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Hele's School

Hele's School

Hele's School A great place to learn. A great place to grow.

Centre Of Excellence

‘faber est quisque fortunae suae’

Everyone is the architect of their own success.

The Centre of Excellence Intent

The Centre of Excellence will be a persistent advocate for students who show exceptional academic success and commitment to learning providing a range of exciting opportunities to widen communication skills, leadership and teamwork. It will promote student self-regulation through effective planning, monitoring and evaluation of independent learning. It resolves to be passionate and relentless in fostering success, aspiration, challenge, and inclusion.

The Centre of Excellence will develop students who are active enquirers and immersed in the world around them. They will have the knowledge, skills, attributes, and experience to promote themselves with confidence in any context. Through exposing students to a dynamic range of cultural and educational experiences, we aim to promote parity and social mobility. Our work involves developing relationships with primary schools, HEI, community, and parents; we are building an expanding network of educational partnerships. We benchmark our provision against the best. 

How do students get selected for the Centre of Excellence?

  • Based on having a SATS score in English and Maths significantly above average and a NGRT score of 120+. (The New Group Reading Test (NGRT) is a standardised, biannual assessment that reliably measures reading skills against the national average)
  • Teacher recommendations and achievement points from Terms 1 will also be used to determine aptitude and excellent commitment to learning.

Example overview of provision:

The Project work:

Year 7 Project Title: Identity - What makes me who I am? To consider any application about themselves, their history, biological makeup, the geographical area they are from, their musical talent, sporting prowess.

Year 8 Project Title: Based around Aristotle's concept of the 12 moral virtues justify which characteristic is most important to keep in balance.

  • Research an area of life in which this characteristic is most essential.
  • Research one person in which this character is truly evident.
  • Research a story (fiction or non-fiction) where this characteristic is promoted with positive or negative outcomes.

Year 9 Scholarship programme from the Brilliant Club

Students experience two visits to university and will work with a PHD students to write a 2000-word dissertation. They receive a university-style grade and feedback.

The Classical study:

We seek to bring the past to life and show the Romans’ impact on the present, which is particularly relevant in a country where Romans once walked and approximately 60% of our words come from Latin. Students study the language, literature and culture of the Romans in Latin, and the broader topics of Roman literature and the ancient world in Classical Civilisation.

Classical study is as follows:

Year 7 Cambridge board Amarantus: this scheme is designed to support the teaching of Classica and Ancient History at KS3 while building skills for GCSE. The materials explore life in Pompeii using chapters of the novel Amarantus and his neighbourhood and archaeological research from Pompeii.

The study of Latin:

The school has partnered with the DfE’s Centre for Latin Excellence. This programme is designed to specifically increase the uptake of and attainment in Latin GCSE in state-funded schools in England.

It is a comprehensive, fun, fully resourced programme for KS3 and KS4 which is designed to be studied with 100 minutes per week.

The introduction of Latin to our curriculum has been enlightening. Students are very engaged and love the logical thinking that Latin promotes. The links being made with English root words are supporting our students with their understanding and comprehension of English and other Modern Foreign Languages.

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The Centre of Excellence also offers the following:

  • Elective lectures
  • University outreach programmes (especially the universities of Exeter and Bristol)
  • Leadership development
  • The Brilliant Club
  • Wider reading
  • Competitions

Theresa Brookshaw — Teacher of English, Director of Centre of Excellence