Not sure what to think about this(7 Posts)
DS1 (age 15) went to a G&T outside regular school thing a couple of nights ago (I'm trying not to be specific!).
The reason i am posting is because when I heard DH ask him how it went, DS replied it good but it was also strange because he's never been in a class with a teacher before who really seems to want to set challenging work and thinks its a good thing that DS is especially good at the subject.
I think it's a bonus for your son but a sad reflection on his education. Ds is only in year one but the teachers have been trying to challenge him. (He is taught out of year group for some subjects and is ahead and gains skills fast so it might be interesting in the future).
I was similar to your son though in maths as I was growing up though. Until I was in my late teens it never challenged me and when it did I had no idea what to do as I had never had to revise for any exam in maths (or most other subjects).
Tbh at the time I thought that was normal though.
I heard him talking about it with his younger brother and he was saying to him
"You know how teachers always seem to be irritated if you find the work to easy...?"
DS2 just say there nodding like he knows exactly what DS1 means.
Meanwhile I say across the table fizzing!!
Yikes, you seem to have two then. Ds is only and I thank the lord for that.
Tbh to an outside observer it must like great to have a 'gifted' child but these are the downsides.
If your ds1 is 15 this will be his GCSE year. Does the school set according to ability and is he finding all the subjects easy or just the maths and science based ones?
GCSE has a very exact curriculum and has mark schemes which tests the students ability to reproduce what they have been taught. Dd went to a G&T maths class where they had the time and leisure to get them to think about interesting topics.
Also, I would try and get the teacher's perspective on why they are getting irritated Is it they are finishing set work too early. Or are they complaining the work is too easy or interrupting the class in any way?
You could ask for more difficult extension work to be set in class. Unless you are private, there are not the resources for many state schools to differentiate for the extreme outliers.
Next year at A level there will be far fewer teaching hours and a lot more expecting the students to study independently, which sounds as though this will be more suited to your son, so he should do well.
I would really check the irritation point though. It could be nothing, but more and more now, even in science, the days of the lone inventor are all but over and collaborating with others is essential.
They don't feed back to the teachers as a rule (so no disruptive behaviour). Until recently, DS1 hasn't even had a proper conversation with his teacher about how extent easy he is finding the work..
Not everything is easy - he's expected to get 8s and 9s across the board but some of those will be a big achievement of he gets them eg English.
The teachers set extension work but DS1 in particular finds that almost as unchallenging as the regular work. Yes, classes are set, and yes he's in the top set but is as you say, the GCSEs are a limiting factor and we know they will be for another 1 and 3 years respectively.
The comment DS1 made was more looking back over the last few years, not just the current situation. Having spoken to the teachers myself about the lack of challenge / sufficient differentiation down the years, I can imagine what DS means. They know they are supposed to reach all levels of ability, and they do their best, but you get children like DS1 and he is in the wrong class, except the right class doesn't exist. So the teachers do their best for all the children in their class but they really don't want to think about how is not working for the most able and it doesn't show up in the statistics that DS was not progressing the way it shows up when children at the other end of the spectrum don't progress. Moreover they can really make a difference to the lives of the least able and they find that rewarding. (Actually they could really have made a difference to Ds's life too but I'm not sure they'd see that as their top priority).
It doesn't matter anyway, in that DS1 is nearly finished with it so it's too late to do anything to change his school experience anyway.
But DS was amazed and pleased when the teacher who runs this or if school extension type class that DS is attending asked him at the end of the session if the work needed to be more challenging for him?
DS had been the only one to be able to do it all, and had finished a lot earlier than everyone else, so he'd been helping those around him.
The teacher witnessed this and instead of ignoring it, he asked DS if next time he's like more challenge.
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