We have four specialisms at Blatchington Mill: Gifted and Talented, Performing Arts, Maths and Computing and Applied Learning. Further information on these specialisms is given below:
Able, Gifted and Talented
At Blatchington Mill School we endeavour to provide every student with the support and opportunities needed to enable them to reach their targets and to fulfil their potential.
At Blatchington Mill we have many excellent students who are achieving at a high level across all the different curriculum areas. We have a rigorous process of firstly recognising these students using a variety of subject specific techniques from lesson observations to test results. We then group these students into one or more of three categories; Able, Gifted or Talented.
Students in one of these three groups will be pushed, challenged and provided for through extra-curricular enrichment offered by each curriculum area, special trips and visits, focus groups for projects and discussions, drop in sessions and progress management organised by the AGT Progress Manager. Every teacher is aware of who is AGT in their classes and will differentiate to support and challenge these students in lessons.
At Blatchington Mill we aim to make sure AGT students achieve A*-A Grades at GCSE. Where data suggests that this is not happening we put in appropriate support and measures to ensure success.
Our Able, Gifted or Talented Progress Manager is Noah Rutter.
Blatchington Mill has an unrivalled commitment to Performing Arts and our command in this field is well recognised having been awarded Performing Arts Specialist College Status. We have recently been awarded the Artsmark Gold status for the fourth time (in May 2012). Our Arts provision means that the quality of our regular performances is outstandingly high in addition to the excellent standards we achieve in our curriculum and exam results. Our annual performance programme includes two full-scale musicals as well as Music, Drama and Dance performances in the Windmill Theatre. We also perform at the O2 in London, The Brighton Dome, Concorde 2, Chichester Festival Theatre. In the summer of 2013 we performed in Paris and at one of the largest stages in Disneyland and also held a large-scale concert ‘Voices’ at Brighton Dome which included 350 performers from Blatchington Mill and three feeder primary schools celebrating singing in its many forms.
Our music studio and Windmill Theatre – equipped with the latest recording, sound and lighting technology – offer an excellent learning environment, not only for our performers but also for our increasingly popular Stage Management course at Blatch 6 which has led to a number of students studying Stage Management at RADA and other prestigious Universities and Colleges. Other highlights of our annual performance programme are the Blatch 6 student union run events - 'Strictly Come Dancing' and 'Strictly Duets' which sees students teaming up with members of staff to perform for charity.
We aim to develop leadership skills in our students through the Performing Arts and in recent years, students have taken on the role of Conductor, Musical Director, Choreographer, Band Leader and Assistant Director. We have also developed an Arts Leader programme which gives students the opportunity to take on a leadership role working alongside the Head of Year and Director of Performing Arts, influencing the Performing Arts provision; feeding back on curriculum issues; acting as 'student voice' for their year groups and running performance events such as the popular 'Stars in Their Eyes' show and 'Blatch Has Got Talent'.
Our extra-curricular programme aims to be both outstanding and inclusive and many of the groups are open to all abilities. The Arts Leaders coordinate the termly 'Performance Assemblies' in which all students are invited to perform at least once throughout the year, either as part of their class performance or as soloists /smaller ensembles. Community groups play an important part in our extra-curricular programme and Windmill Young Actors, New Rock Generation and Big Mouth adult choir offer opportunities for our wider community to benefit from the Performing Arts provision at Blatchington Mill.
Our most recent initiative is to invite members of our wider community (parents / family / friends) to share their Arts skills, experiences and contacts with our students and we look forward to seeing this idea develop and positively contribute to our students' curriculum.
Maths and Computing
In addition to providing formal recognition of the high quality of our subject teaching, our second specialism in Maths and Computing has allowed us to furnish our classrooms with interactive whiteboards. Furthermore, we have continued to develop our ICT and Maths based courses, such as Financial Awareness, ICT practitioners course, GCSE Computing. These measures have improved the teaching and learning experiences for our students. With a specialism in Maths, our SATs results in the subject continue to be superb. We liaise closely with other schools in the city, working especially with local primary schools so as to share our expertise. As part of our programme of development in Maths, we use online tools to help our students with their work.
In January 2006 Blatchington Mill was granted a third specialism, in Vocational Studies, one of fewer than 50 schools in the entire country to gain such an award. Vocational Studies covers a broad range of subjects and we are already working with local professionals to provide our students with high quality hands-on learning. Our approach at Blatchington Mill is designed to provide a flexible and personalised programme that best meets the individual requirements of our students. The aim is to respond to their needs and to provide courses they really want to study that will help them when they enter the job market.
We provide a number of vocational ‘lines’ including Art and Design, Creative and Media, Health and Social Care, ICT, Construction, and Hospitality and Catering. We are a leading school in this rapidly growing area, which will become increasingly important for all schools over the next few years.
Please also see our Awards page for more information on the areas in which Blatchington Mill School excels.