High Prior Attainers and High Achieving Students

One of the key priorities at Royal Liberty school is to make sure that all students are challenged and especially the more able students in the school. Alongside the High Prior Attaining students we also ask staff to identify high potential students in their subjects. These students are those who have demonstrated the knowledge and ability in lessons to potentially achieve the very highest of grades in a certain subject at GCSE level.

All of our most capable students are challenged in a number of different ways at the school both inside and outside of the classroom.

In the classroom teaching staff aim to teach all students the skills required to achieve the very best grades in the subject. Teachers will use a variety of different strategies to challenge the most able students. Some of these strategies include:

  • encouraging and developing students’ ability to learn independently.

  • planning lessons which take account of a variety of learning styles and intelligences.

  • guiding learners to lead their own learning in the classroom and in home learning.

  • teaching to the top and supporting middle and lower abilities.

  • giving extension tasks to more able students that specifically target analytical skills.

  • offering opportunities for independence and self-direction.

  • encouraging risk taking.

  • using various structures in the classroom to encourage talk between different groups of students. This will encourage the more able students to think more deeply about their audience for the points that they wish to make.

Outside of the classroom teaching staff and subject areas provide a number activities and programmes that continue to challenge the students but in a different learning environment.

Extra Curricular Activities

All subjects in the school provide an extensive extra curricular programme. Extra curricular activities allow subjects to provide an enjoyable but challenging environment outside of the classroom and allow students to extend their knowledge and apply it in a very different environment. Many of our extra curricular clubs also compete against other schools in the borough and this year we will look to compete in national competitions to provide an extra layer of experience for the students with a real interest in that subject.

Some examples of these clubs are:

  • The debate club (English)

  • Code breakers (IT)

  • Sports clubs (PE)

  • Film/Media club (Geography)

Subject Ambassadors

Royal liberty school also has an extensive subject ambassador programme with all subjects in the school having representatives from all year groups in the subject. Throughout the school these ambassadors are given the opportunity to develop communication, leadership and teamwork skills in a number of different events throughout the year. Students are given the opportunity to deliver workshops and event days to local primary schools both in school at the primary schools themselves. They also work alongside other secondary schools in the borough to deliver secondary borough competitions and also primary school competitions. The ambassadors help promote their subjects at school events and they are also used in a variety of different ways in the classroom to promote learning and develop the understanding of their peers in the subject. For more information on the ambassador programmes in each subject please refer to the subject pages.

Super Curriculum Programme

This year the school will be introducing a super curriculum programme for the highest achieving students in the year group. The programme will involve students taking on a research project during the Spring term and then presenting their findings to staff and parents at a presentation evening. Students involved in the programme will require a high level of motivation, knowledge and work ethic. The programme will help to improve their research, analysis and presentation skills, as well as providing them with a number of different skills that may not be possible to develop inside the classroom. This programme will begin with Year 9 in the Spring Term.

What are High Prior Attainers?

At Royal Liberty School ‘HPA’ is a term used to describe a student or group of students who have shown the potential to achieve the very highest grades in their GCSEs.

High prior attaining (HPA) students are identified in Year 7 having attained an “average point score of 110 or higher” in their KS2 tests.

At Royal Liberty school we believe that every student needs to be challenged to achieve their potential and we have a programme specifically designed to target the progress and attainment of these students.

The HPA students are overseen by Mr Sammons, High Achieving Co-ordinator, and he works closely with all subject teachers to help them manage the provision within their subject area. Over the last few years, this meeting practice has expanded into a wider HPA Hub across educational boundaries. The High Achieving Coordinator regularly meets with other HPA leads across a series of schools and a series of educational authorities. This is to ensure that a very wide field of expertise is consulted, that best practice is being shared across a wide network and, indeed, that findings are being implemented for our students at Royal Liberty School.

As with all students at Royal Liberty, it is of vital importance that the HPA's are stretched and challenged within the classroom and it is our priority that a culture of achievement and success is celebrated. A key feature of this is to ensure that the supportive relationship between teachers, parents and students is built upon high aspirations.

The core provision is offered within the classroom through the teaching and learning opportunities on offer. It is expected that lessons have differentiated outcomes that provide for all learners, including stretch and challenge as appropriate. Teachers are aware of the need to adjust the level of questioning and learning to facilitate this.

Regular monitoring of students’ achievement through robust data checks supports intervention strategies to ensure that the expected level of progress is being achieved.


The Brilliant Club 2016-2020

The Brilliant Club works to increase the number of pupils that progress to Russell Group Universities by training PhD researchers to share their academic expertise with pupils.

The Scholars Programme is delivered by a PhD Tutor and involves two trips to highly selective universities and five in-school tutorials. The in-school tutorials take place during the school day and last for one hour each. The tutorials follow a super-curricular course designed to push the pupils to develop the academic skills they will need to secure places at highly selective universities. These are based on, or incorporate, the PhD Tutor’s area of research. Pupils complete the course by producing a 2,000 word assignment which is marked using criteria from the Key Stage above their current level. They are then given a university-style grade (1st, 2.i etc.) and feedback from their tutor to allow them to reflect on and improve their performance. Finally, the pupils graduate from the course at a prestigious university.

Key features of the HPA provision at Royal Liberty School

University visits

Departmental enrichment and reward visits

Mensa, High IQ Testing

HPA Parent/Carer Events

Primary School Outreach

Master Classes (the invite to master classes is extended to our main feeder primary schools)

Student Voice

Case studies

Learning Walks

Subject audits

Speak Out Challenge