Advanced Performance

The Advanced Performance Team, led by Director of Studies Simon Grocott, seeks to advise staff of how we as a teaching body can identify, monitor and experientially enhance the educational opportunities of able, gifted and talented pupils at  Lincoln Minster School.

The Lincoln Minster School Special Education Needs Policy will give you more information.

Click here to find out more about some of the events and workshops that our students have taken part in.

Business Studies & Economics

How do we cater for AP students within school?

  • Set extended research leading to presentation as a starter for lessons
  • Provide reading lists with extension reading and useful economic and business websites
  • Vary the difficulty of questions / higher order questions particularly for AP pupils / students
  • Investigate complex concepts particularly using AP participation (particularly extending into A2 and the building of a strong foundation of knowledge
  • Ensure more challenging extension tasks are available as class work
  • In group-work use mixed ability groups with AP students to lead
  • Use of exemplar work from AP students, for example in AfL.
  • Some use of ability setting to encourage deeper thinking and use of more complex concepts and evidence.

What we provide outside of curriculum time to encourage Advanced Performance?

  • Subscriptions to journals for A Level Business Studies and Economics
  • Business library with extending reading in order to extend knowledge and provide wider perspective when completing research
  • Guest speakers, for example a visit and talk from Tim Downing, Director of Pygott & Crone
  • Thriving Young Enterprise programme

Computing Technologies

How do we cater for AP students within school?

LMS has recently introduced a GCSE in Computing which has proved a popular option choice for those who have an interest in computers and programming.  The course encourages independent thinking and develops pupils’ problem solving skills.  Due to the nature of programming, there is no “right” answer when producing a program to solve a particular problem.  This leads to varied approaches from pupils and encourages the most able to refine their solutions and to continue to develop beyond the initial brief of a problem.  In many senses a computer program is never “finished” and the most able student will want to continue to develop their solutions, adding additional features and enhancements.

What we provide outside of curriculum time to encourage Advanced Performance?

This summer the AP summer school included a day of robotics where the pupils were challenged to program a “rover” robot to be able to navigate its own way around an alien landscape.  This was a very challenging task for the students and one that they took to with great enthusiasm.

The Computing department is currently running a Game Making club each Friday and during this academic year this club will be extended to include opportunities to program and develop robotics.  There is huge scope here for able students to come up with their own ideas for projects and develop solutions.

Other possibilities to extend and foster a child’s interest in Computing.


There are many free resources on the Web for any person interested in learning more about programming.  At GCSE Computing we use Python as our main programming language so two resources I would recommend are:- is particularly useful to practice Python as there is an on-line Python environment which means that no software has to be installed on your home computer.

Raspberry Pi

In our Computing lessons we use the Raspberry Pi as a platform for our Python programming.  We also use them as the “brain” for our robots.  Again, there are a wealth of resources on the Web to support the use of the Pi for programming and robotics.  A very good source for purchasing a Pi starter kit is the CPC website:  Their prices are very competitive and they offer free delivery on all orders placed on line (LMS is in no way affiliated with CPC).


How do we cater for AP students within school?

At Lincoln Minster we are proud of the inclusivity of Drama. All students, regardless of ability, should be able to enjoy Drama lessons and gain skills and confidence which are transferable. However, we are always aware of the needs of those students who are identified as having a particular ability in Drama, whether it is as a performer, designer or technician. Such ability transcends academic achievement; we currently have students on the Advanced Performance register ranging from those who may have Learning Support elsewhere ,to those who excel across the board. We are aware that talent might present itself in Year Seven, but it is also often present in more reserved students, who need time to gain confidence before a particular flair or aptitude becomes apparent. The success of this ethos is apparent in our exam work and in our Productions, where the standard is extremely high and a result of the work which begins when a child enters the Senior School.

What we provide outside of curriculum time to encourage Advanced Performance?

Year 7 / 8: Drama clubs leading to Performance in the Trinity Term

Year 10: GCSE Drama project – Shakespeare Schools Festival. Year 10 GCSE production in Trinity Term.

Year 10 /11 Workshops arranged to foster interest in lighting/sound/set design.

Year 12 /13 – Senior Production. This is primarily for Senior students, but we often give AP pupils from lower years the opportunity to take a small role.

Years 10-11 Dance Club

Year 11 Technical Theatre Enrichment Activity.

Drama Summer School Years 6 -11. This takes place in the first week of the Summer Holidays. Forty Places are available and the pupils put on a Play In A Week, which is written especially for them by the Head of Drama.

Other possibilities to extend and foster a child’s interest in Drama

Year 9: Whole Year group project in conjunction with Music, leading to presentation.

Drama Scholarships for Year 11 and/ or Sixth form entry may be offered at the recommendation of the Head of Drama and at the discretion of the Principal.

Theatre trips at evenings and weekends are offered to pupils from Years 10 – 13

We have excellent links with Lincoln Drill Hall and are able to offer professional support for those interested in technical aspects of Drama. 


How do we cater for AP students within school?

English is taught in tiered sets. We firmly believe that what is good practice for Advanced Performance pupils is good practice for all, so AP students can expect individual feedback on their work and progress, together with detailed targets for further progress. In Key stages four and five, students can expect one-to-one tutorials. The Department prides itself on treating students as individuals and on nourishing talent.

What we provide outside of curriculum time to encourage Advanced Performance?

The Earl Grey Society is a literary society for Sixth Form students (see clubs and societies) which aims to challenge students beyond the exam syllabus and to cultivate individual interests.

Magna Carta is the School’s Debating and teams are entered each year for the English Speaking Union’s School’s Mace Debating competition and the ESU Public Speaking Competition. Periodically we hold external debates with other schools and with the University.

The Pegasus Club is a forum for pupils’ own creative writing offering supportive criticism and encouragement. It is hoped to produce an anthology of students’ poetry during the year.

Other possibilities to extend and foster a child’s interest in English

Poetry and external creative writing competitions

Theatre visits

External lectures

Theatre companies brought into school

Poetry Convention at the Drill Hall

Pupils who produce fine work may be invited to show it to the Principal, have it displayed or published on the website


Geography is followed by all pupils in KS3 and is a very popular subject at key stages 4 and 5, with many of our AP students opting to follow these courses.

With a department of experienced Geography specialists AP students are able to benefit from very high standards of teaching. Teachers within the department all provide differentiated tasks for AP students and extend their knowledge and understanding with extension tasks and leading questions wherever necessary. AP Geography students also receive personal targets which are reviewed on a regular basis.

At KS3 pupils are challenged with longer extended projects and at KS4&5 AP pupils are given regular opportunities for individual case study research to enhance and extend their understanding of the issues being studied. ICT facilities are used wherever possible to aid students in their work.

The department tries to allow students to ‘experience’ Geography and regard fieldwork visits as a crucial part of this. The department tries to offer either a day or residential visit for each year group with locations allowing coverage of both human and physical courses. Urban fieldwork in Hull city Centre, local field work in the Lincoln area, physical fieldwork along the Holderness Coastline and in the Peak District National Park are all offered at KS3 and 4.

The residential fieldwork course in Switzerland at KS5 is an integral part of the AS/A2 studies.

What we provide outside of curriculum time to encourage Advanced Performance?

The department offers weekly optional ‘drop in’ sessions in which geography students are able to further extend their knowledge and understanding, whether this be in general terms or course related. For example, several A2 students have benefitted from tailored support on Geography undergraduate course applications; GCSE students have gained from workshop style revision classes including coaching for achievement of A* grades.
The department stocks a large range of current up-to-date Geographical publications which are available for students to borrow and study. On top of this students are given the opportunity to subscribe to the GCSE and A Level specific publications offered to support and enhance their courses. The department also has good links with external agencies from which AP students benefit from, including the Royal Geographical Society, Geographical Association, Ordnance Survey; the Head of Department works as the Subject Network Leader for the 42 schools within the United Learning group.
Other possibilities to extend and foster a child’s interest in Geography

The department offers a bi-annual residential trip to Iceland to complement the curriculum covered in both GCSE and A level Geography. This is open to pupils in years 10-13. Students are able to witness first-hand the effects of the most recent volcanic eruptions on the planet, see spectacular geysers in action, climb to the top of fierce waterfalls and climb through lava tubes.


How do we cater for AP students within school?

• Set extended research leading to presentation.
• Provide reading lists with extension reading.
• Vary the difficulty of questions / higher order questions particularly for G+T pupils / students.
• Investigate complex concepts particularly using G+T participation.
• Set more challenging extension tasks.
• In group-work use mixed ability groups with G+T students to lead.
• Use of exemplar work from G+T students, for example in AfL.
• Some use of ability setting to encourage deeper thinking and use of more complex concepts and evidence.
• Encouraging the asking of questions and making links between societies and time periods.

What we provide outside of curriculum time to encourage Advanced Performance?

• History library in room 314 and on the VLE with a large range of books, journal articles and scanned chapters, etc. to extend knowledge and deepen understanding.
• Subscriptions to journals for GCSE and A-Level History.
• Guest speakers, for example a visit and talk from the St.Andrews University History Admissions Director.
• Cambridge University visit including the opportunity for students to speak to a Cambridge History graduate.
• Visit to the Palace of Westminster to tour the Houses of Lords and Commons and to participate in a question and answer session with Lincoln’s MP, Mr Karl McCartney.
• Visits to History Conferences to listen to leading academics in our A-Level study areas including Professor William Doyle (French Revolution) and Professor Christopher Read and Dr Chris Ward (Stalin’s USSR).


How do we cater for AP students within school?

• and available for pupils to use at home. Questions become harder depending on pupils answers, they can compare their scores against pupils at across the country.
• ‘Maths club’ Period 5 enrichment
• Year 11 begin AS level Maths
• Further mathematics offered
• Advanced Extension Award

What we provide outside of curriculum time to encourage Advanced Performance?

• UK Maths Challenges, run by UK Mathematics Trust
Individual competition, Challenging questions which demand higher order thinking skills.
Team competition, Extra classes put on to prepare pupils. Team go away for a day to compete against schools from across the region.
• Pupils invited to attend external lectures including at Lincoln University
• STEP preparation for Oxbridge candidates

Modern Foreign Languages

How do we cater for AP students within school?

Students are taught in ability sets from Year 7 in French and Spanish. The more able linguists (usually in set 1) are encouraged to pursue a second language at GCSE. The top set in French and Spanish are stretched from Year 7 through the use of an academically rigorous text book and supplementary teacher resources. The department also subscribes to a variety of websites such as linguascope and espanol-extra for further practice of the language. We endeavour to train students to apply principles from what they have learned to new situations, transforming phrases and using them in a different context and we also challenge lower-school pupils with GCSE exam questions and resources.

What we provide outside of curriculum time to encourage Advanced Performance.

We pride ourselves in encouraging our most able students to take an early GCSE entry with extra support provided on a one to one basis at lunch time and after school.

We offer language and culture trips to both Spain and France where students have the opportunity to see the language in action, attend language lessons in a local school and practice their skills in situ.

We have a native Spanish speaker volunteer who comes twice a week to offer extra support and practice for our A level groups.

In the last years we have also run an European Languages Day where we have been fortunate to have a Member of the European Parliament speak to our Year 9 students about his experience working abroad and the need for languages.

Other possibilities to extend and foster a child’s interest in MFL.

The MFL department would like to extend its AP provision by organising a language-focused weekend camp and the possibility of offering language trips at A level. We are currently working on establishing links with a school in Spain and France to offer the possibility of an exchange programme.


How do we cater for AP students within school?

Key Stage 3: All schemes of work include suggestions for enrichment and extension work for AP pupils. Often this includes further worksheets and tasks to suit the more able, both intellectually and musically. It is at the teacher’s discretion when to use these additional tasks and resources, and with which children.

Express GCSE: In recognition of the fact that many LMS pupils are gifted musicians the department offers an Express GCSE Music to selected Year 9 pupils. Each year between 12 and 15 children take the course and results are generally very high. Pupils are selected by audition at the end of Year 8. The course is run instead of KS3 Music & Drama, in 1 PE/DT session and after school. The Head of Music is responsible for all aspects of running the Express GCSE course.

High-flyers: From Sept 2005 a high-flyers course has been offered to Year 10 and 11 pupils who have already achieved A/* grades at GCSE in Year 9. The course is designed to bridge the gap between GCSE and A Level in preparation for Year 12/13. Pupils are working at a far higher standard than that expected for their chronological age and so may all be considered to be AP in Music. It is also designed to prepare pupils for A-level modes of learning in any discipline.

KS4/5: Those students who are AP are encouraged to complete more complex tasks and aim for the top grade.

What we provide outside of curriculum time to encourage Advanced Performance?

The department offers a wide range of musical activities lead by a range of experts, including choirs, orchestras, bands and chamber ensembles. Activities offer pupils the chance to associate with pupils of other ages and abilities and to interact with staff in a less formal environment. The department also runs a busy concert programme in local venues and further afield and trips are run to London and elsewhere. Venues further afield have included Birmingham Town Hall, Oxford Sheldonian Theatre, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Westminster Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral.

Three ensembles are selected by audition: Chamber Choir, Symphonic Wind Band and the flute and clarinet sections of orchestra. This allows the most gifted musicians to be developed and stretched through the rise in standard. The department provides training ensembles which run alongside these groups to develop those pupils who are not yet ready to join them. The expected grade required in order to audition for Chamber Choir and Symphonic Wind Band is Grade 5 and for Orchestra clarinets and flutes is Grade 7. Pupils do not have to have taken these grades, as not all pupils go through the grades system or in the case of singers, have singing lessons, but it is expected that they would be around this level.

The department offers regular workshops with professional musicians in order to allow AP pupils access to top-class musicians to develop their skills further. Musicians who have worked with AP pupils in previous years are: the international composer and choir trainer Bob Chilcott, the professional singer Sarah Leonard, the renowned countertenor James Laing, the orchestral conductor Nick Fallowfield, the jazz singer Sarah Ellen Hughes, the international concert pianists Hiro Takenouchi and Daniel del Pino and the violinist Thomas Kemp.

The department has also run tours to Paris, the Loire valley, Lake Geneva and Venice in the past.

The department provides students with a huge range of performing opportunities both as part of the school programme but also externally in order to develop those more able students. For example, lunchtime recitals are awarded to those students who are ready for their own concert and pupils are asked to perform as part of cathedral services alongside professional musicians.

We develop our composers through encouraging them to compose for our ensembles and by giving them an opportunity to perform these compositions as part of our annual composition competition. In 2013, one of our students came in the top six of the BBC Radio 3 Young Composer of the Year ‘Inspire’ Competition.

Other possibilities to extend and foster a child’s interest in music.

Cathedral Choir: 20 boys and 20 girls between 8 and 14 sing in Lincoln Cathedral Choir; all are pupils at LMS. The musical education they receive includes a 1-hour rehearsal each weekday morning and rehearsals and Evensong after school on 2 weekday evenings and services at weekends. In terms of their musicianship, self-discipline and vocal expertise they can all be considered to be AP pupils. Many of them have musical expertise in addition to their chorister work and many seniors also appear on the school music department AP register.

In 2013, choral places were also made available to AP sixth-formers, giving them a chance to sing with the cathedral choir once a week. The places have given AP singers lower down the school something to aim for, as well as giving sixth-form students valuable experience for auditioning for choral scholarships both at other cathedrals and at university.

The department also provides support for those AP pupils who wish to audition for Saturday school at one of the Conservatoires. We currently have AP students attending the Junior Departments at The Royal Academy of Music, The Royal College of Music and The Royal Northern College of Music and Drama.

Physical Education

How do we cater for AP students within school?

Nominations for County teams set up (Rugby, Hockey, Netball and Cricket)
Football – nominations through membership to English School FA and targets set through professional clubs the boys are connected too.
Umpiring and Coaching of School teams and coaching of pupils.

What we provide outside of curriculum time to encourage Advanced Performance.

All of the sports covered in Games lesson (Rugby, Football, Cricket, Netball, Hockey, Rounders) have P5 and extracurricular clubs. Fixtures are also run against local schools as well as further a field in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.

Further sports such as squash, tennis, athletics, cross Country, basketball, polo are all participated in during P5 and extracurricular times as well as in competition, regionally and nationally.

Football – Football Clubs Yr 7-13 and Lincoln City Football training for KS3 and KS4
Hockey – Links to outside clubs for Hockey (Hurricane Sport, Lincoln Roses HC, and Lincoln HC). Host all County Schools Hockey competition.
Rugby – Lincoln Rugby Club, Newark, and Market Rasen for the Rugby. With the Leicester Tigers Experience, so pupils can see the overall picture of elite rugby. Rosslyn Park International 7’s Tournament – Tournament and County Cup Competition. Captains and Vice Captains roles of responsibility. International Rugby Tournament Tickets
Netball – Netball (Lincoln Netball Club) with Satellite nominated pupils catered for to help their advancement.
Cricket – Lincolnshire County Cricket coaching during the winter months. Pupils coached by the Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket
Pupils have access to enhance their sporting genius by participating in their sports during games lessons outside of the school day. Trampolining, Rowing, Tennis, Karting and Swimming (previous years).

Other possibilities to extend and foster a child’s interest in PE.

Umpiring and coaching courses have been offered to our elite hockey players who have been at Regional and International level.
Sports Tours –

  • Cricket and Netball to Barbados
  • Rugby to Italy
  • Netball to Malta
  • Skiing to Europe, America and Canada

Ravi Bopara cricket day in the sports hall and Trent Bridge Cricket Day.
Wimbledon Tennis Day Visit every year.

Religious Studies

How do we cater for AP students within school?

  • Within RS lessons, AP pupils are encouraged to complete tasks that are a variation of the main class task. They will be asked to complete activities in a different way; activities that are subtlety different yet suitably able to stretch and challenge their skills of empathy, application and evaluation. For example, if involved in a group presentation of information, AP pupils will be asked to deliver the presentation as a conversation between a member of a faith community and a non-member- the ‘conversation’ involves AP pupils designing a series of questions that fulfil different questioning style criteria e.g. some ‘knowledge’ type questions alongside ‘evaluation’ type questions.
  • AP pupils will be given opportunity to be ‘learning leaders’ as part of in-class activities.
  • AP pupils might be asked to design the plenary for a lesson and then deliver it to the rest of the class.
  • Peer assessment is used often with AP students

What we provide outside of curriculum time to encourage Advanced Performance?

  • From Sept 2013, AP pupils will be invited to assist JMu in delivering assemblies to other members of the school community
  • AP pupils invited to attend ‘talks’ from visiting speakers
  • The annual departmental trip to Beth Shalom provides much scope for AP pupils to reflect upon classroom learning
  • AP pupils are required to take part in the ‘Really Super Challenge’ each term. This involves pupils choosing three ‘challenges’ , all of which extend and develop not only subject knowledge but allow AP pupils to develop independent learning skills.

Other possibilities to extend and foster a child’s interest in RS
Watch the news and discuss topical issues
Visit places of worship
Conduct questionnaires about local religious belief


How do we cater for AP students within school?

Science is a very popular subject with our AP students. The majority of our Sixth form cohort take at least one science A level. Within the school, students are placed in sets based on their strengths at KS3 and KS4. Higher attainment groups are provided with more demanding material. Within lessons AP students are provided with extension material to develop their depth of understanding and their higher order thinking skills. Tasks within practical science are often open ended allowing the most able to develop their skills while taking ownership of their own learning. Students will also complete longer project tasks. At KS4 AP students will take three GCSEs in Science in an accelerated program, in the time it takes other students to complete two. This affords them greater stimulation and pace within lessons while still freeing up curriculum time to develop a broad range of other curricular studies. Sixth form students have had the benefit of master classes from University professors and examiners.

What we provide outside of curriculum time to encourage Advanced Performance?

AP Students take part in the UL Gifted and Talented day for Science, this involves them carrying out project work in preparation for the competition day. The annual summer school is a week of science activities. In the past this has involved forensic science and space exploration. AP science students have visited Oxford on a residential trip, touring Christ Church and Lincoln College and the Museums with the AP co-ordinator. They have also have visited the Magna Science Park with the AP Co-ordinator. Sixth form students have taken part in a physics competition hosted by the University of Lincoln with one being names as the Young Physicist of the Year by the Ogden Trust.

Other possibilities to extend and foster a child’s interest in science.

Keen environmentalists help out with the school pre prep Environmental club and there is also a science club enrichment activity. The school also enters teams for the National Cipher Challenge which is run by GCHQ and the University of Southampton.

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