Twitter Wall


Retweeted From SJL RE Department

The girl with the Earth balloon - incredible art and explanation from yr 7!


Retweeted From Sir John Lawes Art

Professional artist and ex SJL A Level Artist Ashton Attz's print Superheroes & Superstars for the NHS. Proceeds from this ltd print went to staff who fighting COVID-19. Download a line drawn version here to add colour to & personalise yourself here


Retweeted From SJL English

Some ideas for English-related activities to do over half-term! 📚📽️🎭


Retweeted From SJLdrama

Some innovative responses to the Victorian theatre’s well made play structure!#creativelockdown


Wishing our students, staff and families a relaxing half term. Take a break, recharge and we will be back ‘at home’ 1 June 2020.


May half term, have lots of ideas for screen free time for teenagers


Retweeted From BBC Bitesize

Friday is CHALLENGE DAY on Bitesize Daily! 👊 We've partnered with to create a series of challenges to test your problem-solving skills. 🤔 Each one gets a bit more difficult, let us know how many you and your family can do! 👉


This week’s newsletter out now...


Retweeted From SJLScience

Ted C in year 8 has created the “Sconar System” as a part of the Physics in the Universe topic. Amazing work! Now don’t forget, it is jam first then cream!


Retweeted From YC Hertfordshire STA

to Conference. These amazing young people supported by YC Hertfordshire helped their peers to understand what services are available in the area!


May half term, bask in the sun and take a tour of the Egyptian Pyramids


Retweeted From National Online Safety

It's cool to be kind 😊💖 In support of the theme for , we're sharing 14 ways you can show kindness online this . Be positive, be caring, be kind. >>


Wellbeing Wednesday: control


Retweeted From BBC Bitesize

Studying at home away from friends and teachers isn't easy (and neither is balancing work and home life!) so try to be kind to your mind and encourage others to do the same 💛 Illustration by


Our website has been updated with useful careers information, from Mrs Power - Head of Careers. Useful links on virtual work experience opportunities; careers and apprenticeship guidance along with useful parental guides to support next steps


May half term, journey through 800 years of history at The Louvre, Paris


On , thank you to all our staff - not just our teachers. We appreciate all the amazing work you do to support our students!


Retweeted From Scholars' Education Trust

On we’d like to pay tribute to all our teachers who do a great job day in & day out - even more so in the current challenging circumstances. We hope you’re staying safe & well. You’re wonderful - thank you all!


Retweeted From Thank A Teacher UK

Breaking News! Its finally here and what a great thank you to launch National Day. Share your video of thanks, sing a song, draw a picture. Get involved. Lets see how many teachers and support staff we can thank


Retweeted From Jonathan Mountstevens

Application window closes tomorrow for programme delivered by and in association with . Superb opportunity for teachers in Herts and surrounding area to learn and gain recognition. More details here:


Reminder: Year 13 students the deadline for applications to Student Finance is Friday, 22 May 2020


May half term 2020, missing concerts by your favourite artists then why not check out the Grammy Museum with concerts, interviews and much more about past and present Grammy award-winning musicians.


Retweeted From Friends of SJL

In support of the excellent work done by the D&T department last month to create face shields for the L&D and GOSH we have covered the cost of the materials used from the generous donations we receive from our parent supporters and our events. Stay safe everyone.


Do you want to be a record beaker? this Thursday.


We are beginning the process of planning face-to-face support for students in Yrs 10 and 12 to supplement their remote learning. Important survey has been sent out via EduLink. Parents please complete our survey by 3pm on Wednesday 20 May.


Students have this week’s assembly where Mr Newbery looks at the lessons from lockdown, overcoming adversity and emotional response to change. Mr Newbery has also set students a “3 in a row” challenge, something for them to maybe complete next week when no lessons will be set.


Ms Richardson set and D&T Faculties a challenge “recreating a colleague as a piece of art”. Head over to the Art Instagram page to see more fantastic creations


With one week until half term and May holidays cancelled, how about trying a virtual tour... why not try a visit to Machu Picchu, Peru


Thought for the Week: Rights and responsibilities, having a social conscience Word of the Week: Aud


Retweeted From BBC Bitesize

Tomorrow is the start of 2020 and this year it's all about 🧡 Here is your 7 day challenge, get involved and tweet us your pictures!


Retweeted From Herts for Learning

Less than a week to go until, day! Who will you be thanking and ? We'd love to hear. In the mean time, have a lovely weekend resting up! ☀️


This week’s newsletter is out now...


Retweeted From Department for Education

We’re celebrating National Day on Wednesday 20 May. ? 🙏👇


Retweeted From HertsAdSchool

Nominate Free Today!


Yr12 students, the deadline has been extended on the survey regarding universities and courses. Survey will close 18 May 2020. The survey will help tutors and Team support you through the application process.


Year 12 ‘virtual’ UCAS and Oxbridge Information Evening presentations are now available to view on the school website


A letter has gone out to incoming Y7 parents via the school’s communication tool, EduLink. Please ensure EduLink accounts are set up and activated to receive school comms.


Retweeted From SJLdrama

Wonderful Ibsen cartoons and Memes providing valuable A level Drama context for Hedda Gabler!


Wellbeing Wednesday: set goals


Still lots to look at on National Numeracy Day...

More Able and Gifted & Talented Students

At Sir John Lawes School we believe that all children are entitled to an education that will enable them to develop their full potential, be that intellectual, physical, aesthetic, creative, emotional, spiritual or social, finding appropriate challenge in our learning environment.

All students have individual needs, making personalised learning a priority in our teaching and learning.

Sir John Lawes School is committed to providing a sufficiently challenging curriculum for all its students. In addition, we will provide opportunities to identify those who are more able and nurture their individual abilities.

All students have an entitlement to the following:

  • Staff commitment and training to develop students’ full potential at all times.
  • Lessons that stimulate, engage, challenge, inform, excite and encourage through partnership and dialogue with teachers and other students and active participation in the lesson.
  • Courses that lead to examinations and accreditation.
  • Skilled, well-prepared and informed teachers who have a perspective and understanding of whole school needs, problems and policies, especially those concerning issues related to those students identified as more able.
  • An entitlement beyond subject teaching, including preparation for adult life and preparation for the world of work. This should include extra-curricular activity, personal and social education, careers guidance and counselling, extramural experiences including visits to local industry, work experience and community service.

Contact with parents

There are a number of formal and informal ways that we maintain contact with parents.  These include:

  • An initial letter is sent home following the inclusion of a student as MASt and/or Gifted and/or Talented in the MASt and Gifted and Talented Register
  • An Open Evening is held during each Summer term showcasing the work done during the year.  Parents have the opportunity to discuss MASt and Gifted and Talented provision with representatives of each Faculty, discuss student concerns with Head of MASt and Gifted & Talented, Mrs. Brining, and have any questions answered
  • Mailings are sent home to inform parents of any new events, master classes or courses being offered
  • These dedicated pages of the school website hold information on the different aspects of the MASt and Gifted and Talented programme
  • Items in the SJL Newsletters celebrate the achievements of our MASt and Gifted and Talented cohort and keeps parents informed of forthcoming events
  • Parents are periodically asked for feedback.
Faculty Name
Art Alina Pullinger
Business and Computing Sue Griffiths
Computing Sophie Scott
Design and Technology Joe James
Drama Rachel Woolrych
English Emma Brining
Geography Claire Pellett
Governor Andy Battersby
History Jessica Bigden
Library Marion Prickett
Life Skills Manny Fernandez
LINK Maria Santos Richmond
Maths Audrey Aspland
Media Zoe Ollerenshaw
MFL Dilan Silva
Music Lizzie Hastings-Clarke
PE Andy Battersby
RS Julia Power
Science Richard Morton


Identification and monitoring

What do we look for?

  • Intellectual ability or talent
  • Specific academic aptitude
  • Creative and productive thinking
  • Leadership ability
  • Talent for visual and performing arts
  • Psychomotor ability.

More Able Students Register

Year 7 students sit Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs) in their first term. Those achieving an average CATS stanine of 8 or more are identified as More Able Students.

They are added to the More Able Students (MASt) and Gifted and Talented Register and parents are informed by letter. These students will always be identified as MASt until the end of Year 11. In Sixth Form, More Able Students are identified as the top 10% in their year group using their GCSE Average Points Score.

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) is the most widely used test of reasoning ability in the UK and has been fully standardized on 25,000 UK pupils. The suite of tests has been developed to support schools in understanding pupils’ developed abilities and likely academic potential. Results from CAT4 can help in intervention, monitoring progress and setting targets for future attainment.

Aimed at pupils between 6 to 17+ years, CAT4 assesses a pupil’s ability to reason with and manipulate different types of material through a series of Verbal, Non-Verbal, Quantitative and Spatial Ability tasks. Together, these four tests provide teachers with a comprehensive profile of a pupil’s reasoning abilities, and as such the core abilities related to learning.

The resulting data can then be used to identify a pupil’s strengths, weaknesses and learning preferences, providing accurate and reliable information that is essential for personalized learning. The more we know about a pupil, the better position we should be in to offer a learning environment and ways of teaching and learning that allow pupils to maximize their potential. Information about a pupil’s reasoning ability will be key to many teaching decisions and is considered alongside attainment data and other factors known to impact on learning, such as attendance and attitude.

Why does SJL use CAT4?

  • Helps pinpoint gifted and talented pupils and underachievers
  • Supports schools in monitoring progress and setting targets for future attainment
  • Identifies spatial thinkers who are likely to excel in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)
  • Provides indicators of outcomes at KS3, KS4, and KS5
  • Reports support communication with parents, pupils, teachers and senior leaders. 

Gifted and Talented Students

Gifted Subjects

Business Studies & Economics, Computing, English, History, Geography, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages, Religious Studies, Science. 

Talented Subjects

Art, Critical Thinking, Dance, Drama, Food Technology, Leadership, Life Skills, Media, Music, Physical Education, Product Design/Graphics, Textiles.

There is a formal yearly review and update of the Gifted and Talented Register in the Autumn term for Years 8 – 13 and in the Spring term for Year 7. Students are continually monitored by teaching staff, who nominate students for inclusion in the MASt and Gifted and Talented Register  for outstanding performance in their subject area, or in any other activity staff are aware of. This includes nominations by the Pastoral team (Form Tutors and Heads of Year) following outstanding achievements in extra-curricular and/or super-curricular activities.

Parents of these students are written to in the Autumn term notifying them of their child’s Gifted and/or Talented subject nomination(s) for that academic year. These students would receive differentiated work in their nominated subjects stretching and challenging them further. If a student underachieves subsequently over the course of the academic year, their teacher can decide not to nominate them for inclusion in the following academic year’s Register.

It would be expected that MASt students should have a larger number of Gifted and Talented nominations than other students.

Parental nominations for inclusion in the MASt and Gifted and Talented Register, supported by relevant evidence, can also be submitted at any time.

The MASt and Gifted and Talented Register  exists within school which includes the following:

Year Group MASt Numbers on Register No. of MASt Gifted and Talented Nominations No. of non-MASt Gifted and Talented Nominations
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Year 12
Year 13
% of school population (1308 on roll)

Provision within the curriculum

Teaching and learning

Within the curriculum, we have been working to extend the expertise of our staff in providing a rich and varied range of activities specifically designed to extend our more able students. Teaching strategies have been developed to include different intelligences and learning styles, extending the provision in response to what the students themselves have told us helps them to learn.


  • Mathematics - setting in years, starts by October in Year 7; sets are continually monitored and adjusted as appropriate..
  • Science - all year groups are set, starting in the first half term of Year 7; sets are reviewed twice a year.
  • English - there is setting from Year 8, with single-gender top sets in Years 10 and 11.



  • Curriculum acceleration starts in Year 7, more able students start GCSE course in Year 9.
  • Fast track - GCSE Mathematics in Year 10, GCSE Additional Mathematics in Year 11.
  • Occasionally individual programmes are designed for particularly outstanding students
  • Further Maths at A level.


  • Able students are offered separate GCSE courses in Biology, Physics and Chemistry.


  • Year 10 - Able linguists study two languages.
  • Students who speak a second language are supported in taking the GCSE through the school. Recently we have had students taking GCSEs in Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Latin.


  • Advanced texts and equipment have been provided for all faculties.
  • Curriculum-related extension courses and master classes are regularly offered.

In addition to the above, all faculties include MASt and gifted and talented provision within their schemes of work.

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