Higher Ability Students

What type of school is Wye School?

Wye School was set up by the proposers as a comprehensive, not a high school. This means we cater for students across the ability range. Our GCSE results from 2018 and A level results from 2020 have shown us to be the highest attaining non-selective school locally and evidence that our students make as good progress (officially 'above average' in government league tables) as the students at local grammar schools. We can therefore verify our claim to be as academically challenging as selective schools for high ability students. 

Why would anyone not choose a selective school?

In this area, a selective school may seem to be the more obvious choice. It is however worth considering an alternative for many reasons.

Some parents:

  • are ideologically opposed to selection

  • want a mixed sex environment

  • do not want the stress of a summer cramming for tests

  • want to avoid notions of success / failure for young children

  • want a different, often less formal, atmosphere

  • believe their child would benefit from being at the top of the ability for one school, rather than lower down in another

  • noted that our GCSE results show our high ability students at Wye made as good progress as students at the local grammar schools

Wye School is good at getting students good grades in exams but is not an exam factory and as a smaller than average secondary school is able to get to know each student well and provide individualised support.

The Classroom Matters – Learning at Wye School

For all core subjects – English, Mathematics and Science, we group students by ability. These sets are predominantly based on their Key Stage 2 SATS scores and other baseline tests that students take at the start of Year 7. Setting is continually monitored to ensure that all students are stretched and challenged in each of their subjects. Within classrooms, teachers plan and cater for high ability students, encouraging students to demonstrate higher level thinking and offer tasks to extend the learning of all students.

Beyond the Classroom – Opportunities for the Most Able

Our co-curriculum and Enrichment Week activity programmes allow children to choose from a wide range of activities. These are highly diverse and allow students to pursue their own interests. 

Our Student Voice group gives students a chance to devise and realise ideas which would normally be the reserve of teachers.  Our students have contributed to our transition events, our behaviour and reward systems, our library, their social areas and helped organise numerous events.

Our Future Curriculum

With our ability profile, as noted above, virtually all of our learners will follow a traditional curriculum of GCSEs and many go on to A levels, with many going on to universities, including the Russell Group and 1994 Group.

Parent View

This is the parent of an exceptionally able child who chose to transfer to us from a selective school.

"Our son started at Wye school at the end of October 2013, at the end of the first school term, and the decision for him to move to Wye School was one of the most difficult, but one of the best we have made as his parents.

All of the staff at the school are happy, supportive, inspirational and able to extend learning for our son when needed, and he is therefore suitably challenged academically, and this has meant that he is continually motivated to do his best and has made excellent academic progress in his first year at secondary school. Our son has always found the teaching interesting, motivating and challenging.

During his time at Wye school, he has had opportunity to take part in some amazing events such as the first UK WE day and the Salter's festival at the University of Kent. These experiences have really enriched and enhanced his learning both academically and socially. As we have said, the learning environment at Wye is very motivating and challenging, but it is also exciting, inspiring, nurturing and supportive.

Most importantly, our son is extremely happy and confident at Wye school, and feels able to be himself.  Thank you for providing such a great school with dynamic and exciting learning opportunities for our son."