The College believes that aspiration to succeed is embedded in a gospel ordained life of service which nurtures social, emotional and spiritual growth alongside academic and practical success. Subsequently, the College is wholly inclusive in its approach to challenge and in doing so it seeks to inspire those it teaches, negating the potential impact of labelling in any form.
– Archbishop Oscar Romero
In the pursuit of college-wide excellence the College aims to provide opportunities for all its students to become attuned to, reveal, display and extend their God-given talents and abilities. Consequently, our Aspire Award, which seeks to focus students on the contribution they can make to wider society using their gifts and talents, is open to all students. More details of the Aspire Award can be found on page 18 of the student planner.
Driven by the belief that the potential to realise and demonstrate gifts and talents is not exclusive to some, but to all, students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning to ensure that they are able to recognise and apply their unique gifts and talents to reach their full potential. In order to further develop these skills, Gifted and Talented students are given the opportunity to take on the roles of events coordinators, newsletter writers and promoters for the Aspire Programme. This not only provides them with the important experience gained within these roles but also develops important application writing and interview skills.
Extracurricular activities are essential in fostering students’ love of learning, and there are a multitude of extracurricular activities available at St Augustine’s, all of which would be suitable for Gifted and Talented students. In particular though, the Aspire Programme oversees a number of university visits, talks from outside speakers and the Model United Nations. Further information can be found on the Model United Nations page.
Supporting the needs of the individual is crucial in raising achievement for all. Therefore, all teaching staff receive training and support to ensure that stretch and challenge activities are embedded within lessons and home learning tasks, and regular dialogue between staff and students ensures appropriate challenge for all.
In order to support students’ academic, social and emotional needs, we work with the school counsellors in order to develop effective strategies for students to deal with exam pressure and the fear of failure. The Aspire Coordinator also offers a lunchtime drop in session (on Wednesdays in English 6) where students can tackle their workload in a supportive and calming space. We also seek to create scenarios where Gifted and Talented students from different year groups with similar gifts or talents can meet and develop supportive relationships including mentoring, where appropriate.
In order to provide the widest possible range of talks, visits and opportunities for our students, we are always looking for parent and guardian volunteers to assist in the provision of valuable learning experiences. If you have a profession, skill or hobby that may be of interest to our students, then please get in touch with our Aspire Coordinator.