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Gifted In Science

(33 Posts)
HinHin Mon 26-Sep-16 22:20:16

We will be moving to UK next year from Australia with our boy age 12

He is 5 years ahead in Science and 4 years ahead in Maths. He had his first external exam (equivalent to GCSE level) at the age of 9

We can not afford London

Can someone suggest what schools we should look at for 13+ entry

SnookieSnooks Thu 29-Sep-16 13:30:45

Look for grammar schools.

This one is in Orpington on the Kent/SE London border area. It is a 'super selective' grammar which means they have the absolute top end of the ability range. The sun of one of the cabinet ministers in Blair's government went to this school.

HinHin Fri 30-Sep-16 06:33:57

Thanks and had a looked at st olaves. Unfortunately, my boy falls under in year vacancy and it must be applied via the local authority which we do not have one since we are still overseas

Actually we are prepared to consider private but understand many top ones had closed the 2017 application already

JustRichmal Fri 30-Sep-16 11:23:46

Is home education for a few months an option, so you can look round schools and areas and decide what you and he like?
Also, you need to think about where you see his education going. For instance, would he be wanting to go straight into A levels in maths and science? If so, you need to discuss with the head teacher if their school could offer this provision and how they could teach him.

HinHin Fri 30-Sep-16 12:22:10

Thanks, he wants to become a physicist since age 7
The acceleration in his current school actually creating a lot of problems, other parents complaining the special arrangement he is having and want to follow suits. Even year 12 parents complained him in the senior class.
So we are worried whether any uk schools are willing to extend him in maths and science but stay with his peers in other subjects.
Also home education is beyond our ability
If anyone has come across similar case, will love to hear it

nennyrainbow Fri 30-Sep-16 12:33:55

Have you looked into internet school eg Interhigh which he could do at home, either as a temporary measure or a long term one? I am suggesting this because my son (11) is doing this, and we have noticed they have mixed ages in the class, and he is with different aged pupils for different subjects depending on ability. They might be able to fit him in with a higher year group for maths and science whilst staying with year 7 or 8 for his other subjects.

HinHin Fri 30-Sep-16 22:28:56

Looked at interhigh, they have maths but sadly not physics my boy can never be a good mathematician since he always get the basic arithmetic wrong despite he is in year 12 maths class, he is so careless
He learns a lot of his science from Internet himself so finding a school which can accommodate him will be more important

JustRichmal Fri 30-Sep-16 23:32:38

When it comes to children who are far ahead, each school has its own idea of what they should do. The only person who will be able to tell you what they would do is the head teacher.
Schools are not able, often, to put children into higher classes just for one or two subjects because of timetable clashes.
Also the school may take the view that a much younger child in an older class may alter the dynamics of the class to the detriment of the other students. Younger children are often at a different social level.
Lastly, if he is making mistakes to the extent that it is preventing him from getting the top grades in exams, the school may well want to work on this before accelerating him further.
You really need to talk to schools individually about what you want for his education and what they would offer.

HinHin Fri 30-Sep-16 23:45:08

Thanks he has no problem mixing with the senior students
He is top in year 12 physics and top 5 in year 12 maths but still making careless basic mistakes

HinHin Sat 01-Oct-16 01:23:17

The simple arithmetic mistake is like 4+2, he is very careless on simple questions

IsayIdontknow Sat 01-Oct-16 09:09:39

Maybe you can contact Kings College London Maths School, it's a sixth form college specialized in Maths so they might be able to give you some advice?

JustRichmal Sat 01-Oct-16 09:38:56

This is some of the reasoning schools give for not putting children into higher classes. However, I also know of instances of younger children being educated in the 6th form for maths. It really does depend on the school.
Also there are other solutions. Dd does most of her studying at home and then gets some help in lessons, but just quietly gets on with A level work in class and also gets some teaching in a lunch time.
Another difficulty you are going to hit is that the A level maths exam is changing. This is the last year for starting on the old system and next year will be the first year of starting on the new system.
I realise this has wandered off from your original question of what school. but I do think it is worth contacting perspective schools in advance to see what their solution would be.

LIZS Sat 01-Oct-16 09:42:47

Whitgift or Trinity in Croydon ? One of the private "grammar" schools such as Manchester? Where is work likely to be based?

HopeClearwater Sat 01-Oct-16 09:46:59

He is top in year 12 physics and top 5 in year 12 maths but still making careless basic mistakes

Then he shouldn't be in those groups. He needs to consolidate his basic arithmetic first.

pieceofpurplesky Sat 01-Oct-16 10:03:25

Many state schools are excellent you know. Not every parent with a gifted child can afford private and these children do very well. Where I work we have all sorts of extras for our gifted children - and you may be surprised that he is amongst children just as bright or brighter - but they have not been accelerated or put in for exams as the school not only wants to challenge them but also nurture them in to rounded young adults.
Look around and visit schools when you arrive - find the one that fits your child

AllTheShoes Sat 01-Oct-16 10:23:28

I'd suggest putting a thread in further education called something like 'Admissions Tutors - which non-London schools do your brightest physicists come from?'. That way, you'll get a view of which schools are good at supporting and encouraging children like your son.

yeOldeTrout Sat 01-Oct-16 10:42:14

How is he at drama, PE, catering, English, DT, German, French?
Does it really make sense to work so hard at pushing what he's already good at if he's ordinary at the other stuff
He's going to have culture shock, anyway, why not make one thing he can relax and easily excel at while he still has to work hard at the others.

JustRichmal Sat 01-Oct-16 12:14:41

With 121 teaching, I'm sure there are many more children who could go through the curriculum faster. Some parents do not see this as a good thing and it is their choice not to teach or let their child do online learning at home. Both approaches are parents doing what they see as the best way of educating their child.
IME I found the "adding breadth" to their learning, usually meant teaching them nothing, but giving them a more difficult worksheet to do when they finished the easy stuff.
I have never had any problem with other parents, but then most parents do not know or if they do, do not have any issue with it. I never really talk to any of them about it.

user1474361571 Sat 01-Oct-16 16:33:56

I'd suggest putting a thread in further education called something like 'Admissions Tutors - which non-London schools do your brightest physicists come from?'.

Physics is not taught in further education colleges but in institutions of higher education. It would be appropriate to put the question on the higher education board or in academics corner.

I don't think OP actually wants to hear what academics think of putting kids into classes several years ahead of their age. What I would say is that very few kids who are accelerated in this way actually end up studying maths and physics at university. The few kids who do start studying university maths/physics more than a year or two early tend to hit significant road blocks in terms of maturity, lack of independent study habits, communication and writing skills etc.

BTW higher level mathematics has very little to do with arithmetic but it would nonetheless be sensible to work on accuracy in basic operations.

you may be surprised that he is amongst children just as bright or brighter - but they have not been accelerated or put in for exams as the school not only wants to challenge them but also nurture them in to rounded young adults

This is probably the single biggest difficulty for radically accelerated kids - realising that they are not necessarily the smartest, just because they were accelerated. Very few of the world's leading physicists and mathematicians were accelerated through school.

user1474361571 Sat 01-Oct-16 16:37:26

For the original question: make a list of selective private schools in the area of interest and talk to them.

"Top school" usually means well-known and over-subscribed. It does not necessarily mean the most academically selective. It does not necessarily mean that they cater better for very bright children than other schools. Plenty of very gifted kids enter the very top university courses from moderately selective private schools and (of course) from selective and non-selective state schools too.

JustRichmal Sat 01-Oct-16 17:00:23

What I would say is that very few kids who are accelerated in this way actually end up studying maths and physics at university.
I think quite a few do. Just as an example there is the OP's fellow countryman, Terence Tao. I'm sure there must be more. It would be an interesting statistic to follow up on.

user1474361571 Sat 01-Oct-16 17:12:24

In 20 years I can count the number of radically accelerated kids I have known in university maths/physics on the fingers of one hand. All of them crashed and burned.

Tao is the exception. He is not the rule.

Ruth Lawrence is a very well known example in the UK. She did OK at the beginning but then fizzled out and is well behind where a ~40 year old academic would usually be. She chooses not to accelerate her own children.

There are a few mildly accelerated kids coming in to maths/physics degrees one or two years early. Some do very well, some do averagely, some lack maturity, some are indistinguishable in maturity from others. Schools will (I think, rightly) be much more open to skipping by one year than to radically accelerating by many years for maths/physics. Schools will also offer pullouts from standard maths/physics to do e.g. computing, an extra language, music lessons for kids who are very advanced so that the kids don't get bored by basic maths. However, this is not what OP or posters on this board seem to want.

AllTheShoes Sat 01-Oct-16 18:06:59

user Thanks, I did wonder if FE was the right terminology and clearly it was not, and hopefully your input will help the OP ask the question in the right place.

Btw, I'm not in favour of acceleration at all. I just thought the OP wasn't asking about the merits of it, but more about what to do given her circumstances.

HinHin Sat 01-Oct-16 21:18:09

I have no intention at all to put him into university early but like to keep him challenge and maintain his interest in learning
His other subjects are quite good but at age level so finding a school to accomodate him for 5 years is our aim

MrsWobble3 Sat 01-Oct-16 21:28:25

The Royal Institute runs a series of maths lectures at Imperial for years 10 and 11. Students are offered places by invitation based on teacher recommendations. I don't know which schools they ask but whoever runs the Maths Circle should be able to tell you so that might give you a list of schools to consider.

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