Gifted an Talented selection criteria(8 Posts)
Hi there! First post here so please bear with me...
My son's always done very well and has been well ahead of the average levels for year 7, 8 and now 9. His current level now is around 8 for English, Maths and Science. His teachers for those subjects have put him forward for the G&T program lots of times over the years. Yet he's not in it.
I've had several meetings with the school an the G&T coordinator, and the reasons as to why he's not invited change in every one. Apparently he didn't get a high enough score in his CATs in year 7, and the coordinator said that her "main responsibility was to look after those pupils, not to take on new ones as she had her hands full". The school said once that that was the only criteria for selection and that nobody got in after year 7. Then they said that there were other criteria an new pupils were admited all the time, but did not disclose it when I asked for it.
The thing is, I've been looking around and my son fully qualifies to be in the G&T. Not only because of grades, but of other criteria such as being underachieving an always bored in lessons! But the only explanation the school gives me is that he doesn't qualify. No reason is given, no explanation and no pointers to what he should be or shoudn't be doing in order to be accepted. His behaviour is pretty good, btw.
So now I've got a boy who has given up trying, who doesn't give a toss about school any more and who thinks he must be thick or that people doesn't like him because he can't find another explanation for it, specially when he's got friends who are G&T and whose levels and grades are far lower than his.
Has anybody been in this situation? Could you give me some advice, please? It breaks my heart to see a clearly intelligent child with lots of potential just not giving a monkey's anymore!
Thank you and sorry for the rant...
What would it mean in practical terms for him to be on the G&T list? Are there extra lessons or would he go up a set or anything?
If it is just a label and makes no difference to his education, I would try and get him to see it as just that; a worthless opinion of a school which is trying to make things easier for itself.
If there is extra tuition could he do something from a website or something at home?
I know it is not quite the same, but I was put in the wrong stream in in the first year of secondary (equivalent now to year 8) and effectively lost a year of education before being moved. I was actually told I could not have been moved earlier because someone else would have had to move down after only a few weeks of being at the school! I can sympathise with how demotivating it is. I wish someone had told me that I had the ability to do well in spite of the school. Get him to focus on how good it will feel to leave that school waving a paper full of good grades.
You could ask to see their G&T policy and start making noises like you are going to make a formal complaint?
Before you do anything though, check whether G&T is worth having? Do they actually do anything other than just get a shiny, imaginary badge to wear? If that's all it is then a bit of cognitive therapy for your son might be the answer.
If its really effecting your son, such that he's likely to start underperfoming soon, then would you consider changing schools? Is it even possible (I know places aren't always available)
I was going to post exactly what var said. So I'll just agree.
I don't know what these G&T lists actually mean though tbh.
I'm not saying gifted children shouldn't be stretched and agree that for some it can be just as much a sn as those who struggle and are behind.
My dd was on the list a level 8 in her subject in y3, we didn't even know until she left the school and the teachers told us.
There just doesn't seem to be the money or resources for G&T, you are just expected to get on with it I think.
being bored in lessons is a criteria really
Does he show interest in the subjects? does he take part in the lessons or just sit there?
There is a lot more to G&T than just getting higher grades. My ds is dyslexic so has underperformed over the years and been in an out of G&T as he did have high CATS. For maths he asked questions that have the whole maths faculty debating the answers at lunch time, does your ds show that sort of enthusiasm?
Can you afford an independent assessment? I would do it and showed to school...
My DS's CATs scores and KS2 grades were pretty average but due to other concerns (ASD) he had his IQ tested by a psychologist and some areas were well within the G&T range (top 99.5%). Individual IQ tests are meant to be more accurate than CATs and there can be reasons for low school achievement (dyslexia non-engagement, etc). I shared IQ results with school and because of this and along with "some" teacher observation he was able to join the G&T group. They go on trips etc so it has been worthwhile. I don't believe he is actually on the G&T register which I believe is based on CATs and attainment levels. Don't forget that Einstein, Edison, Churchill and many others didn't shine academically at school. G&T doesn't necessarily mean high achiever and high achiever doesn't always mean G&T. DS has been put in some sets that he is not happy about and like your son, it has made him very very angry with school - he knows that he is more intelligent than others who appear to being doing better than him. He has dyslexia. His CATs say that he has about a 1% chance of an A in Core Science (which is what he is on track to achieve). I am hoping that he will be driven to prove the low expectations to be incorrect. A friend's son just left school with A*A*A and his CATs and KS2 grades were well below average. He got an A* in his Maths GCSE from second set, beating many in top set.
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