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Top 2%, very superior, average school....now what?

(117 Posts)
neverknowinglyunderdressed Sat 16-Apr-11 16:49:38

Looking for advice...I have DTS aged 7, P3 (Scottish system) who were disruptive, fidgety daydreamers at school. I suspected they were highly intelligent so when called in to meet the Head and the class teacher to discuss 'behaviour issues' I tried to steer the discussion towards enrichment rather than discipline, successfully, I think. School then informed me that they had been placed on 'Accelerated learners program''. Kids have now settled down in class which could be to do with AL or could be coincidental.

I wanted to know for sure so I bit the bullet and coughed up the money to have one tested by an Ed Psych, turns out I was right (about one of them at least).
Felt better for about for a millisecond, now feel dazed.

Does anyone know anything about the AL program, how do I check up on it? Do I share the Ed Psychs report with the school? Do I need to look into a different school, ie. independent or will AL suffice for now?

Current school is small (80 kids) shared Head, composit classes and in the last inspection it was noted that it struggles to stretch more able pupils. New teacher (graded Excellent) has now been put in charge of AL so think they are trying to address it.

Concerned that at this school they may just coast along, not working to their optimal level, although I've no real basis for this belief. Equally, I don't necessarily buy into the fact that all private schools are better and successfully get the best out of bright kids.

magicmummy1 Sat 16-Apr-11 22:16:51

Top 2% means 1 in 50. That's very bright but not exceptional - honestly speaking, I'd have thought most schools could cope quite well with this. You say you have no basis for believing that they'll be allowed to coast at this school, so maybe just see how it goes for a while?

beanlet Sat 16-Apr-11 22:22:19

Actually, top 2% is an IQ of 138, so yes, it is pretty exceptional, actually.

My advice, from experience? Don't push, don't accelerate, but expand what your DTs are learning through extracurricular experiences. They'll learn everything else fine. Thd biggest danger is not academic but social - they need to learn how to relate to everyone else, and that can only be done in a normal class.

squidgy12 Sun 17-Apr-11 06:43:44

Message withdrawn

neverknowinglyunderdressed Sun 17-Apr-11 09:42:22

At the risk of being picky, surely top 2% obviously means you are more intelligent than 98% of the population! I would class that as exceptional enough!

Beanlet - Problem with extra curric is that we are in rural Scotland. Difficult to find music teachers, language lessons non existent. No after school activities at all ie. no chess club. Any ideas on this?

Squidgy - well done for being so bright, having such accomplished friends and having found a top grammar school 'easy'! I have an advanced degree myself although I went to a bog standard comp at which my being say, top 5%, meant I spent most of my day being taught with peers considerably less able than myself. I don't want the same for my kids.

I know they would not be classified 'genius level' and I'm fine with that. But I do want to optimise the school experience for them.

magicmummy1 Sun 17-Apr-11 10:01:11

I went to a bog standard comp, too, and I also spent my school career being taught alongside people less able than me. It really didn't do me any harm.

Of course top 2% is bright. All I was saying is that most schools should be geared up for dealing with this sort of level as it really isn't that unusual. As squidgy has pointed out, it would be at the top of a typical dual entry year group, so my daughter's school would expect to see at least one such pupil every year. And in many large secondary schools, there would be a handful in each cohort.

Personally, I think you should forget about the labels, and focus on whether your kids are getting what they need. You said that their behaviour has settled down, so that's good, and the school is clearly taking steps to stretch them academically through the accelerated learners thing. Why not stop worrying for now and see how it goes?

As for the extra-curricular stuff, it's hard if there really isn't anything locally. Is this something that the school could do more of, not only fir your dcs but for others too? Or could they take up some sort of sport that they could practise & play together?

squidgy12 Sun 17-Apr-11 12:29:16

Message withdrawn

rabbitstew Sun 17-Apr-11 13:59:38

neverknowinglyunderdressed - are your children happy and behaving well at school, now? What are you worried is going to happen to them if they stay at the school? That they will start misbehaving again because they are bored? That they will get appallingly bad qualifications because they can't be bothered with the work? That they will do well but not as well as you think they ought to have done in life? That they won't be able to make any friends, because no-one can understand the way their intellect works? You need to be honest about what is really bothering you and its likelihood before you can make any decisions. All I can say is that there are plenty of exceptionally bright people who have managed to get through their school careers with people considerably less intelligent than themselves and lived to tell the tale - and achieved everything they ever wanted in life. You know your children's personalities and motivations - be true to those when you decide what to do, as it has far more to do with this than their IQs. They could be of average IQ and still need to be in another school, or phenomenally clever and still be happy where they are.

lovecheese Sun 17-Apr-11 19:16:17

Squidgy, bog-standard comprehensives=class disruption? shock Bit of a sweeping statement!

squidgy12 Sun 17-Apr-11 20:16:40

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Doobydoo Sun 17-Apr-11 20:27:46

I would want my child to be with other children who are motivated,interested and don't take the mickey if someone does well in a test or has different interests.Hope you find the right things for your children OPsmileThe school does sound like they are taking the AL seriously.Good Luck.

spidookly Sun 17-Apr-11 20:31:00

Bright kids who disrupt class because they are "bored" should be disciplined.

If it's good enough for kids who are acting up because they are struggling, it's more than good enough for able kids who are just being brats.

I can't believe anyone could be proud of their bright child fucking up the education of weaker pupils by being disruptive.

2% is no big deal btw. I can't believe you have a degree of any kind and are so impressed by that.

Doobydoo Sun 17-Apr-11 20:35:17

The child who 'acts up' in my son's class gets rewarded if he can manage to behave himself for a few hours!
2% is a big deal.As is how a person/child gets on with others and uses their abilities.

Doobydoo Sun 17-Apr-11 20:36:25

Did anyone say they were proud of 'their bright child' messing up other pupils education?

spidookly Sun 17-Apr-11 20:41:19

It didn't sound like she was remotely cross with her kids for being so obnoxious.

It is shameful to be called up to school for disruptive bright children. Going up with an agenda that they should be rewarded rather than punished because they are bright in a very ordinary way is shite.

HSMM Sun 17-Apr-11 21:08:48

I am a member of Mensa and did perfectly well with a state education, my DD is also a member of Mensa and is doing well at a state secondary school, after being at a state primary school.

You are right to check that your children are not being allowed to drift and are being stretched, but any half decent state school will be able to do this.

DadAtLarge Sun 17-Apr-11 23:02:22

"Bright kids who disrupt class because they are "bored" should be disciplined."

My DS is gifted in maths and is several years ahead of his peers. For all of his first three years in school he was a model pupil, teachers loved him, they couldn't tell us enough what a good, polite and well behaved boy he was.

Then the disruption started towards the end of year two. It started with rocking on his chair. Then fidgetting. Then not listening. After investigation we realised what triggered the change - they had reached the end of his patience with the mind-numbingly boring maths work they had been giving him for three years. The school had either failed to spot how capable he was in maths or they choose to ignore it and give him "extension" work that he could have done as a baby.

We spoke to the head, spoke to the teachers, put an IEP in place, got them to give him more appropriate work and his behaviour just went straight back to normal. Like magic.

When a bright child is disrupting the class because s/he is bored I would favour action against the school/teacher rather than the child.

squidgy12 Mon 18-Apr-11 00:05:13

Message withdrawn

KristinaM Mon 18-Apr-11 00:10:17

Op -what are your choices? If you live in a rural area, do you have a good private school near you and can you afford two sets of fees?

DadAtLarge Mon 18-Apr-11 09:40:54

squidgy12, it may or may not be relevant to the OP's case.

squidookly's generalisation annoyed me, I'm tired of people assuming that kids misbehaving is always a kid/parent issue. Where do teachers figure in this?

I'm not saying parents are blameless - a lot of bad behaviour is the parents' fault but when it comes to intelligent children being disruptive in class out of boredom, one needs to dig deeper. Teachers can and do bore the hell out of intelligent children to the point they become disruptive. They do it over years and gradually wear kids down. Teachers have become experts at this (I've subsequently seen the "time-pass" work my DS was being given and I was livid. Multiple teachers in this "outstanding" school need the sack).

Some kids crack earlier than others or find other ways to deal with boredom, but whether those kids use disruption, distraction, detachment or something else I believe someone needs a kick up the pants ...and it's not the kid or parent.

Doobydoo Mon 18-Apr-11 10:12:54

Good points DadatLarge.My ds1 who is now 11years old was put off school due to the extra time wasting homework he was given.Also the assumption was that we were 'hot housing' him,which could not be further from the truth.It is how he is.DS2 is very different.Anyway we were in Ireland at the time and took him out and home edded him.He spent 2 terms at a primary school in UK when we came back and is now happy at secondary school.
So many schools would be delighted with bright,motivated children.It would not be seen as a problem or even something to be ashamed of.I am sick of having to downplay ds1's intelligence so adults[mainly] feel more comfortable and can't sneer!

neverknowinglyunderdressed Mon 18-Apr-11 17:58:25

Thanks Dadatlarge for your considered and thoughtful reply, I agree with you that school and some teachers can be extremely boring for some children. I think it was similar here as they are in 3rd year at Primary and were fairly well behaved prior to this year.

It's very interesting to me that this word 'gifted' or high ability brings out the worst in some parents. I'm hoping to glean info from other parents in a similar situation hence posting here not on AIBU!

Spidookly I was concerned that they were being disruptive however, I wanted to be sure as a parent that the needs of my children were being addressed.

There is a prep school about 30 mins drive away, but fees are extortionate. And a large selection of independent schools in the city 50 mins away. Moot point anyway as at the moment we couldn't afford 2 sets of fees.

I have made an appointment to see the AL coordinator teacher to learn more about it and share the info with them. If AL is 1 hour a fortnight, I'm not sure it will be enough. Will wait and see.

squidgy12 Mon 18-Apr-11 18:54:41

Message withdrawn

neverknowinglyunderdressed Mon 18-Apr-11 19:10:45

Yes, you are correct, current school class size is 21. Several SEN kids in there tho, but also have classroom assistant.

Not having gone to private school always a bit suspicious. You know the idea, that once you are paying 20k a year, of course you are going to rave about 'how great the school is, and how well little Jonny is doing'. Consequently, the opposite is also probably true, if something is free, more difficult to recognise the value of it? Tempted to look into it, but most say bursaries only for secondary and means tested. Think we would not pass as income good, but lots of outgoings.

Just found place for piano lessons, 35 mile round trip!

Asinine Mon 18-Apr-11 19:49:00

Our very ordinary state primary copes well with our ds and another able child. They do extra maths with a secondary school teacher, and extension work in literacy. You should certainly share the ed psych report with the school. We haven't gone down the private route and are happy with our decision.

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