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Gifted & Talented at Emerson Park Academy and Specialist Sports College

The Sports College is committed to the principle of developing the best possible learning opportunities for all of its students. In regard to students identified as gifted and talented in PE and Sport the Physical Education curriculum at Emerson Park Academy offers work which extends these students using activities that enrich and promote high achievement and good progress with specific tasks set at a higher level than that of their peers and a wider range of contexts and resources for learning. Identified students are encouraged to move through their learning at a faster rate than their peers.
 
As a result of their involvement in sporting activities outside of the academy those students, competing at an elite level, will have high demands made on their time. Emerson Park Academy and Specialist Sports College identifies students as Gifted or Talented in PE and Sport using the following criteria, allowing us to then place them on our TAG (Talented, Able, and Gifted) register, where they can be offered the extra support they need.
 
  • Gifted – Elite or academy performers at National Level (sometimes county level, dependent on the sport).
 
  • Talented – Students who have the ability to excel in their chosen sport/s at club and county level.
 
  • Able – Students who represent the school across three or more sports and show intelligent, independent decision making, are able to show active and adapting strategies, tactics or compositions.
 
There are regular TAG days for those on the ‘Gifted’ and/or ‘Talented’ register. These days have included joint sessions with other Havering schools and visits to Universities. During these TAG events we have guest speakers in to talk about a range of relevant topics such as; motivation, injury, goal setting and diet and nutrition. These talks are of great importance to an athlete competing at an elite standard. There are also practical sessions where athletes are asked to perform outside of their comfort zone such as; flexibility training, co-ordination, reaction time, strength and conditioning training. During these events students have opportunity to speak with elite performers from other schools, comparing notes on competition and training and discussing strategies to manage differing priorities, such as school homework and training schedules.
 
The PE Faculty also works co-operatively with external partners such as football academies and club coaches, giving students more opportunity for higher level and more specialised training. We currently work very closely with Chelsea Football Foundation, using them to support our most gifted footballers within the academy by offering them extra training and opportunities to play high level opponents in football festivals and training camps.
 
Each student classified as ‘Gifted’ has a nominated mentor whom they can go to whenever they need to discuss matters involving competition, training or school. Mentors meet with students on a regular basis or when the ‘Gifted’ student requires; this is especially important as they approach GCSE exams and Controlled Assessments, when they may need extra support.
 
During the summer term we also host a Gifted and Talented day for our year 5 & 6 students who will/may be attending Emerson Park Academy. This gives the PE Faculty a good knowledge and understanding of the ‘Gifted’ and/or ‘Talented’ students we will be teaching the following September. This allows us opportunity to establish a good baseline assessment of their abilities prior to their arrival.
 
Some comments from the Year 6 students, now in Year 7 at Emerson Park Academy:
 
“I really liked meeting other children from the other schools”
 
“It was great because you get a chance to try new sports and learn about new skills and activities”
 
“It was a fun day. The sports chat we had were great and it gave us a look at what the school is like at sport”
 
“The gifted and talented was so much fun. We got to find out what the school was like and to learn some sports”
 
Our links with local clubs, foundations and National Governing Bodies, our experience of mentoring ‘Gifted’ students and our understanding of the pressures and conflicting priorities that young people sometimes experience when performing at these high levels allows us, as a Specialist Sports College, to offer opportunities and learning that enables these children to work towards reaching their full potential.
 
Ian Torrance
Director of Specialism

Emerson Park Academy

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