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Yr 1, bright child - help - where do we go from here?

(81 Posts)
Tanzie Thu 20-Jan-05 21:42:31

DD1 is supposed to be v bright and her teacher wants her to have an assessment by the G & T co-ordinator. For a variety of reasons (sick leave etc) the assessment keeps slipping and has not been done yet. DD keeps telling me she is bored at school and is now saying that she doesn't want to go to school as all she does is play (she is very anorakky child!). I mentioned this to her teacher yesterday and she said she really did not know what more to do - she has "extended" DD as much as she can, but she still needs more. We were told on Monday that the G & T assessment would be done this week, but once again it hasn't been. I do not want to be a pushy parent, and am not convinced she is "gifted and talented" - she is just a bit brighter than the rest and needs more work, but her teacher seems to be saying she can't give her anything more until this assessment is done. I don't want to go flouncing into the headmistress like Mrs Pushy Parent, but I don't want DD getting more and more reluctant to go to school because she is bored - any advice?

piffle Thu 20-Jan-05 21:50:07

we went through this as well, we were assessed by G+T and duly diagnosed, ds went to the next year up for literacy and numeracy work, he also was given extra lessons ie: more extended work with other similarly bright children, this was yr1+2
WE then mover house and several counties and found a school with much heavier academic expectation but he soon excelled there too.
We were offered to put him up a year but he was so emotionally immature that we decided against it, instead stretching him outside school with guitar lessons, french class, kumon maths and stagecoach drama, horse riding etc..
This has worked really well and he is into a grammar secondary in sept this year, so we're hoping that will be enough for him.

Tanzie Thu 20-Jan-05 21:57:54

Piffle, thanks, that is really helpful. I do some French with DD at home, and we are working through some maths books, which she loves. She also got the DK "I love maths!" computer game for Christmas which she thinks is fabby. The school do not put children up a year - they have said they will not do this (although they do with children who have English as a second language and are put in a year earlier than their age when they come to the school). I get the feeling that the teacher would like to do more, but is being constrained (by what? not sure). I don't know of anyone else at the school who is in the same position and certainly don't feel able to ask as it would look...pushy (and this school is full of pushy parents, believe me, they don't need another one!)

roisin Thu 20-Jan-05 22:02:18

I think we are too English. I always thought the same as you - that ds1 was 'bright', but didn't want to admit to more than that. When we finally had an assessment with an independent Ed Psych the 'scores' were so high we were terrified!

I wish we had fully accepted and recognised his abilities earlier, and that we had done some things differently.

I have it in mind that your dd is one of the oldest in the year - is that right? In those circumstances, especially for a girl, acceleration (moving up a year) might be a possibility as a start - based on what her teacher is saying. But there is far more they need to do for her in terms of enrichment and extension.

This book is worth every penny. (Don't be put off by the title, much of the content is useful and applicable to all children/parents/teachers!) It is focused on Under-8s, including pre-schoolers. It's not a light read by any means, but it has some fabulous material in, and practical strategies and suggestions. (If you do get it I would recommend starting with the second half, as the first half is quite heavy going!)

the NAGC do a range of leaflets, some of which might be helpful for you or your dd's school.


roisin Thu 20-Jan-05 22:05:26

Crossed posts with you there re acceleration - that's a shame.

As a note of hope, it does get easier. DS1 is now in yr3 (not accelerated), and the curriculum now seems to lend itself more to flexibility and broader teaching styles. KS1 is a bit of a nightmare for very able children, as it is so heavily focused on basic skills, and based around endless repetition which most children need.

We're fortunate in that our school is in a very deprived area, and there are very few pushy parents ... so we get away with it

Tanzie Thu 20-Jan-05 22:16:01

Oh Roisin, thank you! I'll send off for that book!

It does terrify me. She is one of the oldest in the year, and v tall, so would certainly not look out of place in Year 2. But I think I would hesitate to move her now - if they had suggested it at the end of Reception, I'd have said yes, but now she is settling and making more friends (she is slightly quirky and doesn't make friends particularly easily).

I think one of the reasons I don't want to make too much of a fuss is that my boss's daughter is at the same school, and in same year as DD, and he is always going on about how his DD has "got it academically" and how fantastically clever she is (of course, we all think our children are wonderful, but he will bang on! And he always treats me as if I am slightly retarded!). I just shut up or nod, grunt and smile (that's probably why he thinks I am retarded) - I don't want to get drawn into what reading level they are on, as I know my DD is 6 levels higher than his. Oh, I am waffling here, but what I am trying to say is that I don't want our DDs brought into the work place, and I think if he found out that DD was being assessed for G & T he would try and insist that his DD was as well (probably on the grounds that such an imbecile as me couldn't possibly have a bright child).

Tanzie Thu 20-Jan-05 22:17:38

Roisin, when we leave here, we will be going back to London and very probably the school that Oliver Letwin said he would rather beg than send his children to!

Current school is lovely but does have huge quota of pushy parents!

miggy Thu 20-Jan-05 22:26:18

I dont know why some schools have a "we dont move children up policy". Our school is quite flexible on this, I know of at least 4 children in the school who have moved up a yr (ds1 did so half way between yr 1 and 2) and similarly will keep children back a yr if not coping or keep a moved up child back a yr if things dont work out as they get older. Obviously there are social issues to consider but if you have an "anoracky" child that loves work, they liked to be pushed and to learn things and its really hard for that to happen in their yr group, even with a very committed teacher.
If you were offered to move Tanzie, I can only say that DS never looked back. I was worried like you as half way through year etc but he was so happy to be stretched, everything else fell into place. Very odd as had exactly same situation with bosses daughter in same year (must be some sort of parallel universe !)

roisin Thu 20-Jan-05 22:29:55

Thanks - that made me laugh! I think we all know parents like that, must be a giggle when it's your boss though.

Acceleration is certainly not the answer to everything, it would not be appropriate for my (socially immature summer born) ds1, but it can be a good start in some cases. It tends to attract strong opinions on both sides though. The author of the book I recommended is quite a fan apparently, but not everyone is.

Do you have a time schedule for moving back to London? (I've remembered where you are now!)

Tanzie Thu 20-Jan-05 22:34:35

Bizarrely, they have no difficulty with keeping children who are not performing well down a year. About 5 of the children in DD's class should be in Year 2 but are in Year 1 either because they have English as a second language or would struggle with Year 2.

She does have some friends in Year 2, so I don't think the move would be that difficult (and her close friends at school are not in her class, so she only sees tham at break and lunchtime), but it is clearly not going to happen!

Perhaps I will go and see the teacher again, and if no joy there, then the headteacher. I just get the feeling from the teacher that she would like to do more with DD but is being stopped by someone - perhaps because that is the job of the G & T co-ordinator. Don't know.

RTKangaMummy Thu 20-Jan-05 22:35:09

At DS school they have a group who go up each maths lesson to the next class up and therefore a weaker group that come down each lesson in maths.

This seems to work well this is all though the juniors so a bit older

perhaps that is a good suggestion that it isn't cmplete move but just for maths

then socially she could stay with peers

Tanzie Thu 20-Jan-05 22:37:59

Roisin, due back in time to start Year 3 in September 06, but will try and stay here longer if we can, or maybe move out of London.

DD2's Nursery teacher (who also taught DD1) thinks DD2 is brighter . But DD2 is social butterfly, in no way anorakky!

Tanzie Thu 20-Jan-05 22:38:55

RTKM - that sounds a good compromise.

roisin Thu 20-Jan-05 22:45:03

If the teacher sounds motivated, and positively-inclined towards dd and her abilities, that is a great start.

You could suggest things such as each week the teacher assessing whether she has already mastered the basics they are teaching, and occasionally therefore 'releasing' her from some of the circle time, and normal class work, and instead allowing her to work on more in depth projects of her own. Maybe writing book reviews of novels she has read? Or starting to plan and write a book of her own? Nrich is a site with some suggestions of suitable numeracy activities.

Tanzie Thu 20-Jan-05 22:57:05

Roisin, thanks for your suggestions, I'll put them to the teacher. I don't see why she shouldn't plod on with her own creative writing while the others do something else. Circle Time is a bit of an issue at the moment as DD refuses to participate. Teacher thinks it is because she is quite shy. I asked DD why she doesn't participate and she told me she "doesn't see the point of circle time!"

roisin Fri 21-Jan-05 07:54:33

Hope it goes well!

Mimsie Fri 21-Jan-05 10:06:41


re the moving up of classes, I am not really for it. I was one of the youngest in my class and my mum was offered when I was little to push me up a class. She refused and I forever thank her for it.

when it came to baccalaureat (french equivalent of A levels) there was a boy in our class who was in the same situation as me but was pushed up. it means he ended up doing his "A level" at 16. he was far too young to make up his mind about a university course. I felt young at 17 to choose my course...

It's all a bit difficult a choice really, my DS is "bright" I dont think, and in some ways don't hope, that he is too bright... I am a bit scared for him. I was quite happy in school, school for me was a socialising place I never found it hard, just found it fun and I hope the same will be true for him.

My husband differs a bit on that with me, because he was "diagnosed" as a genius in his teens. I think they say from IQ 150-179 genius 180 onward is gifted or is it the other way round?!? Anyhow hubby was mensa tested as 179 and although the school knew, he didnt do all that well at his A levels, though he did quite OK at uni.

I was never "bored" at school I just thought it was easy, I enjoyed the tests, and I enjoyed the social life. School was more about social life than what I actually did in the class. This is kinda what I wish for my son.

Another issue I find about bumping kids up a class is that they might excel at one thing but not all of the curriculum. i.e. I was only really great at Maths and Physics. Useless at french literature and the other aspects of the curriculum. I was good in spoken english but useless at the grammar.

At the end of the day maybe had I been pushed more as some of the teachers suggested I would have done better, but would it have made me a happier person?!? After my A-levels my physics teacher filled in a form for Math-sup a french math school. I refused, I didnt want to become a nerd lol! and in retrospect am really glad I didnt allow myself to get pushed, caus I would have missed out on coming to an english uni and meeting my hubby pie :P

All that said and done DH was bored at school, and it is hard to handle that situation. with my DS on the first day at reception he said he didnt want to go back caus the teacher only taught things he already knew. I said sometimes that'll happen but there will also be lots that you don't know yet.

So what school is easy, it's still fun to play with your friends...

foxinsocks Fri 21-Jan-05 10:15:32

Tanzie, your boss sounds hysterical - you have really made me laugh!

I can't see why the teacher can't give her homework or worksheets that stretch her a bit? Do they at some point sit down and do things like maths worksheets and writing practice, couldn't she just give her the worksheets from the year above? I suppose it's extra work for the teacher but if it motivates your dd then surely it would be a good thing. My dd is a very good reader (though totally not in to writing or drawing) and without any fuss, is given reading books that are way above the level of the normal books.

I was totally bored at school and as a result, completely underachieved. It's only when I got to university that I actually started enjoying studying the subjects I had chosen. There's nothing worse than being bored so don't think of yourself as pushy!! Also roisin's suggestions of extra out of school clubs is a great idea.

berolina Mon 24-Jan-05 19:04:59

My thing at school was the verbal side of things - reading (mother taught me to read before starting school and apparently I was reading my older brother's reading books to him at age 3/4!), spelling, writing. In everything else I was good but not outstanding. All through primary I just ploughed through all the reading books and English workbooks etc. at my own pace, which meant me being a couple of years ahead of the rest of the class at any one given time, and wrote pages and pages of stories, poems etc. I really enjoyed it, as I also had trouble making friends (understatement, in fact I was bullied ) and enjoyed being able to 'withdraw' from the class, but it did mean me having to go through a lot of exercises and things I could do already (spellings and grammar spring to mind), because the workbooks had to be covered. I think suggesting she is given some of the year above's work to get on with independently is a good idea and means she's not particularly singled out (if she doesn't want to be). Maybe, along with this, certain challenging parts of group projects could be 'steered' towards her - that could also help her social standing in the class.

Tanzie Wed 26-Jan-05 22:27:10

Ooo, Berolina, are you me? I was good at reading and languages, but fairly crap at maths and science.

DD1 appears to have done most of Year 2's work already (on her own). Am still waiting to see if she has been assessed by the G & T (I'll have ice and lemon with mine!) lady.

roisin Tue 01-Feb-05 21:15:45

Tanzie, I was just wondering how you got on with the teacher, and whether you've found any solutions for your dd1?

Tanzie Tue 01-Feb-05 21:34:29

Roisin, the teacher has been off sick for a while so I haven't seen her yet. DD has a supply teacher at the mo, but I don't think she really knows the children, so I'd rather wait until the tacher is back.

DD did tell me today that they have put them in different groups for French. She appears to be in the group with all the bilingual children, judging from whom she told me was in her group, and is determined that her French will be as good as theirs. I was quite surprised by this, as the only French she has done has been with me, and watching Salut Serge, but her teacher obviously thinks she should be pushed. She says that French isn't boring any more (phew!) all we have to do is crack the rest of her lessons!

roisin Fri 18-Mar-05 21:58:43

Tanzie, how's it going? Have you had any joy from the school this term?

Tanzie Sun 20-Mar-05 21:55:01

Roisin, went to Parent's Day last week and her teacher said DD was currently being observed by the G & T co-ordinator and would be assessed next term. I had a look at her work, and also that of her classmates, and she does seem to be streets ahead of them - everything correctly punctuated - speech marks, commas, question marks etc, good spelling, maths also excellent. Teacher is keen to push her and give her extra work and the G & T co-ordinator has come up with some stuff for her as well.

pleaserewind Sun 20-Mar-05 22:05:02

i was told by my sons teacher that he is classed as G & T. I wasn't told of any assessment though???
would they have assessed him without telling me?

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