At Hornchurch High School we promote a culture of ambition and aspiration, through challenging lessons and enriching opportunities. We believe that it is important that our more able students are recognised and suitably catered for both in the classroom and in extracurricular events and activities.

How do we identify the more able?
Inside the classroom
Outside the classroom

How do we identify the more able?

At Hornchurch High we identify more able students using two methods.

Initially 10% of the year 7 cohort are identified as more able based on their end of key stage 2 data. We recognise this is based on a snapshot of a student’s educational journey and thus regularly review our more able students.  The second method is based on teacher nominations evidenced by high scores in tests or regularly produced outstanding work regardless of their prior data.


Students identified as More Able and selected to take part in our Rising Stars Programme.  The programme is designed to stretch and challenge students in a range of areas. Each student is given a Rising Stars booklet which contains subject specific challenges. The challenges have been created to support students’ knowledge and understanding of the curriculum and also stretch them further. Students are expected to attend weekly meetings during tutor time and over the course of the year complete the rising stars challenges.

In addition to having the opportunity to stretch themselves through the challenges, students will be given the chance to develop their skills through a number of extra-curricular and enrichment activities during the course of the year as outlined below.


Students identified as More Able and selected to take part in our Aspire-Aim High Programme. The programme is designed to help students to start thinking about what they want to do to in the future and building a portfolio of evidence to help achieve their goals. Students are expected to meet monthly to share personal plans, receive guidance and support and develop skills through: Listening and discussing TED talks; Critical Thinking workshops; Take part in MOOCs –(Massive Open On-line Courses); Podcasts; Articles; Current affairs.

In addition to having the opportunity to build and develop their portfolios, students are encouraged to develop their skills through a number of extra-curricular and enrichment activities provided by Hornchurch High school as well as through additional opportunities discussed during monthly meetings.

Inside the classroom

Hornchurch High School is committed to raising achievement and aspiration among all students by challenging and supporting More able students. Research shows that where the highest expectations are made of more able students, learning and achievement for all students improves. At Hornchurch High we believe that the most effective way to develop more able students is through excellent teaching and learning, we follow the principle of Teaching to the top which benefits everyone.

Outside the classroom

Each year selected students take part in The Brilliant Club Scholars Programme. The Brilliant Club is an award winning organisation which matches leading PhD researchers with schools to help stretch students beyond the curriculum. Students take part in university style tutorials, attend launch and graduation trips at prestigious universities and complete an extended project.

Years 7 and 8 students take part in half termly mensa tests based on their knowledge organisers.

We also offer curriculum specific opportunities through our in house competitions ‘Going for Gold’. We also host these competitions against schools within our Multi Academy Trust.

Below are some examples national competitions that our More Able cohort undertake:

Maths- UKMT Maths Challenge: Junior, Intermediate and Team
English- Debate Mate and Jack Petchey Speak out Challenge
Science club- BP STEM challenge
MFL-Foreign Languages National Spelling Bee
Duke of Edinburgh Awards
Mensa International IQ Test

Below are some examples of trips, lectures and events that our More Able cohort undertake:

University Day trips
Wadham College Oxford Aspiration Day
Queens College Cambridge
Aiming High workshops
Getting into your top choice university lectures
Raising university Aspiration trip-
Maths in Action Lectures
Careers related themed events in school and at local colleges, universities.