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gifted&talented p r og r am m e We are keen to ensure that all of our students achieve to the best of their ability. This applies equally to those students who are amongst the most able. To allow these students to achieve their potential, Carmel offers a structured programme of teaching, activities, events and support. This will give students the best possible preparation for the application processes for Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine degrees. Competition for places on these courses is very strong and evidence of academic excellence is vital. However, the most successful students also need to be well prepared for the application and interview processes.


meet the students THOMAS LAMONT St Gregory’s

Studying: Chemistry, Geography, Maths, Physics, Critical Thinking The Gifted and Talented Programme has provided me with opportunities and a wealth of knowledge and tips to help me with my UCAS application. It also organised university visits and helped with my preparations for university interviews. Carmel’s staff are all really friendly and supportive and extra help is always given whenever you need it by teachers who are excellent at their subjects. Studying at Carmel also provides opportunities to go on trips and do different activities which improve personal development. When I leave I hope to go to Oxford University to study Earth Science.

Critical Thinking is different from all other subjects at AS/Advanced GCE. It doesn't involve learning any facts, but as the title suggests, it is about learning how to think and reason, as well as how to write in a coherent and logical way. These skills are becoming increasingly important in university application tests and augment a student's reasoning ability across subjects. It will show that such candidates have attained a national standard in skills that will be prized by universities and employers alike. Students will also extend their ability to develop arguments and apply reasoning and logic in a range of situations. Activities where these skills will be applied will include debates, presentations and workshops. This part of the Critical Thinking course will develop students’ confidence and their ability to deal with the demands of interviews for the type of courses they are likely to be applying for. Critical Thinking skills form an integral part of the newly introduced BMAT and LNAT aptitude tests, and the TSA aptitude test used by most of the Cambridge colleges.

Guidance and preparation for aptitude and admission tests A number of HE courses now require applicants to sit aptitude tests as part of the application process. This can be a daunting prospect, if you are not prepared. High Achievers will be given help to prepare in the event that this becomes a likely part of their application.

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THE PROGRAMME? • Typically, those students who wish to study at Oxford or Cambridge, or who want to study Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine. These university courses are particularly demanding and successful applicants will be amongst the strongest academic all-rounders.

meet the students SAM VIVERS St Aelred’s

Studying: Chemistry, Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Critical Thinking The Gifted and Talented Programme offers opportunities to extend your knowledge and challenge yourself. As part of the programme I went on a trip to Oxford and Cambridge Universities to their Open Days which has confirmed my desire to go to Cambridge. The tutors are friendly and supportive and the great teaching makes it easier to get the grades you need. There is a good atmosphere in college and lots of opportunities such as the Ski Trip I went on which was great fun and I made lots of new friends. I hope to go to Cambridge when I leave to study Maths and Physics.

• Students who have achieved a high number of Grade A or A* subjects at GCSE level. • Your school may have identified you as a high achieving ‘allrounder’, for example, you may have been part of a ‘Gifted and Talented’ group. • The programme also provides a framework of structured support for talented students in specialist areas such as Art, Music, P.E. and Performance and works closely with the relevant specialist H.E. institutions for those disciplines.

WHEN WILL THE PROGRAMME TAKE PLACE? Obviously, your AS Level subjects will take up most of your timetabled week. Some parts of the programme will be timetabled; others will take place in the Enrichment session at various times throughout the year. Occasionally events will be organised to fit in with external organisations and will have to be scheduled accordingly. This may mean that you occasionally have to miss a lesson or attend events outside of the timetabled day. Advanced notice will be given when this is likely to happen.

Interview Skills Workshops As you approach the time for applications and interviews, you will be given the opportunity to test out and refine your skills through practice interviews. A number of workshops will take place to develop the appropriate skills. Feedback will also be given to allow you to improve your performance in time for the real thing.

WHAT ACTIVITIES WILL BE OFFERED WITHIN THE PROGRAMME? CORE ASPECTS Oxbridge and H.E. Early Applicants Support Oxbridge (i.e. Oxford and Cambridge Universities) have an application process that is different to other universities. They both have an earlier deadline for applications (mid-October of your second year) and earlier interviews for places (December of your second year). Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science degrees also have an early application deadline. This means that potential applicants must be very well prepared and must have researched their chosen courses and universities/colleges at a relatively early stage in their time at Carmel. Carmel will provide the necessary support and will organise visits to allow students to make the right decisions as early as possible. For example, a residential visit to both the Oxford and Cambridge Open Days takes place in June of your first year. This follows on from the North West Regional Oxbridge Conference that takes place in March of your first year. On your return to Carmel after the summer holiday, you will begin work on your Personal Statement, which forms a vital part of any successful application. Again, dedicated and structured support will be on hand.

Support and advice for High Achievers The Gifted & Talented Co-ordinator is the central point of contact for any matter relating to the Programme. Carmel has a number of dedicated careers tutors who are able to give specialist advice regarding HE courses.

meet the students KATHRYN SUMNER St Aelred’s

Studying: Business Studies, Media, P.E., Photography The Gifted & Talented programme supports students who are talented in a sport. I like the fact that we are informed about the local and national opportunities for development in our sport and we can negotiate time off to compete in our respective fields, mine is Hammer throwing. Carmel is a really successful college which pushes you to want to do well and the teachers go the extra mile to meet your needs. When I leave Carmel I want to do a sports course at Edge Hill University or go to America to do a scholarship.

meet the students Carmel students at the Oxford Open Day at Mansfield College

FREE MEMBERSHIP OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF GIFTED AND TALENTED YOUTH (NAGTY) NAGTY provide an online support network for the most able students in the UK, and organise events and activities for their members. Entrance is subject to certain criteria, but provided you satisfy these, we are more than happy to nominate you for admission.

BOBBIE GOULDING Fairfield High School Studying: Biology, P.E., Psychology, Spanish

Carmel is a great place to study. The tutors are really helpful and offer lots of support and advice. Outside of college I play Rugby League for Warrington Wolves U18s and England Academy and I am looking forward to representing England against France in June. When I leave Carmel I hope to pursue a career in Rugby League.

SUBJECT RELATED AND COLLEGE-WIDE ASPECTS Enrichment and Extension Activities There are numerous opportunities across college for students to enrich and extend their knowledge and understanding of their subjects. These have included:

National Schools Analyst Competition

• Debating/Speech Making • UK Maths Challenge • Merseyside Young Analyst Competition • English Master Classes • A range of trips and visits • Talks by visiting speakers • Dedicated Gifted and Talented intranet site You will be kept up to date regarding developments through the college’s daily bulletin. However, if you have any specific questions or requests, please contact the Gifted & Talented Co-ordinator at Carmel.

Critical Thinking Masterclass

UK Maths Challenge

Contact us

Carmel College, Prescot Road, St Helens, WA10 3AG Tel: 01744 452214 Fax: 01744 452222 Email: Web:

Interview skills workshop

Carmel College Gifted & Talented Course Information