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Gifted and Talented

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Co-ordinator: Dr Martin Dixon

When students have been identified as gifted and/or talented at Bodmin College there are many opportunities available to them; some within specific subject areas, others linked to work across the college. The College is particularly keen that students can develop mature and flexible ways to learn and feel in control of their learning. One of the biggest challenges that any student faces is to make the right choice when faced with choosing options during year 8 and year 11. We take this process very seriously and feel that it is crucial that G and T students receive ‘Information, Advice and Guidance’ (IAG) that allows them to make informed choices that keep opportunities open to them whether this be a particular course at university, apprenticeship or job.

A very successful way to do this has been our work with the University of Plymouth where year 8 pupils have visited the university campus and worked with undergraduate students exploring the possibilities that careers in science and languages can open up. This work has received national recognition including funding from ‘Linked Up’ and has also more than doubled the number of students opting to study French or Spanish.

The opportunities for our G and T students are wide and varied, but highlights include:

  • Translating a website for Cornish Rock Tours to a professional specification (leading to a tour of the Camel estuary in a RIB for the students involved)
  • Working with the Eden project to sequence the students’ own DNA for a particular gene
  • A weekly support programme in PE for G and T students to develop their physical, psychological and personal qualities.
  • Making a TV programme with Brook Lapping productions exploring the possibilities for sustainable living and the scientific research behind this.
  • The Jazz Orchestra giving great opportunities for musical students and solo and ensemble showcases and performances are regular features of the school year.
  • The University of Plymouth works with the college looking for students that excel at both Art and science.
  • In depth Physics input from Flann microwave at both KS4 and A level
  • PE offers mentor support, lifestyle management workshops and planning sessions to balance both sporting and academic demands placed on G and T students.
  • Working with the University of Exeter’s education department exploring different ways of learning and how to plan investigations successfully 
  • Music G and T students have been commissioned by film makers to showcase their composition skills.
  • Links with the University of Plymouth allow mathematicians to learn about the practical applications of mathematics and explore careers in mathematics.
  • In addition to numerous dance performances that involve external practitioners the school runs its own groups called ‘The Company’ and ‘The Apprentice Company’.
  • County Art Squad has 20 students working with Falmouth University with the potential to be awarded bursaries to help with subsequent tertiary education offers. Other prestigious universities work closely with the department including Bournemouth offering a pre-portfolio day.
  • Working with the Marine Biology Association and Dr Mike Kent to carry out in-depth investigations into Marine Biology topics
  • Applying for and frequently obtaining funding for ‘Nuffield bursaries’ to gain invaluable experience in medical research. This has even led to a student submitting work for inclusion at an academic conference on diabetes
  • A ‘medical mentoring’ group is run to give mock interviews for students applying for medicine. These interviews are carried out by doctors and medical students.
  • The Art Ambassadors from the sixth form mentor GCSE students with coursework.
  • Health and Social Care students in the sixth form work in various roles in the community including as care assistants, surf life savers, autism respite carers and working with disabled adults.
  • Frequent work with the Royal Society as part of the college’s role as an associate school
  • Building a ‘language leaders’ course that integrates a programme to encourage creativity and self-reflection as well as the skills needed to teach primary school pupils.
  • Enrichment groups year 12 and 13 with help in preparing to apply, gain acceptance and flourish at Russell Group universities
  • Year 7 students working with the University of Oxford to explore ethical questions and problems

A summary such as this can obviously only provide a very brief flavour of all that goes on at college and there are numerous articles on the website that will provide more details.