The Boteler Elite

What is the Boteler Elite Programme?

The Boteler Elite Programme is a series of activities aimed at the top 10% of academically able students in each year group designed to enable them to: experience new opportunities; embrace challenges and feel inspired. Instead of replacing the usual school curriculum, the Boteler Elite Programme aims to further enrich students through opportunities outside of the classroom.

What is the purpose of the Boteler Elite Programme?

The purpose of our programme is to nurture potential in our academically gifted students. We want to encourage students to develop and embrace their gifts in the company of teachers, students and other adults who share their passion and ambition.

We also seek to fully prepare students for university, including Russell Group and Oxbridge universities.

Through the Boteler Elite Programme we aim to:

  • Nurture and challenge students with exceptional academic gifts;
  • Add further breadth and enrichment to our curriculum;
  • Foster extremely high expectations for our gifted students;
  • Promote independence in thinking and learning;
  • Ensure that students are confident and fully prepared for college applications and interviews towards the end of their time with us;
  • Understand and be confident in their knowledge of University and the courses available to them.

What will be the characteristics of students on the Boteler Elite Programme?

Selection for the programme will be based entirely on academic ability and potential. In addition to this, we expect our Elite Students to:

  • Enjoy learning;
  • Be intensely curious about the world around them and, in particular, about those subjects where their strengths lie;
  • Have the ability to process new information with great speed, whilst having the thirst to continually develop their knowledge and understanding;
  • Readily grasp underlying principles and make intelligent connections within and between different topics;
  • Engage in deep questioning and thought-provoking discussion;
  • Relate well to their peers and adults and work well in groups;
  • Work with increasing levels of independence.

What does the Boteler Elite Programme entail?

The Boteler Elite Programme is constantly evolving as we respond to opportunities that are made available through our external connections. Below is a sample of some of the things that will be on offer:

  • Lectures and short courses on topics not covered in the mainstream curriculum, including involvement from outside experts E.g. Cambridge University;
  • Trips to sites of scientific, historical and cultural interest. E.g. Jodrell Bank;
  • A chance to read and reflect upon a wide range of classic novels from Literature. E.g. Year 7-9 Book Clubs;
  • Mentoring from older, gifted students;
  • Exposure to new experiences; eg. A masterclass with a Nuclear Physicist;
  • The chance to tackle complex mathematical and scientific problems and issues;
  • Links to further education/ colleges. E.g. Student Conference Visits to 6th form colleges, engaging in workshops;
  • University visits.

7 top tips for parents/carers to support more able students at home.

  1. Check their resources – What extras do gifted students need? Whether it’s a library card, internet access, pens, books or somewhere to work away from other siblings. You don’t have to spend a fortune; second-hand books and equipment are perfectly fine. Homework clubs and extra sessions with teachers at school are free. You can also support their learning at home to expand their knowledge of subjects taught in school by discussing topics together.
  2. Give emotional support – What emotional support do gifted children need? The same as any other child. “Love without strings, praise for effort and a family structure so that they know what is expected of them and how to treat others with respect,” says psychologist Professor Joan Freeman, who specialises in gifted children. “Gifted children tend to be very hard on themselves so you may need to provide an extra morale boost and offer your support if they are trying very difficult things.”
  3. Be understanding – “Gifted children can be misunderstood – they often learn differently, interact differently and don’t quite conform to normal behaviour,” says Julie Taplin, Deputy Chief Executive of the National Association for Gifted Children.
  4. Allow social time – let your child to have some unstructured time each day just to think, reflect or daydream. It is important for creativity and having some downtime could prevent your child becoming stressed.
  5. Create some opportunities for failure – “Gifted children need to be allowed to fail at things,” says Julie Taplin. “If they succeed all the time it can lead to them placing too much pressure on themselves.” Encourage them to take risks and attempt things that will be difficult both intellectually and physically (as long as they are in a safe environment), but help them to understand that failure helps them learn and develop their skills.
  6. Get help – Your child’s abilities may quickly outstrip your own, which can be upsetting if you feel you aren’t able to help them. Reading up and researching subjects can help – but most parents only have so much time. Extra tuition can help, as can making the most of the experts on hand at places you visit such as museums, galleries, exhibitions.
  7. Support a range of friendships – Gifted children can sometimes struggle to identify with children of their own age who don’t have their abilities– but don’t assume that this will be the case with your child. Allow them time to play with all sorts of children, and give them the opportunity to meet like-minded peers.
Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School by STB