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High Prior Attaining Students

The following is a summary of the provision for students of High prior attainment (HPA) at Crofton School. It is our aim for students leaving primary school, securing the highest scaled scores in English and maths to achieve grades 7-9. 


School leadership: 

All Crofton School leaders are committed to a purposeful drive to improve standards for all students and high expectations among their families and teachers. We believe the term ‘special educational needs’ should be as relevant to HPA students as it is to those who require support for their learning difficulties. Students who have HPA students are regarded as a significant ‘reportable group’ and the progress of the group is tracked closely. 


Early identification: 

Effective transition arrangements support the move from primary to secondary school. Early identification of our HPA students enables teaching and the curriculum to be adapted and tailored, to meet their needs; and groupings that allow students to be stretched from the very start of secondary school. 


Teaching and the curriculum: 

Teaching is focused on the needs of all students, particularly at Key Stage 3. Students must do the hard work and develop the resilience needed to perform at a higher level with more challenging tasks regularly demanded of them. Work is pitched above the ‘middle’ and will extend all HPA students. Teaching is designed so students are given more opportunities to develop their higher order thinking, problem-solving and questioning skills.  


"It is our belief that able students prosper best in schools when they receive consistently high standards of teaching..." 

(Quality First Teaching) 


What is Quality First Teaching? 

  • Highly focused lesson design with sharp objectives; 

  • High demands of student involvement and engagement with their learning; 

  • High levels of interaction for all students; 

  • Appropriate use of teacher questioning, modelling and explaining; 

  • An emphasis on learning through dialogue, with regular opportunities for students to talk both individually and in groups; 

  • An expectation that students will accept responsibility for their own learning and work independently; using metacognitive skills to improve their learning. 

  • Regular use of encouragement and authentic praise to engage and motivate students.

Setting - students are often put into discrete sets in many subjects from as early as Year 7. However, when there is no alternative to mixed-ability teaching, our teachers adapt their practice to ensure our HPA students are being challenged.  


Homelearning – HPA students are most often provided with appropriate and challenging work to complete independently. They are encouraged to read widely. 


Courses - the curriculum is designed to give additional opportunities and choices. For example: 

KS3 – opportunities to study more than one language in MFL.  

KS4 – separate science, statistics and FSMQ option, dual linguists’ course, subject options pathways to support EBacc success and Further/Higher education entry. 


Enrichment - All of our extra-curricular activities and clubs provide all students with further opportunities to progress and for development of their leadership attributes. 

Ambition beyond school: 

  • We ensure, from early on, that students know what opportunities are open to them and develop the confidence to make the most of these. They need tutoring, guidance and encouragement, as well as a chance to meet other young people who have embraced higher education. Students are shown how to apply to a range of colleges and the most prestigious universities. 


How can parents support their child? 


  • Accept that wanting to be perceived as just like everyone else is normal 

  • Your son or daughter may be intellectually able, but other areas of development might not be quite as developed. 

  • Expect your able child to want more freedom and independence than you are prepared to give. Take a holistic approach to their needs and provide cultural, social and creative opportunities to enrich their thinking. Encourage extra-curricular activities in and outside of school 

  • Maintain strong links with the school and let your child see that you have good lines of communication with key members of staff 

  • Allow natural consequences. For example, if your child has not completed their homelearning by the deadline, encourage them to discuss this with their class teacher.  


Who should parents contact in school? 

Parents sometimes need to contact the school: if things are not going well; to seek advice; or to obtain more information in order to better support their child. The following key personnel should be contacted: 


  • The subject teacher or subject leader for subject-specific questions 

  • The Head of Year for questions relating to student well-being 

If you have any questions, please contact the school on 01329 666822 or via email:

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