Excellence East

Welcome to the Excellence East Website, a resource for teachers, parents and carers of more able learners. Our website offers a range of exciting courses, activity days, online resources, links to other websites and plenty of interesting case study materials from schools across the region.


March 2014: Excellence East Conference 2014 with Professor Barry Hymer - click for resources

December 2013 : Local G&T Networks : a model for school to school support and development

OfSTED Report June 2013 - The most able students: are they doing as well as they should in our non-selective secondary schools?

Excellence East Seminar Programme 2013-14

August 2013 : The British Pharmacological Society offers teachers' Outreach grants

About Us

Excellence East are a national charity supporting learners predominantly in East Anglia: delivering support to able, gifted and talented young people and those involved in their education.

We pride ourselves on the quality of events, resources and guidance we offer. We have a large number of significant partners including each of the local authorities across the region and a number of universities and HEI's.

We hope that you find the website useful, informative and helpful.

The Excellence East Charter

Excellence East comprises a diverse and unique group of local, regional and national educational professionals. We believe that high quality provision for able, gifted and talented pupils raises aspirations, motivation and attainment and inspires in them a passion for lifelong learning. We aim to work together, sharing and employing our expertise and experience, to change practice and improve provision for pupils across the Eastern Region.

Our key principles are:

  1. To develop high quality classroom learning for all pupils through the provision of relevant, innovative and effective Continuous Professional Development opportunities for teachers.
  2. To offer extension and enrichment opportunities for pupils across the region to demonstrate and develop their abilities, gifts and talents.
  3. To place an emphasis on the needs of pupils through Student Voice to enable young people to be proactively involved in their own learning.
  4. To recognise that one of our priorities is inclusive provision for vulnerable and underachieving able, gifted and talented young people.
  5. To engage and work closely with parents and carers to support the education of able, gifted and talented pupils in the region.
  6. To aspire to excellence in all that we do with pupils, education professionals and parents/ carers, through clear communication systems, including website, newsletters, conferences and regular attendance at meetings.

Student Zone

Welcome to the Student Zone of the new Excellence East website.
Excellence East works with young people, parents/carers and the whole family to support the young person who is, or has the potential to be, a high ability learner.

Explore the resources we have added to this zone - websites, puzzles, articles and of course the calendar of events where you can find activities which might interest you.

If you want to find events which you could join in with - click the calendar button.

In the future we hope to have an Excellence East blog - watch this space.

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All round interest

www.khanacademy.org - full of superb free resources to explore
www.bbc.co.uk/learning/ - a good start for a learning journey

www.bl.uk British Library the worlds knowledge
www.talentedyoungpeople.com tips on how to become a top performer in over 40 different areas e.g. becoming a top artist, a top chef, a top club DJ, a top surfer

www.newsademic.com -

Newsademic is a newspaper for young readers and anyone studying English as a foreign language. Its aim is to educate and inform them about current events and international news stories.

www.kids101-art.co.uk a virtual art gallery

Building a website
www.killersites.com information about websites and advice on different types and how to get started

Current Affairs
www.ukyp.org.uk/ UK Youth Parliament
www.number10.gov.uk/ 10 Downing Street

Drama and entertainment
www.rada.org Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
www.creativedrama.com Creative Drama & Theatre Education

English, Literature and Storytelling
www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/tellinglinks.html - one of the webs largest storytelling resources
www.firstnews.co.uk a newspaper written by kids for kids'
www.write4kicks.co.uk an online book forum and writing residential courses
www.thinkquest.org link literacy and ICT and build a website for this international competition

www.globaleye.org.uk hosted by the Royal Geographical Society, covering a wide range of countries, themes, and materials suitable for all ages

www.bbc.co.uk/history - thorough and detailed historical information
www.english-heritage.org.uk resources and places to visit
www.history.ac.uk Institute of Historical Research

www.minimus.com A cross curricular, interactive approach to Latin
www.google.com/language_tools - Googles free translation tool
www.ethnologue.com catalogue of the worlds 6912 known languages

www.figurethis.org intriguing maths challenges
www.coolmath.com - American fun maths site
www.nrich.maths.org.uk Nrich (Mathematics)

www.voicetraining.co.uk voice gym that combines brain gym and singing
www.oddmusic.com/gallery - view and hear strange musical instruments

Problem solving
www.mindtools.com guidance for solving problems

www.worldreligions.co.uk photos from the worlds major religions
www.worldprayers.org prayers from across all religious traditions

Science, technology and inventions
www.bbc.co.uk/sn - BBC science and nature site
www.sciencemuseum.org.uk wide range of information
www.techniquest.org/start/ - vitual exhibits from Cardiffs Techniquest
www.carbonfootprint.com help save the planet

www.olympic.org/uk/index_uk.asp - Olympic Games website
www.news.bbc.co.uk/sport BBC sports website

Excellence East Regional Partnership cannot verify the quality, reliability, accuracy, completeness or usefulness of information provided from external providers. This information is made available to you without any endorsement or approval. Should any contact be made with these organisations it is your responsibility to ensure that the necessary risk assessments and CRB checks are complied with. The Regional Partnership cannot accept any liability for the performance or status of any organisation whose details have been distributed through its offices unless specifically qualified.

Parent/Carer Zone

Welcome to the parent/carer zone of the new website for Excellence East.
Excellence East works with young people, parents/carers and the whole family to support the young person who is, or has the potential to be, a high ability learner.

We hope this website helps you with the support you need. Here you will find articles, resources, links to other supportive websites and a wealth of support material for you and your son/daughter.

We also offer an 'Ask an expert' service - if you have a question, concern or would just like to find out more about high ability, email us and we will get back to you.

Teacher Zone

Welcome to Teacher Zone of the new Excellence East website.
Excellence East works with young people, parents/carers, the whole family and schools to support the young person who is, or has the potential to be, a high ability learner.

Here you will find a wealth of resources which will support your provision for the high ability young people in your school.

Explore the weblinks, articles, resources and calendar of events. Excellence East run regular CPD sessions for teachers and these will be advertised on the calendar.

If you wish to share any of your own practise then please send your contributions to your Local Authority Adviser who will upload it to this website. This will then be accessible to all teachers across our region.

Governors Zone

Welcome to the Governors Zone of the Excellence East website.
Here you will find current guidance, articles and resources for governors with responsibility for AGT in their schools.

We welcome any new material - if you wish to share some of your practise with others please contact your Local Authority AGT Adviser, they will gladly place your ideas on this website for others to explore and use.




International Zone

Welcome to the International Zone of the new Excellence East website.
Explore the various websites listed below to keep up to date with international developments in the AGT world.

Starting Strong: what should children learn?

In Norway, where I’m from, we believe children have the right to progress at their own speed, and enjoy a childhood of pleasure and freedom. The fundamental idea, shared by several Nordic countries, is that childhood is the time to have fun, as opposed to being in school (or anything resembling school for that matter). Admittedly, this sounds very nice, if not a bit idealistic.

While it is important for children to be just children, the early years are also especially formative and important for children to develop skills and competencies . The importance and value of good quality care and education for children is becoming increasingly clear, and have shown to impact things as diverse as creativity and life-time earnings.

As the early years represent a crucial chance to shape and impact children and their future development, the key question is which traits and abilities do we want children to acquire and harness?

The curricula that shape and guide early childhood programmes have traditionally been divided between those seen to focus on “academic” learning in specific subject areas, and those seeking a “comprehensive” approach more focused on children’s social development. The Nordic take on child care has tended towards that of the “comprehensive” approach.

The countries that tend to favour an “academic” approach usually see the child as a young person to be formed, the child presenting an investment for society. They try to centre curricula on what is considered “useful” learning. However, what actually is “useful” for children to learn should be given some thought.

The “soft” skills favoured in a “comprehensive” approach such as self-confidence, creativity, independence and initiative are useful beyond giving children a happy childhood. Indeed, these personality traits are important for making children capable life-long learners. Initial knowledge of geography is likely not as important as confidence and willingness to learn for later academic success. For example self-control and attentional control are found to be a stronger predictor for school readiness than IQ and entry level reading or math. Moreover, these traits are proving increasingly important for later labour market success.

Soft skills that can be fostered in the early years are not just useful, they are also important from an equity perspective. They can play a key role in evening out the gap between children who are less likely to develop confidence and emotional control in their home setting. A US study showed that children from professional families experience around six positive verbal interactions (affirmations or encouragements) for each negative one (prohibitions, being told off, etc.). In contrast children in families on welfare experience two negative interactions for each positive one. Furthermore, as the Economist put it in a recent article: “the qualities that employers in the service sector want are those the middle classes acquire at home: articulacy, confidence and smartness”.

Confidence and emotional control do not develop automatically, but can be facilitated by skilled professionals by focusing on children’s perspectives and through active use of play . What goes into the curricula that guide what children learn and do in a care or education setting is of great importance. The new OECD publication “Starting Strong III: A Quality Toolbox for Early Childhood Education and Care” states clearly that curriculum matters and lessons from the Nordic, and other, countries suggest that focusing on the “child” and effectively using play as a learning strategy can benefit children's development.

Starting Strong III will be launched in Oslo on January 24th. Having invested hugely in child care, revamped their curriculum and reformed their kindergarten staff education, the Norwegian minister of Education, Kristin Halvorsen, is hosting an OECD Roundtable on Early Childhood Education and Care. Ministers, policy-makers and stakeholders from across the world are coming together to address the challenges in achieving high-quality child care and education.