Higher Prior Attaining Students

Mrs Claire Wells has oversight of our higher prior attaining students.


At The Henry Box School we believe in the importance of providing challenging and stimulating learning experiences for all students. For our Higher Prior Attaining students this is achieved in several ways, as detailed below:


Academic monitoring

We identify our higher prior attaining students based on their Key Stage 2 SATs results, reading ages and our own teacher assessments which are reviewed twice a year. All students have a mentoring session with their tutor, through our vertical tutoring programme, once every five weeks. Tutors discuss progress and identify targets in these sessions. In years 7-9 tutors also meet individually once a year with parents and students for a 20-minute meeting where they discuss progress in more detail and have a chance to look at their child’s work.


Academic enrichment

There are a range of trips, clubs and programmes available to our higher prior attaining students:


The Scholars Programme: In year 9 the students with the highest reading scores are invited to apply for a place on The Scholars Programme. This is run by The Brilliant Club, an award-winning charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from state schools progressing to highly-selective universities. Through ‘The Scholars Programme’ we provide students with the intellectual and physical experience of University life. Students take part in a University-style module, run by a PhD researcher, focusing on their area of expertise. We have had a range of topics from Modern Art to philosophy. In school tutorials are supported by two trips to our highly selective universities. This year students visited Keble College, Oxford and The London School of Economics. They then complete a challenging 1,500-word final assignment as a culmination of their work on the programme, pitched at GCSE level and beyond.


UKMT Maths Challenge: Previously high attaining students are regularly entered for the UKMT Maths Challenge. This is a national mathematics competition organised by The University of Leeds. We enter students into the individual challenges, as well as entering students for the Maths Team challenge events at a regional level. Many students achieve Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates in the individual challenges, and a few go on to participate in the more advance stages of the competition. Lesson time is dedicated to helping students prepare, through modelling and discussing strategies, whilst looking at an array of problems. Students are also invited to further preparation sessions if they are entered for subsequent rounds.


Shakespeare Festival 'Bard @ the Box': Drama Club runs for students in years 7,8 and 9.  Every other year students can perform in Henry Box School's very own Shakespeare Festival 'Bard @ the Box'.


School musical: This is put on biannually by our Drama and Music departments with students performing on stage, playing in the orchestra and working backstage or as a technician.


Religion, Philosophy and Ethics Group: A discussion group, where students discuss key religious, philosophical and ethical issues facing our world today,


Oxfam Ambassador group: Students find out about the work of Oxfam, campaign and raise money for Oxfam.


Science Clubs: Eco club and Science Club provide leadership and enrichment opportunities for students. The Science Faculty also sends a team of Y10-13 students to the UK Space Design Competition in the Autumn term.

The Science Faulty also invite speakers into School. Recent examples include the history and future of Mars exploration and the Cochrane Foundation, which teaches critical thinking through examples from evidence-based medicine.


Digital Media, Journalism and Marketing group: Students are taught about digital media and are encouraged to have ownership of our social media platforms, newsletters and updates. We send student reporters to key school events or follow up events through an interview.


Oxplore: Oxplore is an innovative digital outreach portal from Oxford University. As the ‘Home of Big Questions’ it aims to engage those from 11 to 18 years with debates and ideas that go beyond what is covered in the classroom. Big questions tackle complex ideas across a wide range of subjects and draw on the latest research undertaken at Oxford. Oxplore aims to realise aspirations, promote broader thinking and stimulate intellectual curiosity. Students at The Henry Box School are encouraged to discuss these questions in their tutor groups.


University links

Year 7: In year 7 all students will attend a university visit, coordinated by Mr Carl Tysom, our School Leader: Sixth Form.


Year 10: All year 10 students are invited to a talk held in school by Dan Powell, a former Geography teacher at The Henry Box School. Dan is now Head of Outreach at New College, Oxford and talks to students about the skills and qualities that Russell Group Universities are looking for.


Trinity College, Oxford: We have close links with Trinity College, Oxford and arrange a variety of activities with them. This summer Hannah Rolley, Head of Access at Trinity College, spent a day with students looking at Critical Thinking Skills.


Sixth Form

We have high aspirations for all our Sixth Form students and support our Higher Prior Attaining students in applying to Russell Group Universities. This support includes the Extended Project Qualification which allows our students to embark on a largely self-directed and self-motivated project. Students must choose a topic, plan, research and develop their idea and decide on their finished product.

We encourage creativity and curiosity. A project topic may be directly related to a student's main study programme but should look beyond the specification. A finished product may take the form of a:

  • research based written report
  • production* (e.g. charity event, fashion show or sports event etc)
  • an artefact* (e.g. piece of art, a computer game or realised design).

*A written report must accompany these options.

Students must also record their project process in their Production Log. The process of recording and completing a project is as important as the finished product. Both the Production Log and Product will be assessed. The EPQ is equivalent to half an A level and is co-ordinated by Ms Rebecca Quigley and Mr Carl Tysom.



In addition, we offer the following opportunities in the Sixth Form:

  • Individual help with UNIQ Summer School applications
  • Visits to Oxbridge link colleges
  • Preparation for Oxbridge Entrance exams and mock interviews.
  • Regular academic mentoring from tutors