More Able and Talented


More Able and Talented update...

Scholars graduate…

Eleven Year 7 students have completed and graduated from the latest Brilliant Club Scholars Programme project delivered at Mark Rutherford. The Brilliant Club is a nationally recognised educational charity which works to promote academic aspiration for able students in state schools. This is the sixth such project which has been run at Mark Rutherford over the past four years. Students are taught in small seminar style groups over an eight week period aiming to produce a piece of academic research which will be aimed at challenging them to write at a level judged to be at least one key stage above their chronological age. Key Stage three students in Years 7-9 will therefore be asked to produce a standard expected from able GCSE students. The latest programme was taught by Cambridge University Phd student Katharina Ramshorn who is a specialist in Bio-chemistry. The students worked on a project entitled: “Disease Detectives” before submitting a final 1,500 thesis. The students who graduated are: Dania Ismail. Oliver Mason. Tasmin Goodluck. George Duke. Jessica Garvey,. Aidan Moore. Izzy Every. Zachary Wharton. Pijus Strockis. Sophia Walton-Kale. Emily Fraser.

Katharina commented: “It’s been great working with the Year 7 students. I have been really impressed by their commitment and intellectual ability. I really enjoyed reading their final submissions. The quality of their work and their level of commitment to this demanding course was really impressive. They have all done really well.”

As a follow up to the programme the students who are pictured below with their certificates will be visiting their former tutor at Peterhouse College, Cambridge in order to get an insight into what it is like to attend one of the world’s most celebrated universities.

Year 7 students who completed the Brilliant Club's Scholars Programme photographed during their visit to the University of Cambridge.

Year 7 students who completed the Brilliant Club's Scholars Programme photographed during their visit to the University of Cambridge.


Dreaming Spires….

Year 10 students from Mark Rutherford visited the University of Oxford as part of the school’s involvement with the Wadham Project. The scheme is being run across Bedfordshire in conjunction with Wadham College at the University of Oxford and is aimed at giving academically able students an insight into life at Britain’s Russell Group Universities. The students are part of the school’s More Able and Talented Cohort and the visit included an opportunity to meet current undergraduates, tour the college and participate in a workshop organised by the University’s Chemistry Department.

Mark Rutherford is part of the University of Oxford's Wadham Project which encourages Year 10 students to aim high in terms of University applications


More Able and Talented update...


High flying sixth form students at Mark Rutherford School have completed a major project focussed on the future of aerospace engineering.

The Year 12 students were investigating the use of different materials in aircraft design as part of the Scholars Programme which is run by the nationally respected educational organisation The Brilliant Club. The three month project involved seven students working with Cranfield based academic Lydia Frumosu who is currently completing her Phd research into aircraft design looking at the technical and environmental impact of aircraft design.

Due to current pandemic restrictions the group completed their tutorials on line. The course involves the students working at the equivalent of first year undergraduate level and being required to produce a 2,500 word academic assignment in order to attain the final qualification which is graded on the same classification basis as a University degree. Five of the “graduates” gained 2:1 passes with two achieving First Class grades. A Brilliant Club spokesman commented: "This is a real achievement by these students as working on line makes a demanding academic programme even more challenging. All the students produced assignments which were worthy of university undergraduates which is really impressive."

Pictured are: Cairenn Brown, Evie Harris, Ethan Saunders, Noah Fyers and Jake Button. The group also included: Mia Saunders and Ibrahim K


Girls Aloud...

Mark Rutherford teams have successfully taken part in two different debate competitions this term.

The two Year 9 girls teams comprised of: Poppy Bean, Amelie Gaunt, Alaia Walton-Kale, Hannah Wegner, Jessica O'Brien and Renee Hans took part in the English Speaking Union's prestigious Mace competition with the team including: Hannah, Jessica and Renee proceeding to the quarter final round. The topics debated by the teams were: " All schools should be single gender." And "Why we should not have to pay for our music."

Meanwhile Year 12 students Anwen Shore and Keira Asare competed in the inaugural Parliamentary style debate organised by Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Festus Akinbusoye.

Their contribution was described as, "thoughtful and analytical" by the judges who were also impressed by the quality of questions posed by the team.

Due to Covid restrictions both debating events had to be run virtually which created an additional challenge for the participants. Mark Rutherford's More Able and Talented Coordinator Mr Smith commented: "It really was very difficult for all involved having to work virtually and they did really well to overcome this additional hurdle."


More Able and Talented

With the promotion of ‘inclusion’ and ‘Every child matters’ being at the heart of the Mark Rutherford ethos, we value excellence and achievement in all our students and are committed to providing a stimulating and challenging curriculum which caters for their individual needs. The more able students are no exception and we actively promote and encourage all students to surpass their expectations.

Our More Able and Talented cohort have a range of activities and extra curricular opportunities for them to access and these will only increase in coming months, so watch this space!

The More Able are those students who have abilities above the expected norm for their age group in one or more subject areas other than art, music, the performance arts and physical education.
Talented students are more able artistically/creatively and in performance and have abilities outside normal performance standards for their age group in art, music, the performing arts and PE. A student could be both More Able and Talented.

Identification 5-10%

The national figure defined by the government states that the MAAT cohort should be between 5-10% of the school population. However, students would never be denied a place on the MAAT group list if they met the academic and performance related criteria!

At MRUS we keep a list of our MAAT students, which covers all year groups and all subjects and is regularly up-dated.  Due to the changing nature of students’ abilities (students can have academic or performance related spurts, peaks and plateaus) they are placed on the list initially for one year and this is then evaluated and updated annually. We also keep a ‘more able’ list so that we can track the progress of not only our MAAT cohort but all of our more academic and/or talented students. Under-achievement can then be highlighted and strategies put in place to improve the situation.

   'Everyone is gifted-but some people never open their package' – we aim to provide the tools to do this.


During the past year a number of events have been organised in order to help support the school’s More Able and Talented cohort of students. These have included:

  • Year 10 students visited the University of Oxford Open Day.
  • Oxbridge application information evening at Bedford Modern School attended by year 11 and year 12 students.
  • Mock interviews for Year 13 Oxbridge applicants and students applying for Medicine/Veterinary Medicine.
  • Year 12 students involved with the Nuffield Science programme.
  • Regular Debating Society meetings.
  • Additional support for Sixth Form students considering applying to Russell Group Universities.
  • Public Speaking team  competing in the Rotary Club’s Youth Speaks programme.
  • Students competing in the National Maths Challenge.
  • Brilliant Club Scholars programme available for students in all three Key Stages.
  • Information and Guidance Workshop for Year 12 students at Kings College, University of London.
  • Debating teams participating in English Speaking Union events and Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner's Parliamentary debate.


Mr D Smith
More Able and Talented Co-ordinator

Mark Rutherford School
Wentworth Drive, Bedford, Bedfordshire Mk41 8PX
Telephone 01234 290200 : Fax 01234 290236 : Email: mark.rutherford@mrus.co.uk