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Gifted Group

‘Intellectual giftedness is an intellectual ability significantly higher than average – intellectual giftedness is usually believed to an innate, personal aptitude for intellectual activities that cannot necessarily be acquired through personal effort.’

And this is something we take seriously at Ormiston Bushfield Academy. We are proud that we create opportunities for ‘Every Child to have a Bright Future’ so it is essential that we provide our students who are identified as gifted with appropriate challenge and stretch. We achieve this through a two pronged approach.

Initially students are identified as having an innate gift within a subject specialism. Opportunities for stretch and challenge within subject areas are established and students have, over many years, been involved in subject specific opportunities to support ability; ranging from the Language leaders in modern foreign languages to archaeological digs in history and a trip to Barcelona to experience the Gaudi inspired Casa Batllo.

However, we strive to create an holistic approach for the experience of the gifted child. ‘Alpha’ comprises our most able children and is now in its second year. Since its inception our students have been able to access a range of experiences beyond the classroom. Launched in May of 2013 we have already provided an annual ‘Dux’ opportunity for a science trip to University College London; a newly formed debating society with the intent of participating in national competition has been established, students have been given the opportunity to listen to renowned authors at the Central Library and recently a group of year 8 students flew to success at the ‘Smart Supper’ event hosted by University Centre Peterborough; an ‘Apprentice’ style experience where students were encouraged to be innovative and professional in the delivery of their pitch. Over the coming months we will be organising a range of exciting and thought provoking opportunities.

Growing up as a gifted child should be wonderful and exciting – opportunities to question and then to challenge the outcome should enhance learning; it is both a personal and shared effort and one that we create around the needs of the individual.

Scientia potential est!

Catherine Hobden


Extended Experiences

  • Albert Einstein: The Genius

    Albert Einstein was a genius who won a Nobel Prize award for his theory of relativity. To you and me, he figured out that sound travelled in waves. Some year eight students were luckily picked to go on a trip to see a re-interpretation of this famous discovery.

    After an hour and a half of travelling in a mini-bus to Northampton, we were ready to be able to get off the coach and stretch our legs. At 1 o’clock, we were allowed to go into the playhouse, get ourselves settled, and get ready for one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen. Albert Einstein, along with his second wife, Mileva, entered onto the stage, and we were all waiting for a science lecture that our parents had said they used to have when they were at school. But it wasn’t!

    First, there was music. Mileva, Elsa (Einstein’s first wife) and Einstein’s mother, Pauline, were all very good at playing the keyboard, even though the main instrument used in the 20th century was a church organ.

    Second, Einstein was a German, but he helped the Americans. Even though Albert Einstein lived through the first and second world wars, and that he lived in Germany, he wasn’t a Nazi. In fact, he was the person who created the formula that made the nuclear bomb that America dropped on his home town of Koch, Ulm.

    To end with, Albert Einstein was the greatest scientist who ever lived, in my opinion. He created things that would still be in use today. For example, without his invention of the refrigerator, our food wouldn’t last as long, and we’d have to go shopping every day (Not a Good Idea!) And, after he died, a scientist was so interested by his work, that he took Albert’s brain, ‘The Great Brain Robbery!’, and wanted to see how it was different to someone else’s brain. The thing was, it wasn’t different.

    All of what I’ve said was in the production and a lot more besides, so much that I couldn’t have written it all down. So, after all of that had finished, we had a talk to ‘Albert Einstein’ about his theory and, before we knew it, it was time to get back to school.

    By Simon Burgess.

  • Ely Lecture Review

    On the 15th November 2013, Ormiston Bushfield Academy's Alpha group had the fantastic opportunity to attend a gifted and talented lecture at The Kings School in Ely. This interesting event covered many topics ranging from the biblical tale of Noah's Ark to string theory, bringing forward the notion that simple logic can be used to expand ideas and create larger and established meanings within a subject. We were enticed with wonderful presentations from the likes of Julie Arliss and Dr Mark Lewney who introduced their ideas, research and opinions in exciting ways. We also had a prime opportunity to engage in an open debate about abortion, questioning the ethical and moral aspects of the issue and proposing our own cogitations. As there were a variety of students from other schools at the event, we were able to hear the diverse range of opinions, which was vital to enrich our understanding and allow us to keep an open mind.

    One of the lectures we believed to be most valuable for us was Julie Arliss's study of a typical question from an interview for Cambridge university; How many animals did Noah take into the Ark? We examined both factual and inferred responses which encouraged us to apply our education skills to an unusual thought experiment allowing us to 'think outside the box'. Consequently, we were able to determine whether we were likely to approach the question with logical responses or open our minds to a wider thought process.

    Despite our initial concerns about being lectured on the arduous concept of string theory, we were pleasantly surprised. The charismatic Dr Mark Lewney not only provided us with an in depth understanding of the subject, but he also presented the theory in an engaging manner; using our common interest of music to create a performance that was both amusing and relevant. Dr Lewney proposed the idea that maths is everywhere and everything, showing that mathematics is more than simply something that mathematicians do but can be used to help us understand various concepts of the universe.

    Although it is argued that it is more important to understand the science of life, Jeffrey Hodges's presentation of 'The Self Image' demonstrated that it is equally important to acknowledge the psychological discoveries involving relationships and human behaviour. He delivered a speech touching on the sensitive, yet fundamental issue of body image concerns of teenagers and the way they perceive themselves. This was an extremely personal and pertinent issue, therefore we found it particularly easy to engage with as it offered practical suggestions and techniques for strengthening a positive self image which is crucial for developing ourselves as young adults.

    Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed this unique experience and are appreciative of the opportunity. We feel as though our minds have been opened, allowing us to expand our ideas beyond the classroom. Undoubtedly, we would jump at the chance to participate in another similar event, a truly inspiring and eye opening stimulus.

    By Olivia Hennessy and Alice Macfarlane

  • Smart Supper!

    Hosted by University Centre Peterborough, eleven year 8 students donned their very best business outfits and joined an event called Smart Supper.

    On our arrival the eleven of us were split into teams and presented the brief that we must design an idea to encourage people to use sustainable transport around Peterborough more. There were five teams in total and with ages ranging from eleven years to eighteen years old we were amongst the youngest there. Armed with our mentor we really put our imaginations to work devising and designing innovative ideas to transform the way in which we use transport. Inspired by the evening and with a burning desire to do our very best at the presentation on Thursday, we worked tirelessly every moment we had.

    Thursday finally came around we went into a room to rehearse our pitch. We were told we were going to be 3rd to pitch so we had enough time to rehearse. When we were called up we had to stand on a stage in front of about 150 people and pitch our idea to them. But the people were from Stagecoach, First and even national express. After everyone had pitched we then had to go round and try to persuade each table why they should vote for us. Then we were all called onto stage where they announced the winner. Sadly none of us won being pipped to the post by year 10s from Hampton College! The experience was amazing and we would all love to do it again.

    Graham Hancock


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