“Making the difference for ALL our students”
A focus on our provisions for Gifted, Outstanding and Talented Learners (G.O.T) at Southborough
As a comprehensive boys’ school, our students share a wonderful and broad mix of skills, interests and talents taken from a rich and varied range of cultures, faith and backgrounds. As a consequence, we make it a priority for each and every student to receive the care and support they need to do their very best. After all, our school motto is ‘Making the different for ALL our students’
Getting to really know our students is key. Right from the offset we closely assess and monitor our boys so we truly understand their core educational needs.
Sometimes this takes the form of identifying the ‘gaps’ in a student’s knowledge and putting together a robust and appropriate support framework to allow them to progress. Other times, it can be identifying those students who have a special affinity for their learning and who would benefit immensely from being appropriately ‘stretched’ and challenged more than usual to maximise their individual potential.
We call the latter, collective group of students our G.O.T. group, or ‘Gifted, Outstanding and Talented’ group of learners. Here at Southborough, we have many students who fall into this category - and we do everything we can to ensure that they are given the appropriate opportunities to excel in their abilities and learning.
"Gifted, Outstanding, and Talented" (GOT) refers to a programme or initiative designed to identify and provide specialised educational opportunities for students who demonstrate exceptional abilities, talents, or potential in various areas, such as academics, arts, athletics, or leadership. These programmes are often aimed at challenging and nurturing the development of gifted and talented students to help them reach their full potential. Here's a breakdown of what each term typically means in this context:
Gifted students are those who show exceptional aptitude or proficiency in one or more areas of study, such as mathematics, science, literature, or the arts. These students often learn more quickly and deeply than their peers and may benefit from accelerated or enriched educational opportunities.
"Outstanding" is a term often used to describe students who not only exhibit exceptional abilities but also consistently perform at a high level in their chosen area of talent. These students may have achieved notable recognition, awards, or accomplishments in their field.
Talented students have a natural aptitude or skill in a particular domain, such as music, sports, or the visual arts. They may show the potential for excellence and may benefit from specialised training, coaching, or opportunities to develop their talents further.
G.O.T programmes at Southborough High School take various forms, such as additional courses, enrichment programmes, mentorships, or extracurricular activities tailored to the specific interests and talents of these students. Our goal is to provide these students with an educational environment that challenges and supports their unique abilities, allowing them to excel and reach their full potential.
Identification for inclusion in G.O.T programmes typically involves assessments, teacher recommendations, standardised test scores, and sometimes interviews or portfolios, depending on the school's specific criteria. These programmes aim to ensure that gifted and talented students receive the appropriate educational experiences that meet their needs and help them succeed academically and personally.
And rest assured, rigorous assessment for inclusion in G.O.T programmes is ongoing, not just at the start of an academic year. As a result, the G.O.T list of students is fluid in nature; some students blossom early and display exceptional aptitude or proficiency when they first join Southborough, other students develop and shine later on in their academic journey. They, too, should be included.
Each Teaching & Learning Faculty within the school puts together a robust yearly schedule of activities and masterclasses designed to challenge and develop our G.O.T students. The schedule is shared with parents at the start of each new academic year.
Below provides a ‘flavour’ of the sort of activities that form part of the G.O.T Programme:
English, Drama & Media:
• Creative writing masterclasses
• Visits to publishing houses
• Author visits
• Drama workshops
• Visits to places of literary interest e.g. trips to Shakespeare’s and the Bronte’s birthplace
• Filming & Production masterclasses
• World Book Day—Literary Lunch
• National Poetry Day—Literary Lunch
• West End & Musicals visits and workshops
• BBC Young Reporter
Modern Foreign Languages:
• Guest speakers
• Spanish exchange with a Madrid school
• Trips to France
• Wide range of advanced speaking
• French and Spanish speciality cooking
• Preparation for Level 3 FSMQ Additional Maths
• Enigma Outreach Workshops
• UKMT Maths Challenge Club
• Satro Competition –Problem Solving challenges
• Escape Rooms with Maths
(including Geography, History, Psychology, Criminology)
• External speakers/workshops on various topics
• Visit to Imperial War Museum, religious institutions
• Access to free OU online course on International law
• Academic literature and lecture courses
Art & Music:
Community Outreach Art Projects Print-making workshop
Collaborative work with Kingston College Music Department London Philharmonic Concert
Orchestras for All community project
Oil painting workshop with current Royal College of Art Student
Visit to the Victoria & Albert museum
• Masterclasses in volleyball and basketball
• External talk on diet by professional Personal Trainer
• Fitness testing
• Strength testing
• Video analysis
• Paddle sport
• Ball Boy training and appearance at Wimbledon
Engineering (including Engineering, Design Technology, Information Technology, Construction and Food Technology):
• Guest speakers
• Electric Go-carting Design, Build and Race, including events at Goodwood Race Circuit
• Blockchain, Metaverse, NFTs and Web 3 Guest Speaker
• Advanced CAD work
• The Faraday Challenge
• Visit to the Science Museum
• Play with Density (sugar concentration)
• Investigations into using chromatography
• Rocket Club
• Water rocket workshop by NPL
• Liquid nitrogen: workshop with guest presenter
• Crime scene and forensic science investigation
• Biology Olympiad