Bright pupils ‘far from bored’

YORK’S brightest youngsters are far from “bored and disaffected”, according to a head teacher who has praised the city’s state and private school partnership.

Bootham School head teacher Jonathan Taylor was responding to a report by Janey Walker, from Warwick University, who said that bright children in state schools are being left “bored and disaffected” and teachers found it difficult to “fulfil the needs’ of the brightest young people.

Set up in 2007, the York ISSP (Independent State School Partnership) Project involves ten schools, five local-authority-maintained, two academies and three independent which now jointly fund the scheme after national funding was withdrawn.

From an original focus on science, the York ISSP broadened its scope to include opportunities for able pupils to study Russian and Latin to GCSE level and Thinking Skills to AS level. In fact the range of possible opportunities now includes such diverse topics as astronomy and robotics.

The Project even developed an international dimension when 24 students from ten state and independent schools visited Berlin to study issues around the fall of the Wall, funded by the Imperial War Museum.

Mr Taylor said: “Five years on and the project is starting to reveal some remarkable results. As part of the project, my own school pioneered a course in GCSE Latin for state school students from across the city, for whom Latin is not otherwise available. On finishing the course at the end of Year 10, the students took GCSE and achieved high grades – and, more importantly, a sense of achievement.”

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