Gifted and Talented

Compass Trailblazers

What are Compass Trailblazers?

Compass Trailblazers are a group of students who are curious, aspirational and most importantly the strongest academic cohort in their year.  

How are Compass Trailblazers identified?

Compass Trailblazers are selected via their final Year 6 exams at primary school. These exams predict what they will achieve 5 years later for their GCSE’s. The strongest students in Year 6 are called High Prior Attainers by the time they come to secondary school. If you hear this phrase that’s what we are talking about only we prefer to call them Trailblazers. We also use their current progress data to ensure that they are on track. 

It’s a long journey between Year 6 and Year 11 and we aim to support your child with a range of academic and personal enrichment opportunities enabling them to: 

  • Achieve in line with or above target grades by the end of each academic year  
  • Be exposed to additional enrichment activities outside of curriculum time and their home environment that is academically aspirational  
  • Alongside their families to understand the school’s provision and the vital contribution that families make to their student’s commitment to academic excellence 

There are three separate strands that operate throughout the year and alongside each other to strategically target  and cater for High Prior Attainers: 

Strand 1 – In-class differentiation  

  • All teachers within Compass will receive CPD on the value on differentiation for the HPAs, the best way to achieve this and the impact this will have 
  • This will then be monitored via learning walks, reviews of the data (in line with the school’s data points) and student voice feedback  
  • There is an expectation that all staff will provide differentiated work that is designed to stretch students in all lessons  
  • There is also a school wide expectation that teachers will use the same style of HPA differentiation and language within lesson so that these students are aware of what they should be doing in class  
  • The knowledge-rich curriculum also ensures that students are clear from the outset about the knowledge and skills that they require to be successful in each year and across their five years at Compass  

Strand 2 – Subject specific extra-curricular activities   

  • All subjects to offer a yearly additional activity (outside of normal class learning) for Years 7, 8 and 9 that is solely aimed at higher achieving students  
  • All Homework Grids are differentiated so that students know exactly what the stretch opportunities are when it comes to independent learning  
  • All subjects to offer ‘stretch’ reading or appropriate suggested cultural activities such as films to watch, podcasts to listen to or museums to visit as part of their Homework Grids  

 Strand 3 – Extra-curricular   

  • Lead teacher to put together a programme that stretches students outside of the curriculum  
  • All students identified as ‘HPAs’ in Years 7-10, should experience at least one activity per year that stretches them academically 
  • The top ten HPAs in each year group will have priority on certain activities    

The provision in place for 2021-2022 includes:

  • Parents launch evening – outside company session on what parents need to do at home  
  • Brilliant club for Year 7 and 8s only   
  • Compass lectures (once a HT)  
  • Compass book club for Years 7-9 (takes place weekly in LFT) 
  • University visits via outreach programmes  
  • Additional trips and visits within certain subjects  

Expectations of Parents/Carers

You can support your child with their studies in school, at home and beyond by:  

  • Asking them what they are studied in the day. It helps having their timetable in the kitchen so you can ask them when you get a chance 
  • Playing board games is a great one for competition, strategy and spending time as a family 
  • Encourage them to take up a sport or creative activity as an enrichment or outside school 
  • Take them to a gallery, museum or cultural venue – find something that may interest you both 
  • Engage them in current affairs, asking their opinion and encourage them take on board a number of different points of view
  • Encourage them with their studies, challenge them to develop their skills and celebrate their achievements