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Non-existent G and T(are all schools like this?)

(15 Posts)
Dottymum2 Sat 09-Nov-13 22:48:40

First post on here so hello all smile. My dd (now year 5) was identified as G and T in literacy early year one and I was then told school do more for the g and t children further up in the school. Since then I have checked every parents evening if she is still on the register (she is and also for maths since year 2) and they have always said they do more when they reach the upper years. I guess my question is is this dismissive attitude towards g and t normal in many schools and is it just a tick in the box exercise? We have a parents evening coming up and I will again ask if she is on the register but pretty sure there is nothing on offer for her even if she is. Would you leave it or have a moan to head teacher? Thanks in advance.

Kewcumber Sat 09-Nov-13 22:53:38

It depends. UNless it has changed G&T seems these days to be mathematical top 10% of the class in each area not necessarily especially G&T by most peoples standard. Also do you feel that she is suffering from being stretched? Our class don't have (as far as I'm aware) any special provision for G&T except in areas like music or sport but the brightest children (in fact all children) do seem to have appropriately differentiated work.

If you feel she;s enjoying school and getting on at the kind of level you'd expect then no I wouldn't moan purely on teh basis that she is G&T and should therefore be getting some special G&T type teaching. But if you feel she is coasting, bored, unhappy in school etc then yes I would discuss with the school because thats the kind of thing they need to address in any child regardless of the reasons.

steppemum Sat 09-Nov-13 23:03:14

Each lesson and class should be setting work which is appropriate to your child's level. So within the class, the work is differentiated for all levels of ability.

So, as long as she is being given work at her level then the school is taking into account her ability.

You might then find that there are G&T days with focus on various subjects further up the school.

PiqueABoo Sun 10-Nov-13 00:59:20

It's Y5, they're running out of 'further up'.

Rockinhippy Sun 10-Nov-13 01:50:05

I think it might have changed, unless it varies regionally of course, I say that as DD is the only one being set G&T group stuff in ine of her subjects in her year, byt mot do in her other G&T subjects - so it can't be the top 10% - I did used to think it was the top 2, but since the other left the school, it's only been DD getting the extra work in one subject, so it's not that in her school eitherconfused

Other than that I would agree with everything Kew has already said,

with DD she gets work set at her ability - ie: work to chalange her more, for some subjects the G&T kids are taken out & taught separately along with top set kids & then there's been the occasional special event type work, usually outside of school or outsiders coming into school to teach them something off curriculum, such as film making - though these are rare treats more than schooling IYSWIM

DDs school have always set her more challenging work through KS2, but working alongside the rest of the class, so it's not obvious - even with her being the only G&T DC for Math, but she still sits on a table with others, work is similar, just more advanced - so like I say, not at all obvious.

Maybe asking what work your DD is being given compared to the rest of her group would help - is it top set work, or work for G&T & she still works with the top set, so she's not sitting alone or in a very small group & as Kew has said, most importantly how DD feels about the work she is being set - if she's complaining its too easy, then the teachers need to address that

Rockinhippy Sun 10-Nov-13 01:51:24

blush she doesn't get her brains from me looking at all those typos - bloody autocorrect & lack of sleep

PiqueABoo Sun 10-Nov-13 10:57:41

"I think it might have changed, unless it varies regionally of course"

There never were any rules or clarity, just some very vague guidance with a almost arbitrary 10% from the government and no consistent approach to it from schools.

Schools used to have to report G&T numbers on census returns, but post-Gove that reporting stopped and G&T is essentially deprecated i.e. I get the impression the current idea is they should just use levels, progress and differentiation regardless, not faff about labelling them G&T to justify doing anything.

10yo DD was put on the G&T several years ago, which was effectively just a pleasant vote of confidence from her peri' piano teacher. In another school she'd have been on G&T for maths, but not that one. However that doesn't matter because the maths 'highers' have had regular additional maths lessons outside class in place of some standard class numeracy lessons since Y4. Literacy doesn't really need that treatment, they just read harder books alongside children reading easier ones, write more complex prose and get more complex feedback in the marking comments etc.

I think it's best, easier, to ignore G&T labels and just stick with the ability/level and differentiation angle.

Rockinhippy Sun 10-Nov-13 11:37:39

That explains a lot Pique

& yes I totally agree with your last statement, personally I think the G&T label is a bit of a red herring, it means nothing if they are being stretched & engaged in class - if they are taught at their ability & a bit above, are engaged & really enjoying learning, then job done & I agree no label really needed at all. When that isn't happening & they are bored, losing interest & either daydreaming or being disruptive, then it needs addressing with teachers & action taken whether they've made the G&T list or not.

if anything it can cause more trouble than its worth as there is an odd mind set with some parents over it, no one ever feels they have to keep quiet if their DCs have any SN, yet sadly you soon learn to do just that with G&T as the claws really do come out both with parents & DCs, so the school working with G&T kids in a way that doesn't single them out IME is good

lade Sun 10-Nov-13 12:32:41

I think it is all very random / scattergun in the school's approach to it.

My Dd1 was on the G&T register at her old school (for Maths and English) , and this meant she got taken out of class and given extension work to do.

Then, we moved schools and she had nothing. After a change of head, she was put back on the G&T register for English, and this meant she got extra "stretching" homework, which she hated. This year, that has all stopped. They don't do extra homework, but those G&T in maths get taken out of class for extra work, they don't do anything special for English. At my DDs school, they only recognise G&T in Maths and English.

My daughter is also rather good at gymnastics (she trains 18+ hours a week, and will be taking her national grades in March), and I'm not overstating it when I say she is one of the best at gym in the whole school (there's another girl who she trains with who is also very good), but no one else even comes close. But, there has been no recognition of this at my DDs school. Yet amongst her gym friends, most of them have bee put on G&T for gymnastics, some have had trips / extension activities because of it and so on... Even those girls who are not training at my DDs level. Yet I know Gym can be enough to go on the G&T register, because I'm a teacher myself (much older children though), have read the govt guidance and remember that they have the specific example if being talented at one sport - they gVe the example of squash, which wouldn't even be on the NC for primary schools, yet gymnastics is!

I have therefore concluded it's all arbitrary and not to worry about if too much grin.

lade Sun 10-Nov-13 12:34:58

I ought to say, no official recognition. The head teacher knows my DD loves and lives gymnastics (through the endless medals she takes in) and has called her "their resident gymnast" in the past!

PiqueABoo Sun 10-Nov-13 16:54:16

Rockinhippy: "there is an odd mind set with some parents over it"
Class parents here are odd if they don't start twitching when someone else's child achieves something their child has not, especially when their child is one of the more obvious vicarious projects. We do have a handful of decent, generous spirited types, but it's generally quite competitive.

lade: "some have had trips / extension activities because of it"
I genuinely didn't imagine any school did that for music/sport. I'll take a wild guess that those things are nothing to write home about?

Rockinhippy Mon 11-Nov-13 12:25:51

Yeah, that sounds pretty much the same as here too pique not that I ever discuss DDs status with anyone. I know from the venom I've seen spouted against others that have dared to own up to having a very bright DC that it was a bad idea, When cornered & asked why she does so well in class, I've even found myself excusing DD in a way, as being one of the eldest therefore she's bound to be ahead, which is so sad really.

Mind you the oddest one I've had is one DM who whenever I see her corners me & goes on & on about her exceptionally bright, gifted DS, how the school let him down as he's so bright & how she cant wait to get him out of there & into a selective Grammar school - she even owned up to complaining when they had the ofsted inspection that the school are rubbish with G&T shock - they are not, I feel they are pretty good in general -

I don't think her DS can even be on the G&T register as he isn't in any groups with DD, he's not even in the group below her & the work groups are streamed, except in situations like DD in maths, where she is the only one working at that level, so works along side the next brightest group, but they expect more from her work - odd to say the least

PiqueABoo Mon 11-Nov-13 17:11:28

"When cornered & asked"

Mmm.. the number of times I've felt like making up the secret they're trying to wheedle out of me. The honest answer "It's just her nature, we don't do school-stuff at home" isn't typically well received. It's a similar story for extra-curricular e.g. there wasn't some ex-Olympic swimming coach, just a bog-standard 30 minute group lesson at the council pool on a Saturday morning.

If I were to play word associations with DD's childhood I'd have "happy", but also "target". The latter has soured the former too often and it's not other children because most of then like DD (she's a good sport and engagingly modest), just some allegedly grown-up parents and their playground politics.

ibizagirl Thu 16-Jan-14 11:52:27

Dd goes on a few trips now and again but they are nothing special. As i have mentioned before, although she has been on g&t register since primary, ALL of the top set are classed as g&t in each subject whether on register or not. Apart from a few trips then dd does nothing extra and nothing is ever mentioned to do with g&t anyway.

lljkk Thu 16-Jan-14 20:29:55

I think it tends to be a tick box thing, yes.
Do you feel she's underachieving or unhappy?
Age 8-11 I attended a school with special programmes for gifted kids and it was PANTS.

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