"Gifted and Talented" - could somone please explain this to me as I'm really not getting it and feel quite cross and I'm not a pushy mum, at all!!

(77 Posts)
sandyballs Thu 31-Jan-13 12:14:45

Honestly I'm not. But please explain how a child who absolutely hates PE and any form of exercise can be identified as "Gifted and Talented" in PE, yet a child who has represented the school in cross country, athletics, basketball and netball, done very well indeed in all of them, and was picked for the teams through trials, yet is not identified as "Gifted and Talented" for PE.

Am I missing something?

sandyballs Thu 31-Jan-13 22:38:22

Thanks for replies. I will email school tom, tried a couple of times today but deleted it as finding it very difficult to put into words without sounding like "one of those mothers" grin.

I'm very curious to know the criteria for choosing though as it obviously isn't the top 10% in each subject.

Friends boy is a very clever lad but sport isn't his thing, he's the first to say how much he hates it. And that is all sport, no interest in it at all. So now he will have opportunities for extra PE and wont want to do it.

steppemum Thu 31-Jan-13 22:38:45

seeker, leaving our school aside, what is the criteria for G&T? Because I have heard (from different schools) several different definitions.

eg - top 10% of kids in the class in the subject. So if the class is really overall not very good, then a fairly average child gets classed as G&T, but they aren't actually gifted, just a bit better than their peers? So how does that work?

or - child is acheiving way beyond what you would expect of them in this subject for this age, which is when you boil it down actually the same as saying they are xx number of NC levels above the average for this age, which you have said it isn't.

I am not trying to be combative, I really don't get how it is decided and on what basis (I am talking about maths and English as opposed to art and music which I suspect are different)

So what are the criteria? How is any particular child judged to be G&T? What sort of eveidence does the teacher look for or need?

BooksandaCuppa Thu 31-Jan-13 22:52:01

Sorry to have derailed the thread, OP. Something does sound a little off in your case.

steppenmum I think the top 10% of cohort thing is generally how state schools do it. As you say, that's quite arbitrary as cohorts can vary enormously. And as has been pointed out on many an occasion, if a child goes to a selective secondary, then they'll suddenly find themselves no longer at the top of the pile.

Of course with a subject like art or PE the criteria can be even more random and prone to accusations of favouritism.

As I said, at ds's school they base a lot of it on cats tests as they (as much an anything can) measure raw potential. They do, of course, put what they can in place to ensure all children achieve what their raw potential suggests, not just those in the top 2% or whatever.

I think there kinds of assessments are a huge step forward from 'my day' in terms of not allowing bright but dyslexic, or bright but lazy or average but from a challenging home or whatever type of child to underachieve.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 31-Jan-13 22:54:08

Also, as I think I mentioned up thread, it seems to be more and more common to refer to children as having 'advanced potential' or something similar which is more what it should be about, IMO.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 31-Jan-13 22:57:45

Sorry for typos and getting your name wrong. Blooming non-branded tablet!

senua Thu 31-Jan-13 22:58:35

It comes down to politics, steppenmum.
The original definition was "child is acheiving way beyond what you would expect of them in this subject for this age" but for some reason a lot of schools decided that they didn't have any pupils like that. So they changed the definition to "top 10% of kids in the class in the subject" - try wriggling out of that definition!wink

senua Thu 31-Jan-13 23:02:51

Dang, I copied B&C's spelling of your name. That will teach me not to go back to the original source.blush

steppemum Thu 31-Jan-13 23:04:53

I also like the advanced potential

we are primary so no cats tests.

The trouble with G&T and using top 10% is that it is a total misnomer. To me gifted should mean that they are gifted in any context.

On the other hand, it makes sense in a school setting to identify the top 10% and ensure that you are stretching them, in the same way that you identify the bottom x% and make sure they are getting the help they need. After all if you are not careful, teaching can teach to the middle of any group. So then poor cohort or good, the top and bottom are not forgotton. The term gifted and talented then seems rather strange, because it is only in relation to the other children.

bumpybecky Thu 31-Jan-13 23:09:38

sandymum you know the sterotypical PE teacher - the one that wants to torture children by forcing them to play rugby & hockey in the snow / torrential rain etc....

well I think there's one out there that's found a new way to torment children. Find the ones that hate PE the most, declare them G&T so they have to do even more PE.

work of evil genius I tell you hmm

BooksandaCuppa Thu 31-Jan-13 23:11:09

Ha ha - that has got to be the answer!

steppemum Thu 31-Jan-13 23:12:05

I also like the advanced potential

we are primary so no cats tests.

The trouble with G&T and using top 10% is that it is a total misnomer. To me gifted should mean that they are gifted in any context.

On the other hand, it makes sense in a school setting to identify the top 10% and ensure that you are stretching them, in the same way that you identify the bottom x% and make sure they are getting the help they need. After all if you are not careful, teaching can teach to the middle of any group. So then poor cohort or good, the top and bottom are not forgotton. The term gifted and talented then seems rather strange, because it is only in relation to the other children.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 31-Jan-13 23:22:30

The funny thing about the top 10% thing is that some primaries have really tiny cohorts. In some of the year groups at ds's old primary that could have been less than a whole child...!

They only used to send letters home or 'identify' children to their parents as such if there was a specific day or activity at the local secondary with places. Ie, in some years there were 'g and t' scientists and other years 'g and t' artists or something. All very arbitrary (the topics not the children).

I still think Steppemum's school is being quite old-fashioned, not to say offensive in the terms listed in its 'gradings'. What's wrong with just below and above average with attached nc levels so parents can see how 'far' for themselves?

steppemum Thu 31-Jan-13 23:30:41

books I have to agree with you about using SEN on the gradings list. I do think it is inappropriate the more I think about it.

The thing is, they were brought in by a new head who turned the school round a few years ago, took it from satisfactory to outstanding within about 3 years. This tracking of children's levels and informing parents is seen as one of her big successes. The tracking is followed up, so any child who hasn't made a sub level of progress after 3 terms (what we used to call half terms) is flagged up and 2/3 teachers sit down and look at child's work and how they are doing and try and identify if there is a need or how they can support this child to progress.

She is now exectutive head of 6 schools across the federation and each school has its own head under her. Ofsted love it, and to be fair as I said the school is great, the results are good (we have very high value added score) and the school is popular now. dd2 reception class is awesome. Truly fab place to be for a 5 year old.

seeker Thu 31-Jan-13 23:36:56

I find it really hard to believe that OfSTED are happy with SEN being used as a NC descriptor.....

steppemum Thu 31-Jan-13 23:42:26

well, they love the system.

This head has just been asked to go and be advisor for something or other they like her so much.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 31-Jan-13 23:42:35

Sounds a great school, then, other than this one factor. If I were a parent there, I would most probably be making a complaint, though. It's hard enough to explain to other people/parents about my son's disabilities and abilities without such unhelpful and outdated definitions. (see recent thread - 'how can a school with a lot of Sen get good sats results?' 'because Sen is nothing to do with intelligence!' Grr. I know you know what I mean, anyway!!!

steppemum Thu 31-Jan-13 23:55:41

and although the terminology is hmm the principle is good in that the tracking of every child in this way means that they quickly spot if a child is not progressing and find a new way of approaching things to start them off again etc. They are so on the ball. Would be scary to be a teacher there though.

BooksandaCuppa Fri 01-Feb-13 00:02:43

Please don't think I'm being narky, but what you're describing is not really anything particularly unusual. It's just what most good schools do as a matter of course. Tracking and accounting for progress is something all schools and teachers are doing each and every day. They have to.

seeker Fri 01-Feb-13 09:52:52

Any good school can track it's children like this- evennin my ds's distinctly average primary, teachers could always tell you what NC level a child was currently working at.

It's the use of SEN as a descriptor that I am focussing on. I a go smacked that OFSTED is letting this pass, and can only think there has been some sort of misunderstanding.

BooksandaCuppa Fri 01-Feb-13 09:58:55

I agree entirely, seeker. I think we also have to agree it's not steppemum's fault so I don't want to harangue her. I do know though, that, - if it's not some sort of misunderstanding - I would be complaining loudly were it my school.

seeker Fri 01-Feb-13 10:00:57

Oh,yes of course it's not her fault! I wonder if we could encourage her to query it, though?

BooksandaCuppa Fri 01-Feb-13 10:15:10

We might have...

sandyballs Fri 01-Feb-13 11:22:52

I have an 'explanation' from the school:

There are 9 classes in year 7 and the top 2 from each of those classes are chosen as G&T for each subject. So despite all the literature saying it's the top 5-10% in each subject that obviously isn't the case. They have to choose two from each class, even if no-one in that particular class shines at the subject and half of another class excel.

I'm dropping it now, not worth the effort, it's obviously all bollocks.

BooksandaCuppa Fri 01-Feb-13 11:47:05

That's madness, OP. Hopefully your daughter will not be too upset by the whole thing. The main thing is she continues to enjoy and excel at all her sports.

ibizagirl Fri 01-Feb-13 13:18:06

It's all a load of rubbish in my opinion. Dd on G&T since starting primary school and she is now 13 and year 9. Nothing much happened at primary school because i wasn't told dd was on this "list" until she nearly finished year 6. Had some parents talk about us because apparently "how come she (dd) is on the G&T list if her mum is a single parent". Don't know how they knew about it because i never spoke about it. Anyway, since starting high school dd had an extra couple of trips to go on as there were only about 8 children chosen for them. She is the only one as far as she knows that is on the list and ALL the children within top set are classed as G&T in maths and english. Although there are some in mfl who are identified and also in science. There is a meeting every so often to go to but dd says the trips are not really her thing so she doesn't bother to join. The last one was to the Houses of Parliament and she didn't want to go!!. I was told it goes on CAT tests that the children have. Don't know anything about them to be honest. Good luck.

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