Spring Newsletter 2014 - page 6

Unique toGreat
Torrington
School
If youhavebeenoneof the luckyparentsor visitors to
GTSon the concludingdayof theFrankensteinChallenge
or theDragon’sDen, thenyou can’t helpbut feel so
proudand impressedby the confidenceof Year 7putting
on theirperformances andpresentations. Their sixweek
intensive LBacc challenge showsoff their
communication, creativity, co-operationand teamwork
skills. Their self-esteem is immenseandhas ahuge
impact on their learningand just howquickly theygrasp
theunderpinningknowledge.
Youalmost forget that theyhaveonly just joinedus.
Their enthusiasm shines througheverything theydo,
and theway theywant toproduceworkof suchahigh
standard.
The challenges and the teachingof theGTS Learners
Baccalaureate reinforce the idea that pupils are in
chargeof their learningand thedesire towant to learn,
tobe independent, todevelopandexplore ideaswith
inquisititivemindsby findingout things for themselves.
In the first year pupils and teachers cover fewer topics in
greater depth, andwith thegoal of developinga richer
intellect andagoodbasis todevelop their graspof the
subjectmatter
through theGTS
Challenges
designedbyus.
Theprojectsare
engaging so that
childrenof all
abilitieswill
want to learn.
Byhaving fewer
teachersand
more time in
one class, staff
will beable to
buildadeeper
understanding
of each child’s
individual needs
andbeable to
address them.
Equally, gifted children thriveas the subject isopen
endedandallowspupils todelve further intooneaspect
of the subject. For example, in theStarbase1Challenge
learners areasked to investigateandevaluateexisting
political systems anduse thisnewknowledge todesigna
politicalmodel for thenew colony. In theFrankenstein
Challenge, giftedmusicians can research, composeand
thenperform theirownGothicmusic.
By taking in class sizesof only20 learners, teacherswill
have time to truly concentrateon theneedsof every
learner.
TheYear 7pupils are learningnot only the skills and
knowledge thatwill help thempass their futureexams,
but alsowhat is required todowell in theworkforceand
to reinforce their study skills for their futureworking
lives. By tacklinganew challengeeach term theyget to
study the subjectmatter indepthandgainadeeper
understanding.
Star baseproject: Eachgroup is challenged todesignanouter space
area for growingplants, animals andother organisms thatwill
sustain lifeas thehuman survivors travel through space. Pupils
needed to consider energy supplies,wastematter andgases.
Markswereawarded for content, presentation, teamworkingand
research.
JoannaGrigg’sNanvisited theFrankenstein
performance towatchher perform
1,2,3,4,5 7,8,9,10,11,12
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