Is it difficult to get your school to teach your G&T child?

(64 Posts)
anice Mon 26-Nov-12 16:56:55

My son's school doesn't have a G&T program until year 5. DS is in year 4, so he isn't in any program. However, he is very able at maths.

His teacher met me twice in the first half of this term, and both times she volunteered a warning not to expect any development in his maths this year as she's got her hands full teaching the lower ability children who need to come up to the government minimum in order to reach NC level 4B at the end of year 6.

She said that she was sorry, but this is the way it is. So now every day, DS then does the ("easy peasy") work set for the class quickly and when he has finished he just quietly reads a book for the rest of the maths lesson. I've spoken to the HT to ask for help with the situation but I am not expecting much tbh.

Apart from issues with DS's boredom levels and disengagement from learning generally, what is bothering me is that this can happen in this day and age! In fact, this is the 2nd time this has happened to DS. In year 2, his teacher told me that he'd had to repeat everything he'd already done because "what am I supposed to do?? teach him year 3 work? Then what would he do when he gets to year 3?!" So, its happened twice in four years at two different schools (we changed school thinking the first school was just an aberration!)

Is this actually quite a common problem? And if yes, then how do you handle it?

3b1g Mon 26-Nov-12 17:46:49

Assuming you understood the teacher correctly, I think this is appalling. Every child should be allowed to learn and progress at school, regardless of what level they are currently at. Since starting junior school, DS2 has been provided with science extension work and maths extension work all the way through (he is in Y6, so he has been at the school for over three years).

3b1g Mon 26-Nov-12 17:52:15

In science lessons, he does the same topic as the other children but in more depth, using KS3 materials. He and one other boy have one hour a week with a secondary-level science teacher. In Y4 he went to a local secondary school to get some lab time.

In maths lessons, he does the same topic as the other children but does questions appropriate for his level. Once a week, he and three other children are taught by a secondary-level maths teacher who does more advanced topics with them. Approximately once a term, he and a few other children attend a maths or problem-solving workshop.

3b1g Mon 26-Nov-12 17:56:40

Does the school have an inclusion co-ordinator or SENCO? From what you have posted, I don't think your son's needs are being met by the school. If you decide to pursue this, remember to put everything in writing and keep copies.

mercibucket Mon 26-Nov-12 18:08:03

That is an appalling attitude! Our school teaches maths and literacy across the school, not across the class, so the more able year 4s are in with the year 5 or 6s for example. This seems to work well. We are not sure what happens when they reach year 6 but hopefully they further extend and aim for the level 6 or something, rather than leaving them twiddling their thumbs
Are there other schools nearby? Any chance of becoming a governor? School sounds crap, just going on what you've posted

mercibucket Mon 26-Nov-12 18:08:03

That is an appalling attitude! Our school teaches maths and literacy across the school, not across the class, so the more able year 4s are in with the year 5 or 6s for example. This seems to work well. We are not sure what happens when they reach year 6 but hopefully they further extend and aim for the level 6 or something, rather than leaving them twiddling their thumbs
Are there other schools nearby? Any chance of becoming a governor? School sounds crap, just going on what you've posted

orangeberries Mon 26-Nov-12 18:19:34

Hi anice,
just wanted to share your pain, as we have been in the same boat and now that my DD1 is in Y3 I am pulling my hair out and have nearly given up - I am planning to pull her out and put her in selective academic.

I am very upset about it tbh as this shouldn't be the state of affairs and I think it is really lame and letting the children down. I don't think it is THAT unusual tbh as I have heard it a lot from friends up and down different parts of the country.

mercibucket Mon 26-Nov-12 18:31:06

Sorry, jusr re-read your post and see you have already changed school once. I'd kick up a big fuss with the governors if possible. Do they have a curriculum committee?

mercibucket Mon 26-Nov-12 18:31:07

Sorry, jusr re-read your post and see you have already changed school once. I'd kick up a big fuss with the governors if possible. Do they have a curriculum committee?

squeezedatbothends Mon 26-Nov-12 19:42:28

This is shocking. The teacher has an obligation to differentiate the learning to meet his needs. In some of the schools I've supported, this has meant different work, in others, moving classes for some subjects. My ds's year 6 teacher taught him GCSE Maths while still managing to meet the needs of the other kids. I can't believe this teacher has such a poor attitude - ofsted would be appalled. Definitely complain - head first of all then if no joy, chair of governors.

Nuttyprofessor Mon 26-Nov-12 19:47:11

That is awful. I guess I have been lucky my DS's school arranged his maths lessons at another school to work at a higher level.

anice Tue 27-Nov-12 13:14:47

There is a SENCO. Talking to the special needs parents, and having had a little experience of her myself, I don't think she'd put herself out to help. I could be wrong, but an educated guess would put at her at 90% likely to bite my head off and then aggressively ignore...!

I have talked to the head and I've drafted a letter that I am going to finish this afternoon. The more I think about it though, the more I realise that my son's education is going to come down to what I provide/ get tutors to provide. So far, I've been naively leaving it to the school, especially as the deputy head at the first school rather nastily told me "lo leave the education to us". (This was said when the school had decided to not educate in year 2.

LaQueen Tue 27-Nov-12 13:23:15

I think it's unacceptable for your DS's teacher to fob you (and him) off like that.

Twice now, in the last 6 months, I have been assured by DD2's teacher and HT that they are going to challenge her, and provide more scope for her ability - but, nothing has changed.

Her latest piece of extension literacy homework was a word-search hmm DD2 finished it in the car coming back from school.

She's 8.5 and already easily doing DD1's 11+ homework - and her teacher knows this, but she gets given word-searches and 'Design a Xmas Bauble' for her extension homework?

I've given up with her school - I just don't think they're geared up for G&T children, which is fair enough, because they're very small.

When DD2 starts with the 11+ tutor next September, he also offers advanced maths programs which I think we'll sign her up for.

anice Tue 27-Nov-12 13:40:02

I did understand the teacher correctly. I thought I'd misheard the first time, so I checked and she confirmed. Also she rephrased it several ways for me and we discussed it.

This is what I am going to do:-
1. write a letter to the school giving them one last chance to do something themselves.
2. offer to supply books, worksheets and/ or an online maths study program at my cost. The work to be done in the maths lesson, after he has finished whatever his teacher has set.
3. If all that fails, I can't see how I will still be optomistic about the school but I'll try to bite my tongue, wait three eyars for secondary and, in the meantime, I'll organise something for DS at home.

anice Tue 27-Nov-12 13:44:02

orangeberries and LaQueen - I sorry you are in this situation too. Bizarrely though, there is some comfort in knowing DS isn't the only child in this situation because I've been asking myself is it just us? Did we do something/ not do something/ have the wrong idea about what schools are supposed to do for all children/ was I just too naive?

mercibucket Tue 27-Nov-12 13:51:17

I would approach it differently. Look at their stats on ofsted including value added. How many level 5 and 6s are they getting? Do they even do level 6? When you have researched, go to the governing body and complain. Also speak to the parent governors and tell them what you have been told. Try to get elected as a governor, ideally not as a parent governor (do you go to church or work for anyone where it might count as community governor). Also speak to other parents, there will be others in the same boat. Tell the head what other schools do and demand to know why this is not happening at your school. If the next ofsted is due soon, go online and comment on the lack of challenge - they have a 'review your school' form

iseenodust Tue 27-Nov-12 14:21:13

That's not good. At DS's school the SENCO and the G&T co-ordiantor are different members of staff.

DS is in yr4 and is quite good at maths. What I learnt from him this week is that on two mornings a week in the numeracy session he sits on a table by himself and does more advanced work. He also seems to get different homework sheets.

Like MerciB, a friend's DS is at a state primary where years 4-6 all do literacy and numeracy in the mornings, in mixed year classes set by ability. They go back to their forms for all other subjects.

If you go looking for an online maths programme, I recommend mangahigh. Your DS can try some of the games for free and if you sign up there are elements with explanations/teaching and users' progress is monitored. (no vested interest!)

anice Tue 27-Nov-12 16:03:56

I already asked the head if DS could be taught with year 5 for maths and she said "not possible" but didn't offer any further explanation. I thought it was a reasonable solution given that the year 4 teacher has said she hasn't the capacity to teach him the next level up.

However, now that I've done the SATS test and seen the detail of what DS actually knows (I think I'm the only person who has taken the trouble to find this out), I think he'd be better off with maybe the middle or second top table in year 6. (My other son is in year 6 so I know a bit about that class). Anyway, its academic which class he would be best off in as he's clearly not going anywhere.

But I do know for a fact that the school does get children up to level 6 in maths, although i can see that its a fairly small proportion that progress beyond level 4.

Basically the school ranks well in the league tables because almost everyone gets a level 4, but if the rankings were on level 5+ instead, then it would be mid-low in the league table.

The value added is just over 100.

Knowing what I now know, my best guess is this school plays the system by focusing on the lower ability children to get as many as possible over the 4B threshold. They don't seem to both about G&T until year 5 (and apparently that's a recent innovation as a few years ago they only did G&T for year 6).

The school has an Ofsted "Good" rating and generally i am happy with it, although obviously not on this issue.

LaQueen Tue 27-Nov-12 16:14:34

anice please be careful about asking for your DS to receive lessons with older children. We had our fingers badly burned trying this with DD2.

In Yr 2, her teachers decided it would benefit her to go and do literacy/numeracy with the top group in Yr 3. It didn't end well.

Clever 8.5 year olds didn't take very kindly to having a wee 6 year old whup them at maths. There was some frostiness, and sniping sad And, even worse her own friends in Yr 2 stopped playing with her, because they didn't see her in the classroom anymore.

It caused DD2 a lot of upset, and she had to work hard to build bridges with her friends again.

mercibucket Tue 27-Nov-12 16:18:38

There's no problem in our school with that, LaQueen, but I think that's probably because it's a whole school approach, and the school fosters a 'be the best you can be' attitude
I hadn't realised quite how lucky we were til I read this thread!

mercibucket Tue 27-Nov-12 16:18:38

There's no problem in our school with that, LaQueen, but I think that's probably because it's a whole school approach, and the school fosters a 'be the best you can be' attitude
I hadn't realised quite how lucky we were til I read this thread!

LaQueen Tue 27-Nov-12 16:20:41

Merci on paper our school would appear to foster the same attitude. It's one of the top performing small primaries in the country, after all.

But in practice, it doesn't seem to actually work that way, really.

simpson Tue 27-Nov-12 22:19:03

LaQ -can I be nosy and ask why it did not end well,your DD doing lessons with the year ahead???

DD is only in reception now but is doing yr1 work ( am lucky in that there is another boy about the same level as her) and the school have provided the 2 of them their own TA to do work with just the 2 kids together, which is working great so far!!!

But am wondering what will happen when she is in yr1, whether she would go into yr2 for some lessons and what the down sides are???

mercibucket Tue 27-Nov-12 22:39:11

Sorry, laQ, perhaps I didn't understand. I meant that because the whole school mixes up and down for lessons, it's quite normal to have a number of year 4s with year 5 and 6 and vice versa. It sounded like your daughter was more singled out as the only one of her year working above her year. There are at least 4 year 4s in the top class at our school, plus quite a few year fives, the rest are the year sixes.

And tbh I would be v suspicious of top performing primaries. I went to one - hideous. All the bullying brushed under the carpet or blamed on the victim as anything else threatens to tarnish the reputation of the school. Seems quite a common experience for the 'good' schools from talking to friends. And at secondary as well. Then the victims told perhaps this isn't the right environment for them, and encouraged elsewhere. Same for any special ed needs that might take any effort to sort out.the stories I have heard (shudder)

mercibucket Tue 27-Nov-12 22:39:11

Sorry, laQ, perhaps I didn't understand. I meant that because the whole school mixes up and down for lessons, it's quite normal to have a number of year 4s with year 5 and 6 and vice versa. It sounded like your daughter was more singled out as the only one of her year working above her year. There are at least 4 year 4s in the top class at our school, plus quite a few year fives, the rest are the year sixes.

And tbh I would be v suspicious of top performing primaries. I went to one - hideous. All the bullying brushed under the carpet or blamed on the victim as anything else threatens to tarnish the reputation of the school. Seems quite a common experience for the 'good' schools from talking to friends. And at secondary as well. Then the victims told perhaps this isn't the right environment for them, and encouraged elsewhere. Same for any special ed needs that might take any effort to sort out.the stories I have heard (shudder)

mercibucket Tue 27-Nov-12 22:43:01

Many apologies for all the double posts btw - father christmas is bringing me a tablet so hopefully it will all soon be a thing of the past smile

mercibucket Tue 27-Nov-12 22:43:01

Many apologies for all the double posts btw - father christmas is bringing me a tablet so hopefully it will all soon be a thing of the past smile

LaQueen Wed 28-Nov-12 13:45:21

Simpson in a nutshell, the older children snubbed her, because they didn't take kindly to a little 6 year old doing maths quicker and better than them, and reading harder books.

And her friends in her own class shunned her because basically they rarely saw her anymore, and she was out of their loop for all the class chit-chat.

DD2 ended up very lonely, and with no one to play with at break times sad

LaQueen Wed 28-Nov-12 13:49:24

Merci it's a very small school, and DD2 was the only Yr 1, to do lessons with the Yr 2s and Yr 3s - so she was quite visible.

No TA support (which might have smothed things a bit), she was just plonked on the top table in Y2. A total fish out of water sad

Later the school did apologise, and said they'd rarely felt the need to do this before with a child - and the experiment hadn't gone well. But the damage had already been done.

simpson Wed 28-Nov-12 21:59:20

Did she spend the whole day in with the older kids or just certain lessons??

I have a feeling DD will just go into the year above for phonics....

So hopefully will still feel a part of her yr group, hopefully....

The school have never allowed a child to go into the above year before for lessons but since she is doing yr1 phonics already and after Xmas,all other core subjects at yr1 level they have admitted they will have to do something, but I guess will think about it nearer the time!!!

simpson Wed 28-Nov-12 22:01:12

Forgot to say, although she does yr1 phonics now, she does not go into the year aboves class. We are lucky that the school have an extra LSA so DD and another child have their lessons with her...

mercibucket Wed 28-Nov-12 22:06:37

That's a real shame, LaQueen

I really don't see why more schools don't just mix them up by ability a bit more. If g + t is the top 20 percent, then there must be 6 in every standard size class who might be able to work at a higher level, and maybe 2 who could work 2 years above. It's made a big difference at our school to results.

mercibucket Wed 28-Nov-12 22:06:39

That's a real shame, LaQueen

I really don't see why more schools don't just mix them up by ability a bit more. If g + t is the top 20 percent, then there must be 6 in every standard size class who might be able to work at a higher level, and maybe 2 who could work 2 years above. It's made a big difference at our school to results.

LaQueen Thu 29-Nov-12 10:10:28

simpson she joined the older class for all numeracy and literacy lessons, and did the Guided Reading with older children too. So it was much of her school day.

LaQueen Thu 29-Nov-12 10:11:53

I agree merci I think it was very poorly thought out, to be honest. Ever since I have insisted that DD2 be kept with her own class, and just given extension work.

Although this week her extension work comrpised of a word-search, which she whizzed through in the car coming home...but, rather that, than her feeling like a fish out of water at school, I guess.

anice Thu 29-Nov-12 11:57:54

Just a little follow up. I have the feeling that the head hasn't really been planning to do anything that will make a difference. Maybe that's unfair but that's my best guess.
So I sent the letter and now i am waiting for a reply. I did make some constructive suggestions but mostly i talked of requiring a" school-led" solution.

Why do i always feel that i always have to say how ds hasn't been hot housed, and i am not looking for him to take an o level early?!

anice Thu 29-Nov-12 12:02:02

Also i told the head about DS`s sats result from the test i gave him last week. She looked at me like i had two heads or something. Didn't reply and just backed away (she had come up to me to speak about DS).

learnandsay Thu 29-Nov-12 12:44:57

Anice, I don't understand why you would give your son a SATs test. 11+ or GCSE/AS/A Level I can understand. But SATs are to test the school (and in theory not the child, though that actually makes no sense. If it did the teachers would sit the exam and not the children.)

anice Thu 29-Nov-12 12:55:37

I did it because there was a lot of debate about what the next thing he needs taught is. School was saying introductory level 4, but I had a feeling he had already mastered much of that (through observing his older brother - DS2 learns fast).

As you will find out learnandsay, primary school maths involves endless repetition. My worry was that the teacer would finally spend five minutes showing him something that she says is new (but in fact he already knows), then leave him to endlessly practice it for six months.

anice Thu 29-Nov-12 12:58:23

Then just to add at the end of the year, she'd set him a sats test, he'd get a 4A and his school report would say that he has made huge progress this year. then maybe next year, if he is lucky, he'd be taught level 5 stuff, but if not, I'd be told that he'd plateau-ed after a lot of progress in year 4.

Cat98 Thu 29-Nov-12 14:38:56

I am quite worried about this too as ds goes up the school - he's in year r but already doing y3 work for maths, and is very advanced in other areas too. So far the school seem to be challenging him appropriately but it seems so common for this to tail off.
I am appalled that schools are refusing to stretch their brightest children tbh. If it happens to ds I will not be amused! I think you have done the right thing, op.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 29-Nov-12 19:56:25

Sats are not to to test the school. They're to test the children. But of course the school gets judged on the results.

onesandwichshort Fri 30-Nov-12 09:05:54

Do let us know what happens. I completely sympathise about the almost having to apologise for them. DD entered school reading, and I spent the entire year saying, 'before we start, can I just make it clear that we did not teach her to read'.

LaQueen Fri 30-Nov-12 15:10:16

sandwich I had to say exactly the same with DD2 all through Reception. I have no idea who taught her to read, but I know for a fact it wasn't me.

All I know is that before she started reception she could only read her name. But by the Christmas she was reading the highest level Biff, Chip & Kipper (the ones with about 30/40 words per page).

Her teacher was constantly implying that I must be hot-housing at home, or that DD2 had just picked it up from DD1. But that just wasn't the case, it really wasn't.

onesandwichshort Fri 30-Nov-12 19:12:06

Yes, we never owned a single flash card, but that's definitely not what school believed.

We have a fantastically snitty teacher now for Yr1 (fortunately job share) who, when I went in to talk about how DD could be helped to cope with her best friend leaving, said "Does she have people round to play?' in the most condescending tones. I wish I'd had the presence of mind, to say, no I lock her in her room and force her to read books all the time, which is clearly what she was thinking. But I didn't.

noisytoys Fri 30-Nov-12 19:53:42

I know what you mean about people assuming all you do is lock them in a room with flash cards. And the word hot housed is branded around a lot too. Having a naturally gifted child doesn't make you popular amongst the people who know. I tend to keep my head down in the playground and not talk to anyone about levels, book bands or anything like that.

LaQueen Fri 30-Nov-12 20:28:21

noisy we genuinely didn't do a thing with DD2 in Reception. I actually felt very guilty about it, because I'd given DD1 a lot of input during her Reception year, lots of help with her reading and writing and simple spellings. She was bright, but had to be shown and needed things repeating.

But, when DD2 started in Reception, I had just started a new job and just didn't have as much time. So I know that I didn't teach DD2 to read, or ever really run through her spellings with her. One day she could only read her name - 2 weeks later she could read Biff, Chip & Kipper, and by the end of Reception she was free-reading The Worst Witch/Roald Dahl/Milly Molly Mandy etc.

And, so in a weird kinda way I then never really bothered reading with her - because there just wasn't anything she needed help with.

LaQueen Fri 30-Nov-12 20:37:21

one DD2's Y2 teacher was very snitty (love that word) - and refused to acknowledge that DD2 was anything out of the ordinary. Fair enough. Except at the end of Yr 2, her assessments were high enough for her HT to be thrilled, and she discussed possible funding for DD2 to get one-to-one with a TA (though didn't happen sadly).

Yet, somehow her teacher had completely failed to notice?

Having a naturally gifted child can even make you/them unpopular even with their own teacher hmm And, it's not like I was always at school badgering for recognition. DD2 is in Yr4, and I have only ever been into school once about her and her abilities. I work, so aren't even there at pick-up times, all that often.

Never, ever discuss her with other parents. Say little during parent's evening, just smile and nod etc. But other Mums help out in DD2's class, and so people get to know ...and some people really are resentful.

LaQueen Fri 30-Nov-12 20:47:05

And noisy what makes me so frustrated is that these sort of parents think you must have it so easy, with a very able child - and they think that when you do sometimes voice concerns/worries that you're just doing it for effect.

DD2 really struggled socially during her Yr2, because she got put up a year (stupid idea). She went back to wetting the bed FFS...but of course you're not allowed to show any worry over that because your child is G&T and so you just have to suck it up...apparently hmm

anice Sun 02-Dec-12 19:20:55

I really believe the head would really care if any child was being let down i her school. She was a fantastic teacher before she got promoted to HT and I just can't imagine that she would stop wanting to help the children.

However, when I spoke to her a couple of weeks ago, I got the sense that each teacher runs their own classroom like a mini-fiefdon. That can't be right, can it?

Don't we choose schools based on a whole experience, not seven individual, unrelated years??

As to what will happen to DS, my best guess is that I'll sit waiting for a reply for about 10 days and then gradually learn to not expect it. Then during the Christmas holidays, I'll take matters into my own hands and start teaching DS at home.

Maybe next year will be better??

onesandwichshort Mon 03-Dec-12 18:36:35

I have a friend who's a primary teacher; she said that one of the great things about her job is the amount of self-determination she has in what she does. Now that she has a child in Reception though, she's finding it very difficult to be on the receiving end of.

But in a good school, the HT will clamp down on things where it's not working. So I don't think that your school is being run that well, perhaps.

How is their Ofsted report? Almost every one I have ever read says, must do more to stretch bright children- so it's worth raising that with the HT. If she doesn't answer, go to see her. If that doesn't work (I've only ever had to go that far) start writing to the governors. What his teacher said is outrageous. They're failing your son, and need to know that.

anice Tue 04-Dec-12 14:47:06

I bumped into the Ht today . It would have been a perfect opportunity to speak to me about my email, or even just to arrange to see me, if she had wanted to. But she didn't. She looked like I was the last person she wanted to bump into.

I realise even more now that I am going to get nowhere. The head is going to do nothing to help DS, whether because she doesn't want to or can't. Whichever reason, its a bad reflection of her headship.

So what should I do now? Drop it or prepare a letter for the school governors? Realistically what can they do for DS?

TheSecondComing Tue 04-Dec-12 21:57:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

onesandwichshort Wed 05-Dec-12 07:03:27

I'm afraid that I think you're going to have to force a confrontation with the HT. Were it me, I'd book a meeting with her and ask her to her face what she is going to do about it. Until you've been turned down, I don't think you can go to the governors or the LEA.

Don;t be afraid of doing this - next year won't be better unless you make a fuss. I am quite close to being parent from hell at our school, but it's how DD gets accommodations. And it's only what you would do if he had SN, isn't it?

Reading between the lines of what you've said, it sounds like a recently appointed HT who isn't yet used to the leadership bit of the job, and doesn't want to overrule an experienced teacher who was until recently her colleague. Which is an explanation, but not an excuse. She may have been an excellent teacher, but I'd be very worried about her as an HT with that kind of approach.

blackeyedsusan Sat 08-Dec-12 23:53:32

passes the second a flame proof suit.

Dromedary Sun 09-Dec-12 00:23:25

My experience is that the HT backs up the teacher, and the governors back up the HT. Otherwise, where would it end - parents would learn that complaining about things might make a difference, and then they'd be faced with lots of complaining parents disturbing the comfortable status quo.
If your child is beyond the top table in their class then I think it's difficult, as stretching them further would require more than the usual amount of work for the teacher.
There are gifted and talented courses children can be sent on outside of school. You could try getting your child on some of those, if the school will agree to it.
And maybe focus on some extra curricular activity that will challenge your DC - eg chess, learning a language or learning a musical instrument. The academic subjects aren't the be all and end all at this age, although it's frustrating if the child is bored at school. A friend's child got very bored and disruptive at school because the work was way too easy for her, but wasn't allowed to do anything more difficult before she had done all of the easy stuff (which she refused to do).

anice Sun 09-Dec-12 08:01:36

DS plays chess at home and loves it. Mostly he plays it on his Dad's phone. Is the chess ability related to his maths? I never thought of it.

Still waiting to hear from the school but DS is a little more positive about maths again since he did so well in that SATS test. I guess Christmas is also a distraction at the moment too.

I strongly suspect you are right, Dromedary, about the governors backing up the HT who in turn backs the teacher. And I don't want a poor relationship with the school.

I had a bad relationship with the previous school when they did exactly the same thing to DS in year 2. So we moved schools and I really thought we'd just been unlucky. Now I realise that its endemic and its such a shame for the country that talented children are treated as a problem.

I'm going to take matters into my own hands wrt to Ds and extend him at home, as many of you have suggested. I'm not interested in seeing him sit his o level early, because what would be the point? Instead I am going to introduce him to the breadth of the subject which doesn't appear on the national curriculum.

Its going to be difficult as DS is resistant to doing any work out of school, but I will try. I will also try to get the school to allow DS to do some of this extension work within the hours they set aside for maths each week and I think this is the best i can hope for, although i'm not overly optimistic about that either. At least they have acknowledged what's going on which I suppose is better than an insulting denial.

anice Sun 09-Dec-12 08:09:48

Just as an aside, I went to primary school in the 1970s when things were much less regulated. My teacher when I was 8 years old realised that I had a good potential to learn quickly and took me out of art/ sewing/ PE classes as well as afternoon break for extra work. She also sent me home with extra homework.

She'd have been in her 50s back then, so she's probably dead now. I wish I could go back and thank her though because I can now see that she had a vocation rather than just a job. She selflessly gave up her time to change my life. What a wonderful woman.

anice Sun 09-Dec-12 08:17:12

Just to add I went to a small state primary school in the middle of a council estate where most of the children went on to work in a local factory. Also the teacher had 3 years of children in her class.

cornflowers Sun 09-Dec-12 12:11:07

"Its going to be difficult as DS is resistant to doing any work out of school, but I will try."

This is a slightly worrying statement. If your ds has a natural interest in a subject, by all means 'extend' him. Forcing him to extend himself in his free time is another matter entirely. You do sound slightly pushy.. Perhaps the HT is picking up on this.

anice Sun 09-Dec-12 12:41:46

I'm only pushy when my children refuse to do their homework so that its ready to hand in on time, otherwise its up to them. What I do do though, is try to provide them with opportunities to develop e.g. there are lots of books in the house for them to read but its up to them if, when and where they read them

kistigger Sun 09-Dec-12 20:35:29

Sorry, not read any of the other posts.

My DD is in Y2 of an infant only school. I had a discussion with her teacher a month or so ago about how they were going to deal with DD's reading and Maths. I showed her the work she had been doing at home by herself, the teacher basically put her hands up and said I can't do anything like that. They have differentiation in class but DD is in the 'top' group which still isn't a high enough level. The teacher refuses to offer anything beyond the three levels she has put the class into. The teacher also keeps DD on the same reading level she has been on for the last year, as it is the last one the school has... despite an arrangement with the head for DD to come off their scheme entirely and read whatever she chooses as long as it is written in her reading record.

I think this issue, to a great degree, is down to the individual teacher your child gets. The teacher DD has for one day a week, understands the ability gap and provides a higher level activity for DD than top group... it's still not perfect but better! Our school spends so much time and resources on bringing the bottom end up to meet the minimum government standards that they have nothing left for the top achievers. They used to have a pull out class, but even that has gone this year! Some schools go out of their way to provide for the top end of the class... tell me when you find one!!!

Happymum22 Mon 07-Jan-13 17:57:42

I used to teach primary/prep
With a G + T child, or just any child who was finsihing work early and getting everything right, I soon was differentiating giving different groups different work sheets if it was something like maths.
For subjects like english, history, geog, I would allow the child to do the basic task but then once they are done would set them work which didn't mean they were completing e.g. year 6 level work in year 3 but that they were 'broadening their knowledge' so once they'd written the letter from the victorian child about their time in school they would then have to write a letter back saying what is similar now/different or then do computer research and make a fact sheet on Victorian children's play.
In maths once they'd done the basic sums all the class were doing I'd have a sheet ready with the same style sums but harder numbers or problems with meant the child had to apply the knowledge, along with their previous maths knowledge.

It is absolutely not ok what is going on, go and see the head.

Happymum22 Mon 07-Jan-13 17:58:01

Oops just saw this is a fairly old thread- sorry.

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