Useful Links

Useful Links

GSO Test

Raising the achievement of All

Most Able - Science

Most Able in Science

How we identify MA students in Science

The Science department initially identify the most able on entry to Year 7 using information from primary schools. Our most able in Science are identified as students with high scores in KS2 SATs data and CAT scores taken in year 7.

During Science lessons, we also look for students who show strong drive for achievement and thirst for knowledge in Science. Below is a list of the characteristics commonly shown by learners who demonstrate high learning potential in science. A learner need not be showing all of these to be considered high potential learners, but would most likely be demonstrating a majority of them.

  • Originality, initiative and imaginative
  • Rapid absorption of material and learns new vocabulary quickly.
  • High personal standards and perfectionism.
  • Absorbed for long periods, impatient with interference.
  • Keen powers of observation.
  • Prefers company of older children/adults.
  • Interested in nature of man and universe.
  • Can lead/influence others.
  • Spots direction of situation long before others.
  • Read widely, particularly Science or Science Fiction.
  • Have scientific hobbies and/or be members of scientific clubs and societies.
  • Enjoy researching obscure facts and applying scientific theories, ideas and models when explaining a range of phenomena.
  • Are able to sustain their interest and go beyond an obvious answer to underlying mechanisms and greater depth.
  • Exceptional curiosity, are inquisitive about how things work and why things happen (they may be dissatisfied with simplified explanations and insufficient detail).
  • Ask many questions, suggesting that they are willing to hypothesise and speculate.
  • Think logically, providing plausible explanations for phenomena (they may be methodical in their thinking, but not in their recording).
  • Put forward objective arguments, using combinations of evidence and creative ideas, and question other people’s conclusions (including their teacher’s!).
  • Show strong curiosity about objects and environments; to seek explanations for the things and events they observe, often asking many questions, especially ‘Why?’
  • Demonstrate (and sustain) high interest in investigating scientific phenomena.
  • Demonstrate intense interest in one particular area of science (e.g. astrophysics) to the exclusion of other topics.
  • Show good powers of concentration.
  • Use a more extensive scientific vocabulary than their peers when explaining things and events.
  • Link school science concepts to knowledge and understanding developed outside of school.
  • Superior powers of reasoning.
  • Ability to transfer knowledge and skills across subjects.
  • Ability to categorise knowledge and make independent links between new material and prior learning.
  • Ability to transfer ways of working and apply skills across topics and subjects.


Opportunities for the most able Students

  • Trips to attend workshops at Pembroke Cambridge University and The Big Bang Fair at NEC Birmingham.
  • STEM trips to University of Bedfordshire and Vauxhall Women in Engineering event.
  • Most able students in year 10 mentor year 7 and 8 most able students and lead Science club.
  • Access to activities from Teen Tech- they run lively initiatives with a supporting Award scheme to inspire the innovators of the future.
  • Access to British Biology Olympiad completions.
  • Access to Sixth form college STEM facilities.


What parents can do to help their MA child

  • Read with them, even if they are good readers.
  • Able children enjoy learning new words – have a new word of the week/day at home in either English or the home language.
  • Extend their general knowledge with a science fact of the week/day.
  • Puzzles, crosswords, word games, card games, ball help to develop the logical thinking skills so important to science.
  • Use of regular mature adult language.  Talking with, and listening to a child is one of the most important factors in the development of language. Language develops the learning pathways of the brain while modelling good listening promote the same in your children. 
  • Give children a broad range of educational experiences outside the home including museums, Zoos and other settings .
  • Encourage children to ask questions and answer them as fully and honestly as possible but admit it when you do not have a full answer.
  • Children need to be allowed ‘failures’ and mistakes – they are a necessary part of growing up and learning. Indeed, parents should never be afraid to say they do not understand something or that they made a mistake – it can be reassuring for the most able! 
  • Able children can be self-absorbed and need to be encouraged by parents to appreciate and listen to the views of others and learn to interact with others.


Reading list

  • Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women Paperback – March 11, 2002 by Catherine Thimmesh
  • Horrible Science series by Nick Arnold and Tony De Saulles
  • The Where, the Why, and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science by Matt Lamothe, Julia Rothman, Jenny Volvovski.
  • The Way Things Work Now by David Macaulay
  • Mammoth Science: The Big Ideas That Explain Our World by Dorling Kindersly  
  • Stephen Biesty's Incredible Cross-Sections by Stephen Biesty and Richard Platt

Links with external organisations

  • Royal Society of Biology
  • Luton Sixth form College
  • Pembroke College – University of Cambridge
  • University of Bedfordshire