Gifted & Talented
Updated: Wed 10 Oct 2012
The Gifted & Talented (G&T) programme at The John Lyon School provides extra challenges to stimulate the educational development of a small number of exceptionally able boys drawn from across the age groups. Some are chosen for their academic ability; others for their talent in the performing arts, with many fitting into both categories.
The Gifted & Talented programme at JLS aims to refine our top students’ critical thinking and expressive skills through events such as competitive debate. Practice and competitions require that G&T students structure their thoughts, understand and analyse arguments and speak persuasively to win a judge to their side. British Parliamentary Debate tournaments pit our G&T students against top debaters from London’s best schools, allowing our boys to test their mettle against some of the country’s top students. The John Lyon Gifted and Talented programme also uses the school’s proximity to central London to attend lectures and courses hosted by the country’s top institutions, including the LSE, Gresham College and Intelligence Squared. These lectures introduce our G&T students to knowledge and perspectives that complement and advance ideas contained in their school studies.
The school’s Gifted & Talented coordinator charts the progress of students deemed Gifted & Talented across the school to examine the progress of their learning. The Gifted & Talented coordinator also collaborates with departments to promote activities that stretch the school’s top students.
Defining Gifted & Talented
Most boys at JLS are already of above-average ability and many are very committed to their studies. However, as devised by the American educational psychologist Joseph Renzulli, these two qualities on their own are not enough: to secure membership of the Gifted & Talented group at JLS, boys must also display a third quality, namely creativity. Boys in the Gifted & Talented cohort, whether chosen for their academic commitment or their talent in the performing arts or sport, tend to possess a far greater than average creative element. These boys are often the ‘ideas people’ and include those apt to question rules and regulations.
Each department keeps its own register of students who demonstrate outstanding ability and understanding of their subject according to a criteria endorsed by learning experts. The school’s Gifted & Talented coordinator compiles the whole school Gifted & Talented register by selecting boys deemed “gifted” in five or more subjects for students in Years 7 to 11 and two or more subjects for 6th Form students. The whole school register also contains boys who score in the top 5% of their class in the MidYIS or ALIS exams.