At UCC our philosophy is to provide a rich, challenging and rewarding education for all our students. We understand that students’ learning and understanding is not fixed, nor does it progress at a predictable rate. With this in mind, we encourage all our teachers to pitch their lessons at ‘the top’, to give all students the ability to be challenged and stimulated by their work and to aim high.
Quality teaching and learning, every lesson, is what we strive for, to bring out the very best in all our students. This quality comes from focusing on the following key elements:
- Rigorous teaching, focusing on detail, accuracy, recall, giving extended answers, grammar, fluency and correct use of terminology
- Deep subject knowledge
- Expert and skilled questioning
- High expectations
- Positive relationships
- Increased depth rather than speed
At UCC we identify and review our high achieving students throughout their time with us. This enables teachers to ensure that all our students are sufficiently challenged, in the ways listed above and more. We use a number of methods of identification:
- Key Stage 2 data is used when students join us in Year 7 to identify the top 10% of students academically plus we take into account recommendations from primary teachers and parents.
- Subject teachers spend the first term of Year 7 identifying the highest achieving students in their subjects.
- Subject teachers review students on the subject register for all year groups annually.
Once identified as a high achieving student, each student's attainment and progress is monitored and regularly reviewed. Mentoring may be offered if we feel there is a concern with their progress.
In addition to our teachers’ ‘teaching to the top’ approach, we offer an 'Excellence Pathway' for our students at UCC. This pathway seeks to provide enrichment activities both inside and outside the classroom which support self-reliance and independent learning, whilst also ensuring students' varied interests are nurtured and pursued. This pathway can include:
- A range of enrichment activities e.g. lunchtime lectures, external speakers, subject trips
- Level 2 Higher Project qualification
- School student leadership roles
- Post 16/18 experiences
- University taster sessions - we have close links with Leicester, De Montfort, Nottingham Trent, Lincoln and Cambridge Universities.
The full provision offered within our Excellence Pathway can be viewed in the handbook below. This handbook includes, by subject area, characteristics of high-achieving students, enrichment opportunities offered within school, and extension activities for students to complete outside of school to deepen their learning.