Gifted and Talented

At Teesside High School our provision for the more able is both extensive and intensive.  Pupils are encouraged to identify for themselves which specific aspects of learning they feel stretch them in class, and every lesson is also differentiated to offer serious intellectual challenges for our more able students. We track the academic progress of this cohort and find they significantly out-perform expectations.  We have a tailor-made action plan for each subject area and age range; from Critical Thinking and Philosophy in the Prep school, to the Linguistics Olympiad in the Senior school. Students are entered for national competitions with great success.

Each department sets their own specific criteria too, as we realise that having a higher level of talent or ability is not necessarily something that can be calibrated through examinations; flair and intellectual curiosity can be perceived and should be encouraged in every individual.  With this thinking in mind, while students who have been identified as gifted or talented are expected to come to the enrichment activities that the school provides, all students are warmly welcome and encouraged to participate in all events. There is a strong sense of community among brighter pupils who enjoy the freedom to be themselves.

In the Spring Term, pupils run their own debating society, mastering the art of expressing themselves persuasively and succinctly on topics as diverse as same sex marriage, animal testing, or banning homework.  The debating society also hosts guest debaters, most recently The Right Hon. James Wharton MP.  Inter-School debates are also planned and local and national competitions entered.

We enjoy welcoming siblings and parents to cafe-style seminars, in a relaxed atmosphere after school, and we love it that students take for granted that they will be able to question some of the most eminent names in their field with confidence.  Students gain a sense both of the validity of their questioning, and the value of imagination and energy, as much as of for the value of  academic rigour and art for art’s sake.

Recent topics for our Autumn Term Tea-Time talks have included:

  • The Criminal Justice system: The Victims’ Code
  • The Law: a Necessary Evil?
  • How Memory is Made: Neuroscience and Psychology
  • Crystallography: from Alchemy to Chemistry
  • Conjuring Skills
  • Witch-Hunting:  persecution and prejudice
  • Harry Potter: magic and the hero
  • Shakespeare’s magic: Shakespeare’s language.

From engaging and distinguished speakers including:

  • Detective Inspector Matthew Walsh, Hartlepool CID
  • Dr Martin Richardson, Teaching Fellow and Programme Director, Lecturer of the Year, Durham University.
  • Sir Arnold Wolfendale, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Durham University, Former Astronomer Royal.
  • Dr Paul Edmondson, Head of Research and Knowledge, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Trustee of the Rose Theatre, Curator of  60minutes with Shakespeare.com, author and editor, including the Penguin Shakespeare Series.
  • Dr Craig Robertson, Crystallographer, University of Liverpool,
  • David Crane, Senior Lecturer, Durham University, author and editor of the New Cambridge Shakespeare.
  • Mr Windbags,  North-Eastern Entertainer
  • Mrs Barbara Ann Robertson, behavioural psychologist and neuroscience research fellow, University of  Durham.