Can any of you wise-ladies help me with the G&T journey (Yr1)

(14 Posts)
noseynoonoo Thu 20-Dec-12 09:27:24

My DD was flagged as G&T in Nursery and is now in Yr 1. I am not convince anything is being done for her specifically so we have escalated thing slightly and I am hoping I can benefit from some of your wisdom.

The form teacher (Mon-Thurs) has not flagged that she is G&T with the G&T coordinator but has told us that she is. I occasionally help out and have seen DD be told not to put her hand up because other people will copy her answer. Any methods to progress her have been met with, "I don't agree with that".

The school is due an Ofsted inspection any day now so G&T is on their agenda so I thought I'd use that as a way in. In a general parents meeting the Head repeatedly talked about one-off trips for G&T in Yrs 5 and 6 but could not answer my question about the day to day work of a Yr 1.

I spoke to DD's Friday teacher who was much more helpful. She finally worked out who the G&T coordinator is - this seemed quite a task in itself and it has taken us a further 2 weeks to get an appointment which was yesterday.

The G & T coordinator arrived with no notes. She said that DD was significantly ahead of her peers and it had been flagged to her that DD was Gifted (not just in the top 10%) in English and Maths but she was working on the understanding that she was a good all-rounder. Her abilities were flagged in Nursery, Reception, and by her Friday teacher in Yr1. Her usual teacher in Yr 1 had never mentioned anything and the coordinator had not taken any action herself. I had the impression that the coordinator had never actually met my DD. She is not going to approach Yr1 teacher directly because of how overbearing she is. She is going to set up an assessment for her and then try to talk about next steps.

I felt that the school has been aware of her ability but that nothing specific has been put in place and it is going to be a slow process to achieve anything whilst walking on egg shells around the teacher.

What can I do to improve the situation - I want to help my child whilst not aggravating situation with teacher. Any tips on moving this forward?

Also, isn't this isolating? I can't talk to anyone about it in real life.

lljkk Thu 20-Dec-12 10:41:11

Is your daughter unhappy with her school days?

If you could wave a magic wand, what would you like the school to do different? If money & staff resources were no obstacle, I mean.

What do you want her to achieve by the end of y6: how would you be satisfied that she had reached her potential?

iseetinselandtantrums Thu 20-Dec-12 10:56:54

I would wait for the assessment as the G&T co-ordinator has said she will follow up on that. See what it brings. It sounds as if you have already been offering suggestions to the teacher which she has not 'embraced'.

I assume the teacher is differentiating to cover the needs of all ability groups? They may think you have coached your DD to this advanced point. We had a reception teacher say to us "DS is advanced but he may not be in future". (Bizarre as he started school unable to read.)

Speaking from experience in KS1 I would put all my eggs into helping your DD hone her social skills and make lovely friendships. You can do all manner of reading, numbers games, cooking, museum visits etc out of school.

I would however mention the 'don't put your hand up' as that is discouraging effort and aprticipation on class.

noseynoonoo Thu 20-Dec-12 10:59:24

Good questions!

DD is happy at school.

If I could wave a magic wand I would want there to be a few more gifted children so that they could work together. If it's just her, I would like her to receive a more in-depth education. At the moment, it appears to be mainly literacy and numeracy. A typical lesson involves her getting every question right quickly and then being thrown an extra question or two to extend her, like an afterthought. So I'd like her to spend more than 5 minutes of every hour having to think and I'd like her to work alongside people of her own level. So perhaps I want her to have some 1-2-1 time with a teacher to stretch her, or to work with older brighter children or to even have some different topics - could she learn a foreign language, a musical instrument whilst her class are doing stuff she can do already.

She does find things easy but I am told that when she does come across something difficult she panics. I want her to learn how to work around a problem rather than just being told she is bright.

By year 6 I want her to still be the sponge she is at the moment, to be excited about learning and to not panic when she comes across a tricky problem.

noseynoonoo Thu 20-Dec-12 11:04:17

isee cross-posted with you - we haven't made any suggestions of our own. We have been extremely careful to not make any suggestions at all. However, the Reception teacher had made various suggestions for what should happen in Yr1 so we raised these in the parents evening and Yr1 teacher said she didn't agree with / believe in the various suggestions.

There is differentiation in as far as each table has their own work but DD is ahead of her table.

We categorically haven't coached our daughter and I don't think they think that about us. I actually want her to do her learning at school and have 'downtime' at home.

How do I encourage her social skills?

Who would I mention the 'hand up' comment to - remembering we are walking on egg shells?

iseetinselandtantrums Thu 20-Dec-12 11:06:38

How big is the school? Do you know for sure there aren't other kids in her year at a similar level in either of the areas? G&T is sometimes quoted as top 10%.
You could set up the music or foreign language outside school now.
Sometimes DS's school does theme days where the years are all mixed up.

iseetinselandtantrums Thu 20-Dec-12 11:15:12

Sorry x-post.

For social skills the old-fashioned stuff like conversation round the dinner table, listening properly to others, negotiating, plenty of playdates, maybe rainbows. DS has learnt about effort=reward/not being best/losing graciously from sport.

I agree with you about learning at school so have never 'raced' the curriculum but if they have an appetite for learning then to quote some other wise MNetter 'school is just one of the tools at your disposal'.

I would go direct to the teacher about the hands up comment but in a casual quick chat as you drop off/collect. I maybe wouldn't say seen it myself, more DD has given me the impression...

lljkk Thu 20-Dec-12 11:33:42

I wonder if you could ask the teacher about setting her extension work, such as writing an extra story or researching a topic, or even extra math work. Extra math work is the easiest to do on your own at home (anyone can drill times tables & it's the main thing they do from yr3-5). Or go over math methods we were taught or modern equivalents if someone at school can show you number line subtractions, etc.

AT her table, at school, when she finished her usual literacy she could be allowed to whip out her story book to work on a story she's writing, which the teacher could look at perhaps once a fortnight to give her some feedback & more extension work.

Or she could get her history book to take some notes for writing up a history research project.

I wonder if you could put some ideas to the teacher that way, always emphasising that you don't want to create barely any extra work for the teacher.

On the other hand, if she just wants to sit and chat that could be good thing. I am convinced that success at school is all about having a good social life.

noseynoonoo Thu 20-Dec-12 12:07:42

The school has 2 classes per year.
The G&T coordinator made it clear that there is no one close to DD if giftedness. She actually used the example of 2 girls who were very gifted in maths who had been able to progress together by going to higher year groups together.
My daughter has been learning French but she is stuck in a class still doing the same stuff she started with a and new people start every few weeks and things never move on so it's still a case of sit around whilst others catch up and wait to be thrown a question at the end.. Even her brother (2 years younger) picked it all up. I have been phoning around to find a new class but with no success.

noseynoonoo Thu 20-Dec-12 12:09:04

I'm going to have to do more playdates aren't I?

iseetinselandtantrums Thu 20-Dec-12 12:20:23

To take the positive - the G&T co-ordinator gave an example of something that had been done to accomodate such children before so there is hope!

Yes to playdates - oh joy grin. But could be very important as others have had DC work alongside older children which has impacted on socialising with year group.

onesandwichshort Thu 20-Dec-12 12:27:36

Have you any idea what kind of level she is working at, or what her targets are for this year? That will make a big difference to what school can offer, and what you can ask for.

Also - why is the Yr1 teacher being allowed to be such a dragon? I'd be more pissed off with that than anything else, tbh. I would mention the hands up comment to the head, if it were me, but that might not be the best course of action.

noseynoonoo Thu 20-Dec-12 13:55:53

I have no idea on her level - just know it is higher than everyone else. The only target she has is to tidy up her handwriting.

No idea why we all have to pussy-foot around teacher. I think it is more that is hard to get word in edgeways or to get her to hear what you are saying and the rest of the staff seem to be scared of her.

blackeyedsusan Tue 08-Jan-13 11:14:11

there is nothing wrong with you dd doing learning at home... it might help. it does not have to be long it does not have to be sit down with this worksheet, it could be a range of science experiments, watching videos on the internet, using the resources on educational websites, getting lots of non fiction books from the library. I find it helps dd, as long as it is not too much and she is not too tired and gets plenty of play as well.

wait for the g and t co-ordinator to do her assessments. then go in and discuss them. you could also discuss with the head teacher afterwards if you think it will help.

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