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School not challenging

(6 Posts)
insideoutside Fri 14-Oct-11 10:04:07

Hi everyone
I wonder if anyone can give me some advice please. I am losing sleep over this and can't find any resources online.

DS is 8 (Y3) and has left his infant school where he was on the G&T register and they were brilliant at ensuring all children were challenged at their level.
My son is very able, I don't think "gifted" as I understand the term but now he is in his new school, he has been put in the top group for literacy and maths. He tells me everyday that he likes his friends but wants to move school as the work is far too easy, he's not learning anything and he never gets any "teacher time" as they are always with the kids who are finding things more tricky.

I have spoken to his teacher who can't see why I am concerned that he's is not learning anything new or being challenged. She said, eventually, things will even out. I mentioned that he'd had his "Chip" (challenging individual plan) in the last school but she had never heard of it. She told me they don't have the staff to run a Gifted, Talented and Able programme in their school.

Does anyone know if they are obliged to? I thought the G&T programme was universal... or is it optional? I don't actually care about a register as such, more that he is being stretched, which he isn't. I hear from other parents that some schools "stream" by ability, regardless of age. Is this common? They are point blank refusing to do anything extra with him. They won't even given him a challenging reading book as "no-one else has ever read higher than that level in his year in all the years she has worked there".

Any help and advice would be so gratefully received! Should I just chill out about it and be happy to have this as a problem? I don't want to be the new pushy mum.
Thanks in advance x

Iamnotminterested Fri 14-Oct-11 10:13:13

What size is his year group OP? Is it two classes+ ? If it is then streaming seems to be the obvious way to do things, to my mind.

howlingheadlessmunsters Fri 14-Oct-11 12:48:32

The gifted & talented prog is no more.

DS is in yr3 in a one class per year school so no streaming but table groups for maths & literacy help the teacher differentiate. Extension activities are used if the more able kids finish a task quickly. DS gets slightly harder maths homework & seems to be in front on the online maths prog they use in school.

So I don't feel it would be pushy to ask if the teacher thinks he is being challenged. Perhaps tell her how quickly homework is completed?

Habanera Fri 14-Oct-11 13:28:20

Chilling out may be a good option if he is otherwise happy, and you and family can provide lots of challenge and stretching yourself outside of school. I came to regard school as more of a social than very educational experience for my two (now 11 and 8), but it has really all depended on the teachers since "G and T" has basically been dumped-twasn't much count anyway IME-some teachers just are not interested/able to find time to invest in the brighter ones, some bend over backwards to help them.

One interesting thing that has happened this year was DD2 being invited to join an after school club aimed at older ones, it's a school newspaper run by another teacher, and she had repeatedly brought in her own extra writing work she does for fun to show teachers last year-they were interested, passed it round, alerted Head, and thought of her re. the club because of it. She loves the club and is learning even more about her area of interest.

The happier self-possessed child has got more teacher-ly help than the quietly frustrated one, the one who actually needs it IMO- but they have gone through different schools so that might be a factor too.

It all changes, every year-can be worse if you have one G'nT enthusiast one year followed by one who prefers to help the ones who are behind (I myself had to read the same reading textbook for two years-torture!!!)

A good source of advice and reading material is NAGC website, and there is a helpline if you want to join, that I found useful in the past when we had issues.

insideoutside Sat 15-Oct-11 07:39:23

Thank you so much, I had no idea as he was on the register until the end of the summer. I now understand much better why they aren't doing anything.
I guess I have a good problem to have and will try to enrich his learning a bit at home.

ibizagirl Sun 16-Oct-11 07:48:48

I didn't know my dd had been on GnT until year 6 parents consultation! Knew she was very "brainy" and she was always given extra work but it was still easy stuff. School didn't ever give us any leaflet or anything about GnT and i had never heard of it. Primary school teacher said it didn't do anything. Some people say it has now gone and i still don't know. Now dd is in year 8 at high school and it is talked about but different. She is in set 1 for all subjects apart from p.e and her teachers talk about their gifted and talented children because they are in top set but they are not on the register as dd asked some of them! Only difference at moment is that dd gets to go on different school trips, such as going to Houses of Parliament or doing challenges against the local private schools. Good luck x

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