The Coopers' Company and Coborn School

Gifted & Talented

The motto of the school, ‘Love as Brethren’, obliges us to serve the needs of all pupils. We acknowledge the importance of addressing the particular needs of very able pupils. Indeed this work can be a catalyst for whole school benefit, as noted by Mike Tomlinson (former Director of OFSTED). “If you are willing to deal effectively with the needs of able pupils you will raise the achievement of all pupils.” In essence our approach to gifted & talented provision is encapsulated in the NACE (National Association for Able Children in Education) mission statement; “…provide for pupils with high abilities whilst enabling all pupils to flourish.


Our Able, Gifted & Talented model has four elements:
Scheduled – routine challenge: differentiated activities for Gifted & Talented pupils during lessons, across all key stages.
Extension – amplified challenge: e.g. termly curriculum extension activities, Villiers Park courses, etc.
Enrichment – deep challenge: e.g. Coopers’ CAT’s, Oxbridge links, etc.
Excellence – exam challenge: e.g. weekly academic excellence sessions for KS4 pupils, etc.

Coopers' Curriculum Extension Activities

We now have a programme of Curriculum Extension Activities hosted on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Teachers have provided a series of demanding activities for able and ambitious pupils. The rationale is to provide another layer of challenge for pupils and for an additional opportunity for parental involvement. These tasks complement the work that is taking place in lessons and provide opportunities for G&T pupils to develop their interests and skills. All subject areas and year groups are covered across the three terms. These activities, hosted on the VLE, can be accessed via the school website homepage (go to the 'Gifted and Talented' room; then go to the Curriculum Extension Activities' room).

BBC School Report

Each year a group of high achieving Year 8 students are selected to take part in this nationwide project.   It involves a series of media workhops where the students learn how a BBC news bulletin is created, from the initial research stage to the final broadcast.  The project culminates in a day of making the news for real and the results are submitted to the BBC for display on their website.  

This exciting enrichment opportunity enables the students to develop many skills including the ability to work as a multi-agency team, coping with the pressure of deadlines and leading others to success towards a final goal.  Our sixth form media captains are also involved in the final day, mentoring the younger students and providing them with guidance on the filming and editing processes.  

For more information, and to see the Coopers Coborn broadcast from this year, please click here 

Parent workshop

This year we held our first parent workshop explaining techniques and methods to support the needs of more able students.   Research continues to show that parental involvement in children’s learning is a key factor in improving children’s academic attainment and achievements, as well as their overall behaviour and attendance.   We are looking to develop these workshops further in the future with a specific focus on topics including ‘achieving the A*grade’ and ‘supporting talented performers’.

G&T mentoring system

As a school we have a well established mentoring system to support the needs of our students. This year we will be extending this programme to ensure our most able students are receiving targeted support, allowing them to achieve at the very highest level.  

MENSA and The Coopers Company and Coborn School

Each year we work for MENSA, the High IQ Society by running the Cattrell B IQ Test to with a select group of students as part of the Gifted and Talented programme. British Mensa offers a group testing discount for schools and colleges, enabling you to identify your gifted and talented pupils. Every year we hear how the university selection process is getting harder and how much tougher it is for young people entering the jobs market. Many employers and institutions are now looking at additional methods to differentiate between candidates. A proven high IQ from a Mensa Supervised IQ Test not only stands out on CVs and UCAS application forms it can be a great confidence boost for young people. Those who score within the top two percent of the population will be given the opportunity to join Mensa, the High IQ Society.

Mensa was founded in England in 1946 by Roland Berrill, a barrister, and Dr Lance Ware, a scientist and lawyer. They had the idea of forming a society for bright people, the only qualification for membership of which was a high IQ. The original aims were, as they are today, to create a society that is non-political and free from all racial or religious distinctions.

The society's official objectives are:
- to provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its member
- to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity
- to encourage research into the nature, characteristics, and uses of intelligence

The society welcomes people from every walk of life whose IQ is in the top two per cent of the population, with the objective of enjoying each other's company and participating in a wide range of social and cultural activities.

Each year, the school is able to encourage a number of our students to join MENSA and as a result they are exposed to real stretch and challenge.

Key Stage 5 Excellence Opportunities

When students enter the school Sixth Form a range of Gifted and Talented activities continue to take place across the life of Year 12 and Year 13. From individual stretch and challenge in lessons, to individually tailored mentoring through the pastoral system, we are always looking to offer the very best to our Gifted and Talented students at Key Stage 5. A range of programmes and extension activities are actively supported and encouraged:

Villiers Park Educational Trust

Villiers Park Educational Trust is a charity that helps very able young people. The Trust provides support, courses and online activities. A number of Coopers’ Coborn students attend the residential extension courses every year and come back to Upminster with a real sense of purpose and direction. Villiers Park also offer online extension tasks for Years 12 and 13 students. The subjects covered include: Art; Biology; Chemistry; Economics; English Literature; French; Geography; German; History; Maths; Media; Philosophy; Physics; Psychology; Spanish; Theatre Studies.

To access these activities click here.

Sutton Trust Summer School

Each year a number of our students attend the Sutton Trust Summer School which is an excellent way to further extend understanding of key curriculum topics. For further information about this, please click here.

University of London Tasters

There are a wide range of taster courses which the school actively promotes as high quality opportunities for our students – in particular those offered by the University of London are of a high quality. The Taster Course Programme aims to provide students, looking towards starting with a taste of what life at a university in London is like. Through your chosen course you will experience the different teaching methods used by university academics and gain an insight into the additional facilities available, whilst meeting students from across the UK. You can choose a course from a variety of subjects at various university institutions, including courses organised by The Careers Group, University of London. Courses range from voice and drama, to medicine and nursing, to computing and business. For more information click here.

The OCCA Essay Prize

Through our links with the Coopers’ Company, each year an essay competition is held to select an ‘apprentice’ to the Master of the Worshipful Company. This post is a prestigious position as it reflects our traditional links with one of the livery companies of the City of London. The post-holder is invited to a Court Dinner to receive his/her apprenticeship and it is hoped that they may become a Freeman of the Company in due time. The essay is completed in June of each academic year and provides real stretch and challenge for our Sixth Formers.

Applying to Oxford and Cambridge

The school has a long and proud tradition of sending students to both Oxford and Cambridge. A specialised programme takes place from Year 10 where students are identified as displaying the ‘potential’ to attend Oxbridge and from that point on a range of G&T provision takes place. Mrs R Reed works as Academic Coordinator at the school and is based in the Sixth Form Centre. Any questions about Oxbridge should be directed to her.