In January 2019, we launched the new and prestigious Honours Programme at St Thomas More Catholic Academy which is a bespoke provision for our students with high prior attainment. Individuals were selected to be part of the programme based on high performance at Key Stage 2, or if they have shown high attainment and potential through internal assessments at St Thomas More Catholic Academy. Others may have been chosen because they have made outstanding progress and have shown that they have the potential to achieve the best grades at GCSE and A Level.
The Honours Programme is a specialised programme for most able students which will be fundamental in securing excellent outcomes for students at Key Stage 4 and 5. It aims to build upon key skills for the most able, such as Growth Mindset, leadership, as well as extended careers advice and guidance to nurture ambition for the future. It also includes educational opportunities, workshops and trips to link with cross-curricular events in school, such as debating or university visits to enhance critical thinking and further raise aspiration. Students are mentored through academic support tutorials to accelerate their progress across subjects after each data point.
The Honours Programme had an extremely positive impact on students during the first academic year 2018/19, with 74% of Honours students exceeding their End of Year targets in the End of Year Examinations. The programme has grown each subsequent year to include more students, many from disadvantaged backgrounds.
This academic year, Honours students have been given a Charter of Opportunities to help them to work towards ‘graduating’ from the programme and achieving an award at the end of the academic year. Successful Honours students who complete their Charter and achieve their Award will be invited to a special Graduation Ceremony to celebrate their success.
All Honours students can access weekly University style Masterclasses every Wednesday night 3.20pm-4.20pm in the Sixth Form Area – please see the attached Key Information for Students document which details the most able Masterclass plan. Topics covered are broad and exciting, ranging from ‘How to Write a Book and Get it Published’, to ‘Dissecting Sharks’ to ‘Ancient Aliens’.
Honours students are asked to complete a Charter of Opportunities in order to Graduate from the Honours Programme at the end of the year, which includes a number of optional and mandatory tasks.
There are a range of Honours Workshops scheduled through the academic year which all Honours students will be invited to:
All Honours students have been added to the ‘Honours Team’ on Microsoft Teams, which is a place for Honours students to access interesting cultural opportunities, virtual visits, workshops and events, and to offer additional stretch and challenge work and materials including reading lists.
There is a channel for each Honours year group, and within that a folder for each department where teachers have placed interesting resources and materials for students to get involved with. The aim of this is to stretch and challenge the most able students, as well as offering additional stretch opportunities for students who are highly engaged in learning. Departments will regularly update each year group Honours Team with resources that may include:
Departments also set a weekly Honours competition for all Honours Students via Teams . The department will post this competition on the Honours Team on the Monday, and the deadline for entries is Friday of the same week. It is optional for Honours students to take part in the competition but the winner in each year group will receive a voucher prize.
|Competition Led by||Ma||Eng||Sci||RE||MFL||Hist||Geog||ICT/ Computing||Art||Music||N/A|
Record of Achievement
All Honours students are provided with a Record of Achievement and must keep this up to date with relevant certificates (these can be from both in and out of school), Honours tasks and any other work or evidence that they are proud of. This will be a record of their achievements at St Thomas More and beyond, which will be invaluable when applying for 6th Form/ College/ University/ apprenticeship places. The Records of Achievement will be kept in school unless requested for interviews, and students will take this home when their leave STMCA.
Students are very welcome to bring certificates in from home to add to their Record of Achievement.
It is a fantastic achievement to be part of this programme and we wish to congratulate the many students who have engaged with the Charter of Opportunities so effectively!
If you have any further questions about the programme, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Barker (Assistant Head Teacher) on the school number.
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