Highly Able & Talented Students (HATS)

At Prior Park College we seek to nurture our Highly Able Students in three key ways: 
  • Provision of opportunity through their curriculum lessons to be challenged to think deeply
  • The promotion of a culture of learning that allows highly-able children to feel socially accepted and build a supportive social network 
  • Provision of super-curricular opportunities, to take their learning in directions beyond the prescribed curriculum.

When students enter the school in Year 7 they sit entrance test and MIDYIS tests that provide data to aid selection. There is also the opportunity for teacher nomination after the first term for a child who is deemed academically exceptional in several areas.  Identified HATS have a fortnightly lunchtime club run by the Academic Deputy Head and contributed to by Heads of Department and other teachers. They are encouraged to work both collectively and individually on research projects, problem solving, quizzes and they are exposed to new subjects and academic ideas. 

Once children transfer to F4 (Year 9) activities begin to be more explicitly run by departments. There are plenty of super-curricular opportunities but students have to self-select what they are interested in attending. The students are invited to masterclasses, competitions, lectures and trips according to their specific academic strengths. There are book clubs, chess clubs, puzzle clubs and science clubs. 

Whilst any student is welcome to attend the Headmaster’s Academic Lecture series, Academic Scholars and HATS are expected to attend. These lectures cover a range of subjects and are delivered by Alumni, Academics and Staff on a half termly basis. 

There is an annual Scholars’ trip, a Scholars’ essay competition and trips to Oxford and Cambridge to raise students’ academic aspirations. There are a wealth of Academic Trips to offer enrichment, these are day trips and weekend visits as well as longer trips abroad in the holidays. 

If a student has a particular interest in taking part in a competition or activity, the school will do its utmost to support them and put them in touch with like-minded students and staff. They are more than welcome as they reach the older years of the school to run their own clubs with some staff support. 

Students who are highly able are often entered for extra GCSE subjects such as Greek, Further Maths or an additional foreign language which they have studied for in their own time. 

The Head of Science, Dr Trott, runs MedSoc for all interested students. The term card is published in advance so that students can select what they are interested in attending. 

Academic Scholars may hold the maximum of one special talent award for Art, DT, Music, Drama or Sport but they must try hard to carefully balance their commitments so that they are able to be exemplary students in both fields.