Academics

Challenge and Potential

Park Lane International School admits pupils with a wide range of abilities. We are committed to giving all students an equal opportunity to maximise their potential, regardless of each child’s starting point.

The school encourages a growth mindset in both student attitudes to learning, and in staff attitudes towards the abilities of students. It is felt that labelling a child as ‘gifted’ can sometimes be detrimental to the progress of that particular individual, and other learners around them. Undoubtedly, we all have different strengths and talents, but the school believes that the overriding message to students should be one of maximising potential.

In the words of Emile Zola, “The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.”

Higher learning potential (HLPs) are defined as those pupils with one or more abilities developed to a level significantly ahead of their year group, or with potential to develop those abilities. This refers to the upper end of the ability range in most classes. It’s important to recognise that high learning potential pupils are individuals, with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. We use the term “higher learning potential” to mean those pupils who are capable of excelling academically in one or more subjects such as English or Maths. It also refers to those pupils who may excel in practical skills such as sports, leadership, or the arts.

We also recognise those pupils with particular talents who have developed skills beyond school level such as sport at county, national or international level, high grade music examinations or local, national or international competitions in a wide range of activities.

Aims
To enable more able children to achieve their full potential by:

  • Close attention to the needs of the individual pupil through differentiation of tasks
  • Careful monitoring of every child’s progress
  • Ensuring there are high expectations of what pupils can achieve
  • Encouraging children to think for themselves, to ask questions and to contribute ideas

Creating challenge and maximising potential

Park Lane International School endeavours to establish a culture of challenge both within and external to the classroom, in order to maximise the potential of all of our students. Teachers should aim to challenge students in terms of content and thinking skills.

In Secondary, the IB learner profile is a useful resource for teachers in achieving this endeavour; it can be used as a way of ensuring that their lessons are challenging pupils enough, and in a variety of ways.

All staff are encouraged to establish links with external providers. Activities such as Model United Nations and Duke of Edinburgh provide opportunities for students to take their learning out of the classroom, discover new skills and collaborate with like-minded students from other schools. 

For more information check our Challenge and Potential website!

Also read:  Comprehensive CPD: Case Study from Park Lane International School