At Varndean School we are committed to ensuring that all students fulfil their potential. We are proud to offer a broad and balanced curriculum that stretches and challenges young people. We are proud to offer a range of extra-curricular clubs that provide students with opportunities to explore, create and probe different areas of education. In turn, developing passionate, enthusiastic learners which helps students at Varndean school to excel in and beyond the curriculum.
The Brilliant Club
As well as the many internal extra-curricular activities on offer at Varndean School, we are partnered with ‘The Brilliant Club’ which is an external award winning non-profit organisation that exists to widen access to top universities for outstanding students. The Brilliant Club runs in Years 8, 9 and 10 for Able and Talented students focusing on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
Developing passionate, enthusiastic learners.
Extended Project Qualification
In addition to the Brilliant Club we offer the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) for Year 11 students who are excelling academically. The EPQ is a level 3 qualification that offers students the opportunity to produce a dissertation style project in an area of their choice; this qualification is recognised by colleges and universities and allows Able and Talented students to go above and beyond the normal school curriuclum to develop skills that will support them through college, university and life.
At Varndean School we provide a curriculum that allows the talents and skills of students to be nourished. With this in mind Year 7 have a new exciting curriculum called 'Specialist Schools.' Specialist Schools is a time for students to opt into a specialist curriculum of their choice once a week. There are four specialist schools; School of Leadership, School of Discovery, School of Creativity and School of Expression. This is a unique opportunity for students at Varndean School which allows them the freedom and resources to enhance their giftedness.
Varndean School Receives NACE Challenge Award
In July 2014 we were thrilled to announce we achieved the NACE Challenge Award (National Association for Able Children in Education), making the school a centre of excellence for Able, Gifted and Talented Students. Varndean School is the only secondary school in Brighton & Hove to have achieved this award and one of only 1% of schools nationally. The award is given for high quality work by the whole school, teachers and Governors, in challenging all pupils, including those with high abilities, to achieve their best.
All pupils are challenged to be the best they can be.
NACE Chief Executive Rowena Gaston said: “Varndean School has worked hard to win the NACE Challenge Award status. It has shown itself to be committed to developing a school where all pupils are challenged to be the best they can be. The more able and talented children are challenged and this helps the other learners to see what can be achieved.”
NACE is a leading national education organisation and registered charity established for over 30 years. The Association exists to help the daily work of teachers providing for pupils with high abilities whilst enabling all pupils to flourish. It provides advice, training and resources for teachers, including The NACE Challenge Award Self-Evaluation Framework which Varndean School has used to audit and plan what it provides for more able, gifted and talented pupils. Many thousands of primary and secondary schools are using The NACE Challenge Award Framework to develop their work.
During their visit NACE’s assessors noted our ‘culture of celebrating all the diverse gifts and there are lots of opportunities for students. There are also opportunities to take on leadership roles with student voice and the arts department where students run events.'
Not just academic but learning to take control of things.’
The quality of the school’s work was judged by observing lessons, interviewing the pupils, teachers, parents and Governors and by looking at the pupils’ work. The Award is given when schools demonstrate that they meet the criteria of the Award and will remain committed to continuing to ensure high-quality provision for more able, gifted and talented pupils.