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Rugby Free Secondary School is committed to providing a positive and engaging learning experience for all students.

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Inclusive education is 

essential because school is 

enhanced by inclusion, 

diminshed without it. 


Should you require further advice and guidance in addition to the information below, please contact Mrs Edmonds on

"Great teachers understand that every student, especially those with higher abilities, deserve tailored strategies that challenge their potential. By nurturing their unique strengths and encouraging intellectual growth, teachers light the path to remarkable achievements and lifelong success." 

What is a High Prior Attainer? 


When students start Secondary school, their SATs Scaled Score dictates whether they are a Low Prior Attainer (LPA), Mid Prior Attainer (MPA), or a High Prior Attainer (HPA). HPA students enter Secondary school with a Key Stage 2 scaled score of 107 upwards. This means that these students should achieve at least Grade 7s at GCSE, if they achieve in line with their expected flight path. Evidence shows that HPA children generally face additional challenges in reaching their potential at school, and this is linked to sometimes being seen as more ‘invisible’, whilst some students suffer from heightened levels of stress and anxiety due to internal and external pressures and expectations.




At Rugby Free Secondary School, we aim to ensure that our HPA students receive learning opportunities that allow them to fulfil their potential and excel in all aspects of the curriculum. Consequently, we understand that all students need to receive an appropriate level of stretch and challenge in their lessons, and of course this is particularly important for our HPA students.  Strategies for providing this challenge in lessons include adaptive teaching, provision of challenge activities, Bloom’s for greater depth, and bespoke extra-curricular sessions.


We currently have xxxxx students classified as Higher Prior Attainers across the whole school, which accounts for xxxx% of the overall Year 7 – Year 11 cohort. However, we also recognise that some students flourish later than Key Stage 2 data suggests, and therefore our internal register is fluid. The percentage of students who are High Prior Attainers at RFSS lower than the picture across Warwickshire. Some of this is due to being within an area that operates with Grammar Schools and 11 Plus examinations. RFSS Year Group data can be found below:



Additionally, there are some students in Year 12 and Year 13 who are classified as Sixth Form HPA students:







In recent times, we have experienced more HPA students joining RFSS, due to parental choice. This is because of our strong reputation for developing the whole child, and for the good work that we do here.


However, this brings different pressures and expectations from parents and carers, who may have chosen Rugby Free Secondary School as their school of choice, ahead of the local Grammar and Public Schools.


This change has made our demographic slightly more polarised than in previous academic years.


The numbers for each of these sub-groups linked to HPA are below: 




Ofsted’s Research:


Ofsted’s research into HPA provision (2019) states that:


  • Most able students should not be placed in groups where the teaching does not challenge them

  • Most able students should be prepared for GCSE and A-Level exams from the outset of secondary school

  • There must be high expectations of the most able students and their families

  • Flexibility in curriculum implementation, allowing the most able students to be challenged and extended

  • Expert teaching, supported by effective formative and summative assessment

  • Effective training and cooperative practice, ensuring that teachers learnt from best practice

  • Regular checks on the progress of the most able students so that any slippage was identified early and acted on, both in terms of hard and soft data

  • An effective programme that encourages and supported the most able students to apply to our most prestigious universities


This research, coupled with recent changes to our demographic means that HPA provision is a priority for RFSS, students at RFSS, and that strategies have to be interwoven through quality-first provision for all, not just bolt-ons.


Wave 1 HPA strategies can be seen below:




Further Research:


  1. EEF




What & How We Have Implemented at RFSS:


2. The Sutton Trust




What & How We Have Implemented at RFSS:


Key Statistics (2023-24): 


Attendance (HPA v Non HPA):

Suspensions (HPA v Non HPA):

Permanent Exclusions (HPA v Non HPA):

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