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Ashcroft Technology Academy

Ashcroft Technology Academy

Gifted and Talented - Aspirational Students

Our programme for able students continues to grow. We aim to make the learning experiences for all our students engaging and enriching: our curriculum is designed to challenge our students' thought processes and we use innovative approaches in the classroom to nurture inquisitive minds and to allow our students to develop their knowledge of all subjects at an appropriate rate.

Learning isn't confined to the classroom; and to this end we run a unique enrichment programme which offers our students the opportunity to engage in independent and group research, and explore a range of topics in depth.

The ultimate aim of this programme is to equip even more students with the desire and ability to secure places at Oxford or Cambridge universities, and other Research Intensive Universities.

From the start of Year 7, Gifted and Talented students are mentored, and their progress is followed to the end of Year 13.

Subject specific opportunities are arranged throughout the year: Challenges in Maths, Debating and the Jack Petchey Speak out challenge, French immersion opportunities and Science-based research and investigation opportunities.

Our programme of clubs, which can be found in the Parent Zone on the website, caters for a huge range of interests. We encourage all of our very able students to take part in these clubs, some of which will help them develop specific skills; for example, debating.

Years 7 and 8

Gifted and Talented students are invited to attend Saturday School, the first of which takes place in the Science Museum. There is one Saturday School per term, and each one takes place in and around London. The students who attend are given a challenge to complete and then are encouraged to research afterwards at home. Each Saturday School challenge tackles a different subject area and the structure of the follow-up research allows students to immerse themselves in the chosen subject.

Years 9 and 10

Students are also invited to our termly Saturday Schools. They are also invited to our fortnightly lecture programme. We have invited a number of speakers, from a variety of backgrounds, to talk to our Key Stage 4 and 5 Gifted and Talented students in the Academy about their area of expertise. These speakers are impressive - they are either leaders in their field of business or leading lecturers at Research Intensive universities.

To reflect the range of interests our students have, the lecture series is wide-ranging in its subject matter. We therefore encourage our students to take these valuable opportunities to learn more about particular areas of study that already interest them, and to broaden their knowledge on a range of other subjects.

The lecture series will also provide a unique opportunity for students to have direct contact with lecturers and admissions' tutors from our most prestigious universities.

Examples of lectures:

  • The ‘Cosmic Ray project' - given by Professor Alan Michette who is the head of Physics at King's College London.
  • ‘Why Study Archaeology' - given by Dr Sam Lucy, University of Cambridge.
  • ‘An insight into Family Law' - given by Mrs Laura McMullen. Barrister, Coram Chambers.
  • ‘Insights into Zoology' - given by Dr Ashleigh Griffin, University of Oxford.

This programme is designed to complement each student's class-based learning experiences and encourage them to consider applying to our most prestigious universities. To this end, we regularly arrange visits to Research Intensive universities and invite admissions' tutors to the Academy to speak with students about applications and entry processes.

6th Form

Students are invited to the Lecture Programme, you are also mentored by their form tutor and Head of 6th Form. You are given opportunities to meet admissions tutors, to be coached through the application and interview process for Oxbridge and engage in the Extended Project Qualification.

To ensure that you are optimally prepared for your interviews, you'll have regular one-to-one discussions and practice sessions with your personal Oxbridge preparation tutor.

You'll also take part in workshops with other Oxbridge candidates, as well as having the opportunity - if appropriate - to meet admissions tutors for further information and advice.

  • Extra work to stretch you in relevant subject(s)
  • Regular interview practice
  • Potential to meet admissions tutors
  • Group workshops and sessions