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If you could design a G&T policy how would you makes sure it works?

(58 Posts)
oneforward20back Tue 09-Jun-09 22:40:26

Ok, we examine, tear apart, applaud etc the current system. But if you could start from scratch to design a g&T policy how would you ensure it does what it needs to, helps who it needs to etc

Go on you know you want to...

senua Tue 09-Jun-09 23:43:25

Well, the first answer is to have a policy that actually does something i.e. do something with them beyond just putting the kids on a Register.
Our school has a nice system where the G&T group don't do academic stuff as such but, instead, discuss what it means to be G&T eg how to cope with perfectionism, how to work in groups with less capable peers etc

What else? Good signposting to relevant books and websites. Peer support groups. Links to academics. Moral support and encouragement (eg how many times have you heard people saying that their school didn't help students to apply to Oxbridge).

cory Wed 10-Jun-09 07:34:38

and no special trips or rewards just for being gifted, very divisive that

but basically what senua said

DadAtLarge Wed 10-Jun-09 08:55:08

cory, I understand your position but I strongly disagree. I support special trips for the highly gifted. And I support them even more if they are not coming out of the school budget. It gives these children a chance to do what other children do all the time - mix with others of the same ability (though I accept that some of them may not need it or already do it). Children are grouped by ability in class and everybody has a partner. Highly gifted children often end up working alone in the class which further hampers their social skills.

Add an element of achievement* to it - i.e. work towards earning the trip - and my support would go even higher.

(*I'm not proposing pressure. But a gifted child who's lazy/bone idle should be discouraged out of that. Many of them learn to be lazy because they find things so easy in school. We need to knock that out of them and there's very little motivation around geared towards this group, we seem to be applauding their low achievement and low aspiration.)

oneforward20back, great question. I've been studying the G&T in some detail recently as well as papers on identification and provision, needs very specific to certain highly able learners, research into different types of enrichment activity etc. My DS's Head Teacher has asked me to put together a portfolio for her to use to bring her teachers up to date. I'll come up with my thoughts on designing a G&T policy and I look forward to what contributors to this thread have to say - I hope to find their comments useful.

cory Wed 10-Jun-09 09:30:55

I think we're talking about different things, Dad. You probably mean something like a day at uni for meeting people from different schools and doing extra work. That seems fair enough.

But I have learnt on Mumsnet that some schools organise things like trips for the museum for the kids identified as G&T. In other words, kids that are already in the same school, so who could perfectly well socialise anyway, but just get an extra fun trip for no other reason than being in the top 10. I would not have allowed dd to go on such a trip, nor would she have wanted to.

senua Wed 10-Jun-09 10:21:06

I'm not sure that I agree with you Cory. DS's school does the museum trip thing. It's only one day in a year but they also do other 'recognition' things. They show that they value brains but not in an OTT way and they show appreciation of other skillsets too. They get a handful into Oxbridge every year.
DD's school do nothing for G&T. They like to hide lights under bushels and work to the lowest common denominator. I don't know when they last sent someone to Oxbridge.
Go figure.

DadAtLarge Wed 10-Jun-09 10:43:57

A day/week working with other children of the same ability from across the county/country would be great. Hardly any gifted children in primary schools get that. For my DS it would bring him down to earth a bit and he'd be less cocky! wink

A reward just for being in the top 10% may not sound fair but maybe, just maybe, the trend towards "inclusivity" has gone a bit too far. A reward system could motivate others to achieve. Especially if the group is fluid and there is a clearly defined route to joining/leaving. Some of the really gifted children may exist below this 10% and we should really be "discovering" them.

cory Wed 10-Jun-09 10:58:44

My dd would really have hated it to have been given a trip just because she has more academic brains from her friends. How could she have motivated to them that it was not unfair? She didn't give herself her brains. They've done nothing that means they should miss out. And she can enjoy the ordinary trip to the zoo or the French bakery just as much as any other child.

I felt the G&T lunch club was about the right level: nothing that could make the other children feel it was unfair or lay the G&T children open to bullying, but still a chance for those who wanted to to explore their brains a bit more.

DadAtLarge Wed 10-Jun-09 11:57:51

A jolly day out reward for having brains would be unfair. A reward for using brains isn't. You can't motivate someone to have brains. What I said was it could be used to motivate children to achieve (their individual best).

cory Wed 10-Jun-09 12:17:45

Yes, but the bright children who work hard are naturally going to achieve more than the less bright children who work equally hard. And even a very bright child who takes things fairly easily is going to achieve more than a less bright child who is trying their best. I wouldn't want my dd to have to cope with the fallout if rewards are given in this area. How do you prove that her top results are due to harder work than the medium results of another student?

cory Wed 10-Jun-09 12:20:01

Rewards as in big rewards, that is: days out, which is a fairly rare occurrence and consequently would attract a lot of envy. Small rewards, like stickers, are less problematic imo.

But I wouldn't like to be the child that has to explain to his mates that I'm getting a day at the museum because I work hard and I've got brains: you only work hard.

cory Wed 10-Jun-09 12:20:16

Rewards as in big rewards, that is: days out, which is a fairly rare occurrence and consequently would attract a lot of envy. Small rewards, like stickers, are less problematic imo.

But I wouldn't like to be the child that has to explain to his mates that I'm getting a day at the museum because I work hard and I've got brains: you only work hard.

oneforward20back Wed 10-Jun-09 13:31:11

Dadatlarge - can you recommend somewhere (other then g&t association) that can give me some good ideas for what to do with my pre-schooler - he now knows about squares and square roots of numbers and that pryamid no#s exist and trying to keep him balanced -ie improve his social skills so not so academically bias. We have been to more museums in one week then some people do in a lifetime of school trips. Also anytips on sorting problem behaviour out (particularly frustration expressed as violence)

DadAtLarge Wed 10-Jun-09 13:47:52

"But I wouldn't like to be the child that has to explain to his mates that I'm getting a day at the museum because I work hard and I've got brains: you only work hard. "
And I concur.

Also, if he's got brains but doesn't work satisfactorily then he shouldn't get the reward even if he does achieve the best grades.

I think that basically we're in agreement there wink

Achieving is distinct from achieving one's personal best. I don't say that it would be easy or even possible to come up with a completely fair and objective system to judge who's working to their best ability and who's not. But I would support attempts at trying to find one. Otherwise we risk failing those gifted children who are just under the radar.

DadAtLarge Wed 10-Jun-09 14:01:01

oneforward, his behaviour problems may be as a result of his mind not getting the right food but it could just as easily be a diet or other issue.

I'd take him to a good psychologist. It's important to start with the right assessment.

I wouldn't worry too much about the social skills at this stage. My DS was the same. But a good teacher in the reception class could go a long way to sorting that out. Seriously! I wouldn't have believed that before my son started school. And once yours starts you could encourage this by inviting his classmates over to play.

Children gifted in maths need a lot of mental activity. Much (not all) of it would need to be maths based. You could explore some of the links in this thread. I would suggest avoiding teaching him too much of material that's in the curriculum. Work on puzzles, visual problems, dexterity and 3D problems (like the Rubik's cube) etc. And it would be in your interest to gradually teach him how he can find his own mental stimulation. Catering becomes quite an onerous job as they get older!

snorkle Wed 10-Jun-09 14:02:55

I'd like to see fun trips aimed at the children who work hard & are well behaved at school (hopefully incentivising everyone to work to the best of their ability). All too often in schools the fun trips are used as a reward for the disruptive few who've unusually managed to behave for 5mins, when those who habitually behave all the time get nothing.

For the top 10% I'd like to see the exam system & curriculum ammended to actually challenge them.

DadAtLarge Wed 10-Jun-09 14:04:59

And plan lots of physical exercise into his weekly routine!

snorkle Wed 10-Jun-09 14:10:21

oneforward, chess and a musical instrument are things that mathsy children often take to quite well & that can stretch them sideways so to speak.

oneforward20back Wed 10-Jun-09 14:22:48

he is pretty cross board quick but particularly in science. his school already have him ear marked for their buddy system and social skills group. They want him benched marked and the ed psyc in after the 1st half term. They are also planning to IEP him. And lots of physical has no effect if brain not tired. Thinking piano but we have concentration problems so not sure how to go about this. (We has questions as to SN type problems due toIQ or IQ covering up SN problems going on here)

Am trying to get him to self stimulate but having only just discovered attachment we have seperation issue that make him want my participation in most things but he practises his maths and reading in secret (i've heard him, and he will suddenly come out with something I never knew he knew) As for diet -got that covered wink now onto 2nd A4 page of restrictionsshock

Great tips though grin Cheers for permitting the slight highjack.

amidaiwish Wed 10-Jun-09 14:34:04

DD1 (reception) has a separate class every week with the G&T teacher and 5 others (90 year intake). they seem to do more abstract work, talking about dreams, patterns in clouds, rubbing a "thinking" stone. It's all a bit vague at the moment with drip drip feedback from DD, nothing from the school.

i think it's important to round out their other skills. DD plays tennis on saturday morning, swimming on weds after school, piano on tuesdays and chess with dh.

i also make sure she has someone to play or plays at someone's house one day a week.

i wouldn't want the school to be doing any more with her at this stage. She doesn't join in the morning "letter sounds" - her and another boy go off and write their news book or do some other separate activity. I wouldn't want her separated from the class any more than this at this early stage (age 5) though i accept this might/will change as she gets older.

Bonneville Wed 10-Jun-09 14:49:45

I agree with the others over that there must be NO specific rewards or trips out for these supposed G/Ts. This is a personal bugbear of mine. It created so much bad feeling and jealousy in my daughters school. All for the top 10% most of whom really aren't G/T anyway! Wish they would scrap the whole stupid ridiculous system.

webwiz Wed 10-Jun-09 15:40:14

My DCs School allows "self nomination" for G&T trips as well as those put forward by the school - so if anyone wants to spend the day studying aerodynamics (my year 7 DS did this yesterday) because they are interested in it, they can still be included.

DadAtLarge Wed 10-Jun-09 16:18:23

Bonneville, I don't know if there's a consensus in this thread against any rewards or trips. So far only cory seems to be in objection and she seems quite happy with small rewards or trips to a uni to work with other G&T kids.

In my DS's class others get to use equipment and play maths games in small teams, bounce ideas off each other etc., and seem to have a lot of fun doing it. It's very rare that DS can participate on their level, and it wouldn't be fair on them for him to compete directly so he ends up often working alone.

If you're saying you'd object to the school organising the odd trip where he got to meet up with children of his ability from other schools... it does seem a bit mean

DadAtLarge Wed 10-Jun-09 16:19:22

amidaiwish, I love what your school does. Any way I can find out more?

amidaiwish Wed 10-Jun-09 18:46:03

what do you want to know? i know very little, only what dd has told me.

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