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What is G & T REALLY?

(26 Posts)
lijaco Sat 20-Sep-08 21:27:52

Is it really what your child is achieving when being formally taught. Or are the children who are achieving less actually gifted and talented but are not showing up on how the system teaches? There are many Gifted and Talented children who don't write neatly, spell correctly or punctuate appropriately. Fantastic content ideas and talents can be hidden by poor presentation. It is content that is important and not neat rubbish. Teachers are not alert to signs of high ability and potential. Signs of high ability are the quality of content and the actual answers given by learners. Gifted and talented kids [produce the unexpected, they take an idea and respond in a unique way. THERFORE MOST REAL GIFTED AND TALENTED KIDS CAN'T CONFORM TO THE SCHOOL SYSTEM OF TEACHING and so when they sit written exams are not always able to produce what is required in that situation. If however the system gave free rein to imagination then perhaps this could produce remarkable results. So the schools G & T isn't always accurate as a specific group of children are dotting their I's and crossing their Ts correctly for the schools set system (sats)and being labelled G & T.
More children would actually thrive if the SATS were abolished and teachers had more time to ensure that kids got more opportunities for higher order thinking.
So basically do you think that G & T is ACCURATE within schools? and is learning opportunities fair to all children?
I don't actually think the G & T label set by the government for schools is actually a true measure or a fair assessment of real intelligence.

suzeg Sat 20-Sep-08 22:10:45

The reasoning behind having a 'gifted and talented' register is to ensure that those children who have marked aptitudes in areas covered in school (ie. including drama, dance, art as well as maths, english or science), are offered opportunities to do more of their specialism. Most local authorities and secondary schools offer workshops/weekend sessions periodically for children to work with specialist teachers and it is useful to be able to identify the children who should be offered such extra time. Most schools will have decided as a staff what qualifies as G and T - it will have been discussed as a staff and agreed on. Most teachers agree with you and will look beyond the test results, and most teachers are well aware of the strengths of those children in their classes. It is of course difficult to 'measure' talent and to define 'gifted' but in order to defend/explain how a given child might find themselves on this list, the school will have wrestled with this already. Ask if you are in doubt.
For thinking skills, chess is a great way to promote this ..chess clubs are easy to set up and very popular with primary children.

Quattrocento Sat 20-Sep-08 22:14:23

Don't get hung up about this - from what I can gather it's a fairly meaningless label for the top 10% in any particular school. Children in that sort of category used to be called bright, but the term's obviously had a bit of a rebrand recently. My DCs are at private schools and the label is not used or applied. The bright ones get extension work. Better than this labelling thing.

lijaco Sun 21-Sep-08 08:51:25

Suzeg that is my point really that there are children with marked apptitudes do so as they are able to get test results that are higher and have conformed to the school system. I am not sure that they do look beyond the test results or have stimulating teaching methods. The kids with marked aptitude are not necessarily bored because they are brighter it is because the system of teaching to the achievers is boring. The unidentified kids with great potential and thinking power are bored because they are ignored as well as it being unstimulating. More free rein is needed to get accurate measures and fairer opportunities for all.

AbbaFan Sun 21-Sep-08 08:58:00

oh lol - I thought you were talking about Gin & Tonic's from the title blush

ScummyMummy Sun 21-Sep-08 09:13:19

In state schools g is being judged by your teacher as in the top 10% for something "academic" and t is being similarly judged in the fun subjects like sport, music, art, drama.
At least that's what it said in the guardian yesterday when reporting on Lord Adonis moaning that loads of state schools haven't implemented the compulsory g&t programmes. Good on those schools. I think the G&T programme is a load of old rubbish. Especially its name which makes me boak.

lijaco Sun 21-Sep-08 10:35:15

That is my point it is a load of rubbish!

kittybrown Sun 21-Sep-08 11:17:12

Our school's g&t is rubbish. Half the teachers don't agree with the criteria. My son's old teacher (and I mean old in both senses) thought it barmy that the top 2 from each half term test got put on the list regardless when in her opinion there were children much much brighter who would benefit from being put on to the list but she wasn't allowd to add them.
The high attainers are not always the higher thinkers. So I agree with you lijaco that schools often don't look beyond test results in identification as I've seen it first hand.
It seems unfair that the g&t children get taken out of lessons to be taught how to think logically and creatively when those who naturally think that way are left bored and are crying out for stimulation.

edam Sun 21-Sep-08 11:21:57

I agree with you on neat writing but a bright child should be able to spell and punctuate, unless they are dyslexic or have other learning difficulties that mask their intellect.

singersgirl Sun 21-Sep-08 11:23:06

In a school like my DSs' the 10% is rather meaningless and wouldn't include all the very able children. It would be a pretty arbitrary cut off, excluding some children who were just as bright.

I think it's generally a Good Thing that schools are trying to stretch and stimulate highly able children, even if it's not very well implemented yet. It's particularly a good thing in schools where those children might really be ignored.

I'm not sure we Brits are ready for the commoditisation of the word 'gifted'. In the US 'gifted' streams or pull-outs are the norm, but here we argue about how that is not giftedness, that is just 'brightness'.

It's of course not true that ALL truly gifted kids can't conform to the school system; it is true that SOME can't. That's just another myth about high intelligence.

ShrinkingViolet Mon 22-Sep-08 09:12:41

DD1 gets invited to all teh english enrichment activities her school does, despite only expecting to get a B at GCSE, because of the way she thinks - according to one report she has "considerable insight and sees things in a different persepctive to the rest of the class". That to me is more "G&T" than the fact that she's a maths and science geek and gets much better results in those subjects.
Some schools do seem to identify those children who don't always shine through in exams, but sadly not always.

christywhisty Mon 22-Sep-08 11:24:05

My DS is the child you describe Lijaco and he has been identified as G&T. When he arrived at secondary he was identified under the CATs tests then also for subjects such as science and geography. He is also on the SEN register for dyslexia. His teachers describe him as an abstract and deep thinker. He is in the top class of top set for all subjects except maths and english where he is second class.

Although his spelling and grammar are not up to par his teachers say he is in the correct class because of comprehension skills. The Difference between his writing and reading at KS2 was 5b for reading to scraping a 4c for writing.
He is allowed to do all his homework on PC which helps with the spelling although not all of it and has done really well in his yr 7 exams

LIZS Tue 23-Sep-08 15:38:48

I'm hesitant to post here cos I'm rather sceptical about the whole G and T label. However my ds would possibly fall into the scenario in your second sentence of the OP. Recent assessment has shown he is significantly ahead of his peers in verbal comprehension but his SEN make it very hard for him to express this. Consequently he doesn't get to partake of any extension or opportunities for the more able as he appears pretty average overall, less good at maths, his work untidy and less organised. There are many all rounded, bright and able children in his year who tend to benefit from these opportunities. Any ideas as to how to convince the school he is as worthy ?

christywhisty Tue 23-Sep-08 15:52:30

How old is he Lizs

LIZS Tue 23-Sep-08 15:53:08

10

rachels103 Tue 23-Sep-08 20:42:25

Gifted and Talented is a label. It's also a load of rubbish.
I am a year 6 teacher (for my sins) and have had classes where I have been required to list my top 10% as gifted when they haven't been at all (because they were top in a low achieving year group.) I have also had to limit my gifted list to the top 10% in a very bright class where I could have chosen 20 or 30%.
What we should be concerned about as parents is whether our child's school is stretching them to achieve their full potential. The G&T label is, sadly, another bit of beaurocracy that means very little.
(Pet rant, sorry blush )

rachels103 Tue 23-Sep-08 20:42:36

Gifted and Talented is a label. It's also a load of rubbish.
I am a year 6 teacher (for my sins) and have had classes where I have been required to list my top 10% as gifted when they haven't been at all (because they were top in a low achieving year group.) I have also had to limit my gifted list to the top 10% in a very bright class where I could have chosen 20 or 30%.
What we should be concerned about as parents is whether our child's school is stretching them to achieve their full potential. The G&T label is, sadly, another bit of beaurocracy that means very little.
(Pet rant, sorry blush )

rachels103 Tue 23-Sep-08 20:43:33

not such a pet rant that I meant to send it twice tho...

cory Wed 24-Sep-08 10:00:34

To dd the G&T label made no difference. The only G&T thing her junior school offered was a lunch hour session and dd is gifted and talented enough to work out that she needed fresh air more than another hour hanging around in the IT suite.

Since they set for the main subjects anyway, and that's where the teaching's done, being in top set has been far more important to her than being labelled G&T. And since the top sets have been extremely well taught, I would not have wanted her to be taken out of those for other activities.

Though frankly, I think the main thing that matters is that she is the sort of person who enjoys using her mind; she'll do that whatever and wherever.

She is loving Yr 7, because they do all this course work where you can stretch yourself with no limits. And learning to stretch oneself is IMO far more important than being stretched.

lijaco Sat 27-Sep-08 19:00:15

so basically G & T thing seems not to be such an accurate assessment. Maybe it needs to be changed in name and the criteria assessed more fairly!

TheProvincialLady Sat 27-Sep-08 19:23:18

"Teachers are not alert to signs of high ability and potential"

I don't know that I agree with this. Most teachers recognise it when they see it - admitedly they are not perfect and the behaviour/poor work of some children may blind them to the real underlying ability. But I think it is the curriculum and lack of time for real teaching rather than testing that cause the problems. My DH is a teacher and spends all the time he can fitting in the stuff that is seen as 'extra' these days like art, music and history. He sees children who are genuinely gifted in these areas but they don;t get the chance to show it or develop in other classes where the teacher is more concerned with exam results (primary school BTW). It makes him (and me) very sad.

lijaco Sat 27-Sep-08 20:52:18

I think that this is the problem and maybe it is time for change. i wonder if things will change?

foxinsocks Sat 27-Sep-08 20:56:33

you seem to be mainly talking about primary school when children change so much anyway

we know a few people with kids in secondary school who are G&T and they go to special lessons (outside school) with other children in the borough and absolutely love it and it stretches them and they have a great time.

I wouldn't write it off. If it can encourage children like that, it can only be a good thing.

Blandmum Sat 27-Sep-08 21:03:02

I don't think that you can say that most g and T children cannot conform to the state system.

I've taught quite a few who are listed as G and T who do just that

the 5-1- % simply identifies the clever kids, most of whom are quite normal, 'just' bright

A very wise old teacher told me the best way of picking out the real G and T kids.

Don't listen to teir answers, consentrate of what questions they ask. Bingo

Blandmum Sat 27-Sep-08 21:03:58

as for teacher not being alert to the signs of G and T.

cobblers

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