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13/06/24

Notice: Please be aware that our Year 7 French trip departs from school tomorrow at 8.30am, please keep the bus bay on Sauncey Avenue clear so the coach can arrive and park from 8am. Many thanks.

13/06/24

Students from our Oxfam group have been busy giving assemblies to Year 7, Year 8 and Year 12 - talking about the difference between equality and equity, the incredible work of Oxfam and the fundraising and awareness activities of the SJL Oxfam group. pic.twitter.com/lnqlNdoQ2m

12/06/24

This week Austen House are hosting Austen's Got Talent at lunchtime - a chance for students to showcase their talents in a bid to win coveted house points. We've seen some incredible talent from singing to comedy, dancing to musical renditions and so much more! pic.twitter.com/mZq14PdhSH

12/06/24

Last week we were proud to be a part of the Student Climate Change & Sustainability Conference day at . Students listened to a variety of speakers and took part in engaging activities. It was a truly inspiring day! pic.twitter.com/jjnU6EQUn7

11/06/24

Today we welcomed Year 5 students from High Beeches Primary School who took part in a debating workshop learning the art of discussion and persuasion. The children were really enthusiastic and came up with some fantastic ideas! Thank you for coming to visit. pic.twitter.com/1LZxOB3fas

11/06/24

Lots of investigating happening in Year 7 science class using universal indicator to find out the pH balance of different household substances - matching the colour change to their pH balance colour scale. pic.twitter.com/Lj6F24BqZJ

11/06/24

Fabulous to see the incredible success of ex SJL students - helping to inspire current students. https://t.co/66qtFJlrAG

10/06/24

Year 8 were tasked with choosing a famous building to master their drawing and painting skills using biro and watercolour - so many amazing pieces of art being created! pic.twitter.com/ZyTFcigjto

07/06/24

Leadership opportunities play a vital role in the development of our students and we are delighted to introduce our new student leadership team - Aryan and Ria as Head Students, ably assisted by Madeleine, James, Lily and Emma. pic.twitter.com/Ba4ybIIrvy

07/06/24

A fantastic day taking place at our Sustainability Conference! https://t.co/6dKnuagZFn

07/06/24

With a nod to Cadbury's 200 year anniversary, some of our Year 8 students have been tasked with designing their own chocolate bar in D&T graphics class . This week they have been working on creating their own fonts. pic.twitter.com/IqkCWiljHm

07/06/24

Fantastic talk by from the Ministry of Eco Education and the Green Britain Foundation engaging our pupils on issues of Change and pic.twitter.com/9nqLlMO57j

07/06/24

We are very privileged to have a variety of great presenters leading our workshops this morning at our Change and Conference pic.twitter.com/yRsJjF0qDy

07/06/24

We are looking forward to a great day discussing how we can safeguard the future of our planet at the Annual Sustainability Conference. The day was introduced by our CEO, Claire Robins. pic.twitter.com/fCag7bGQUq

06/06/24

We are really excited to collaborate withSt Albans Greener Together who chose to showcase SJL as an example of a sustainable school - take a look at their fabulous video. #SJLproudhttps://t.co/fR5MMTTuY0 pic.twitter.com/exJzluGzqg

06/06/24

Preparations are underway for some Year 7 and Year 8 students taking part in our next 'Have you met...?' event on Tuesday 18 June from 3.30pm-4.30pm in the School Hall. They spent time with student leaders to discuss ideas for their individual displays. pic.twitter.com/QgZuisbGrL

06/06/24

Annual Sports Team Photos will be taken today. All students that have represented SJL teams should come to school in PE kit today (no uniform required) P1 Year 7; P2 Year 8; P3 Year 9; P4 Year 10

05/06/24

On World Environment Day our Eco Garden Club have been making use of an old butler sink to create an 'alpine trough' - with gorgeous plants found naturally below the snow and above the tree line.#GenerationRestoration pic.twitter.com/xMKZXpoY2Q

05/06/24

Reminder to Year 12 parents that online Parents’ Evening is taking place this evening. pic.twitter.com/kdfM53ImhM

05/06/24

Year 8 students in Food Technology were transported to Italy with the aroma of their incredible ragu and pasta dishes - brilliant cooking skills! pic.twitter.com/BrTxFQuAs9

05/06/24

Amazing results, well done, great teamwork! https://t.co/LHIyiedWcp

04/06/24

Yesterday some of our students enjoyed a workshop run by a team of software engineers from - the students undertook a project which focused on the creative and planning aspects of designing software solutions for modern world challenges. pic.twitter.com/mS5TOGIfnR

04/06/24

DigiTech Live - for anyone in a teaching profession this is such a great opportunity to find out more about educational technology. https://t.co/jC6JdRRxyj

03/06/24

Year 8 students were experimenting with different lighting and sound effects to create audience suspense in the gothic horror pieces they were creating. pic.twitter.com/030Q4FyPVB

02/06/24

Reminder - Year 8 ImmunisationsYear 8 students please wear a short sleeved school shirt or a vest underneath a long sleeved school shirt in preparation for immunisations tomorrow.

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 Ailish Dunne
Computing Sophie Scott
Design and Technology Nosheen Yunis
Drama Rachel Woolrych
English Emma Brining
Geography Claire Pellet
History Jessica Bigden
Library Chloe James
Life Skills Manny Fernandez
LINK Maria Santos Richmond
Maths Audrey Aspland
Media Emma Smythe
MFL Caroline Michel Sam King
Music Lizzie Hastings-Clarke
PE Andy Battersby
Psychology and Sociology Amy Speechley
RS Maria Santos Richmond
Science Greg Brennan

 

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, Computing, Economics, English, Financial Studies, History, Geography, Latin, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages, Psychology, Religious Studies, Science and Sociology. 

Talented Subjects

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

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.

Setting

  • 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 to Year 11.

Options

Mathematics:

  • 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.

Science:

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

MFL:

  • Year 10 - Able linguists study two languages.
  • Students who speak a second language are supported in taking the GCSE through the school.

Resources:

  • 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 & Talented provision within their schemes of work.

Chess Club

Chess Club meets every lunchtime Monday to Friday from 12.50pm – 1.25pm led by Mrs Brining, Mr Allen and Sixth Formers - M5 for Years 7 to 9 and Z3 for Years 10 and 11.

Chess millie boy Chess
Chess use 1

Chess:

  • brings people together. Players can have big age differences and still enjoy a game together
  • helps you improve your problem solving skills
  • develops your spatial skills. You are constantly thinking of the opponent’s moves, thinking 2, 3 or moves ahead – a transferable skill to other sports
  • improves memory
  • involves both sides of the brain. A study demonstrated that both the left (the more logical) and right (more creative) sides of the brain are exercised during a game of chess

Tom in Year 11 created this beautiful chess board in Design and Technology!

Tom Redway chessSet 2 2022 Tom Redway chessSet 3 2022
Tom Redway chessSet 4 2022

Chess         Everyone welcome!

Go Club

Go Club meets every lunchtime Monday to Friday from 12.50pm – 1.25pm led by Mrs Brining, Mr Allen and Sixth Formers - M5 for Years 7 to 9 and Z3 for Years 10 and 11.

The ancient Chinese game of Go is one of the oldest board games in the world and flourishes in Japan and Korea also. More than 60 countries now compete in the annual World Amateur Go Championships.

More information can be found at the British Go Association which supports and runs an on-line league and UK tournaments, and they are offering a free one hour online teaching session to those joining for the first time.

Go head12

British Go Associations tutor Mr Cockburn is occasionally available to teach and advise students how to play and improve their game. We became UK School Champions in 2019!

Sir John Lawes and its Go Club feature in the Spring edition of the British Go Journal which records the second Harpenden Go Tournament held earlier this year. Twenty six players from across the South East enjoyed the Go with congratulations to Oliver Bardsley winning two of his games. Subsequently, the Maidenhead Tournament saw Oliver winning three games and several prizes! Congratulations to the Sir John Lawes Go Club who were the best school team at this tournament!

Go herts ad
Go oliver b 1 Go ollie r
Go edie t Go trophy

 

Try these strategic Go puzzles: https://britgo.org/covers/psmith

Everybody welcome!

Mahjong Club

Mahjong Club meets every lunchtime Monday to Friday from 12.50pm – 1.25pm led by Mrs Brining, Mr Allen and Sixth Formers - M5 for Years 7 to 9 and Z3 for Years 10 and 11.

Mahjong Mahjong 1

Mahjong is a strategy tile-based game that was developed in the 19th century in China.  It’s a social game that requires precision, skill, strategy and luck.

Mahjong requires four players, 144 tiles and two dice to roll. The aim is to make matching sets and pairs of tiles.

To win Mahjong a player must form four sets and one pair. When you know you have a winning hand, you shout ‘mahjong!’

Latin Club

Latin Club (SOCIETAS LINGUAE LATINAE) meets in M8 every Tuesday from 3.30pm – 4.45pm.

 Latin Club Poster

We follow the Cambridge Latin Course and Memrise which students can also access from home. This is supported by e-learning and text books. There are 12 levels in Cambridge Latin Course Book 1 and 19 levels in Memrise. There is a Cambridge Latin Course assessment every four levels. Students have a vocabulary book each and Mrs Brining, and Governor Mrs Montgomery support learning. 

Caecilius Cambridge1

Latin Year 9

Year 9 Latin students with their Cambridge Latin Course certificates

having passed Levels 4 and 8

 

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