Uncovering Talents

Elmhurst School for Boys

15th November 2018 | Heads Blog

Ethan C, a former Elmhurst pupil who left Year 6 at the end of last academic year, has been selected as one of 12 finalists in this year’s English Speaking Board Young Speaker of the Year competition. As a consequence, he will be attending the Young Speaker of the Year Showcase this weekend at Liverpool’s Crowne Plaza Hotel on the city’s iconic waterfront. Ethan has undoubted talent in this area, as he demonstrated when playing the Pied Piper in his Year 4 end of year production a few years ago. However, the opportunity to nurture his talent to the point where he has been recognised as one of the finalists in this national competition was afforded him by working towards the English Speaking Board qualification, which is an aspect of the carefully planned and ever-evolving curriculum and post-examination programme for Year 6 pupils at Elmhurst.

The INSPIRE Maths curriculum introduced at Elmhurst two years ago has seen Progress Tests in Maths data demonstrate a huge uplift in the performance of pupils. It has also enabled us to perform extremely well in Maths Challenge and Maths Quiz competitions and we again sealed victory in the regional Cambridge University Enrich Project Maths Challenge competition, only last week. The boys are demonstrating high levels of confidence and ability when thinking critically and creatively to solve problems. They work collaboratively in teams and communicate effectively together to achieve the results that are supporting Elmhurst’s successes in these local and national competitions.

The outstanding performance of Lucian J on violin in our recent Year 3 assembly was directed and accompanied by Miss Lauren on piano. The development of the orchestra and the choirs leading to the wonderful performance in the Bellevue London South Music concert and opportunities such as the upcoming Christmas Carol concerts at the Whitgift Centre and St. Peter’s Church are also reflective of Elmhurst’s commitment to uncovering and nurturing the many talents of our pupils.

It is not a coincidence that in curriculum areas such as English, Maths, Music and others such as Physical Education and Computer Science, where the boys are enjoying opportunities to explore their talents and are expressing themselves within the wider community, Elmhurst offers specialist teaching. There is much research in support of non-specialist teachers at Primary School with the most compelling argument being that young children benefit from a key point of contact at school who comes to know each child very well. However, from my own experience, I am a firm believer in the fact that children are adaptable and an approach to learning which provides a combination of non-specialist ‘Form Tutors’ as a key point of contact, as well as specialist teachers for the foundation subjects as well as the core subjects in upper Key Stage 2, provides the perfect opportunity for each and every boy to explore, discover and nurture their talents.

- AJ Padfield

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