We have extremely high aspirations for each child within our school and this is further promoted by the many opportunities offered to pupils through our Aspire Higher Programme.
What is the Aspire Higher Programme?
The Aspire Higher Programme is a specialised educational programme geared towards stretching and challenging all pupils, and in particular the academically able, providing them with opportunities to develop themselves as learners through all stages of their education and to “Build a Bright Future for All”.
Who Can Participate?
At Colchester High School all children are valued for their individual strengths, talents and interests, whether this is in the core curriculum subjects or in any other areas of their learning. The Aspire Higher Programme is therefore open to all pupils with aspirations to achieve their high intellectual potential and is especially suitable for Scholars or those pupils who are identified as More Able and Talented.
Our Year 6 Academic Scholars are expected to attend a wide range of activities and events which form part of the Aspire Higher programme. They are provided with teacher mentors and guided by the Lower School Academic Lead, to ensure that their intellectual potential and interests are developed. Pupils are encouraged to explore and immerse themselves in their passions and expected to demonstrate their love of learning through the creation of a Personal Portfolio/Log of Academic Excellence.
How Does It Work?
Pupils are afforded opportunities to undertake:
- open ended tasks (such as poetry competitions and the English-Speaking Board Examinations)
- higher order thinking challenges (such as Bebras computational thinking tasks and NRich activities)
- extension activities
- a programme of enrichment workshops and master classes with our Senior School specialist subject teachers and external STEAM industry experts (by invitation).
- public speaking,
- tour guiding and
- leadership – by acting as academic mentors.
These skills provide invaluable experiences to build confidence, resilience and articulation which develop our pupils as a whole individual.
How Does The Programme Fit into The Curriculum?
The programme works in addition to our normal enriching curriculum which ensures that all our pupils are stretched and challenged through the incorporation of:
- Mastery Lessons – where pupils apply their learning to problem solving and real-life situations, thereby deepening the pupil’s understanding.
- ‘Year ahead curriculum’ – Pupils are following a year ahead curriculum in our core subjects; Mathematics, English and Science such that all pupils access the objectives from the next academic year (where appropriate).
- Learning by Questioning: We use a variety of teaching styles and a range of higher-level questions to stimulate critical thinking skills, notably philosophy, ethics, reasoning and the creation of ‘Big ideas’.
Digital Literacy – Using their 1-2-1 devices, our pupils benefit from the use of technology to support and enhance their learning, inspire creativity and collaboration and provide our pupils with the 21st century digital skills required for the future.
The Aspire Higher Programme together with our curriculum provide a firm academic foundation for pupils looking to apply for Senior School Scholarships or taking the 11+ Examination to gain places at local Grammar Schools.