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Do the schools assess for this at primary level?

(111 Posts)
SolidGoldBrass Tue 23-Jun-09 11:10:33

And if so, what happens? Is there something I should do before DS starts school?
He is 4, can read whole books, follow a tube map (and happily tell everyone how to get across town from specific start point to specific destination) count up to about 500, do simple arithmetic...

hana Tue 23-Jun-09 11:14:03

it's not explicitly assessed for - these kids just stand out from the rest.

that sounds like pretty normal stuff for 4 year olds (I have had 2!) and not G&T. maybe not what you want to hear.

canella Tue 23-Jun-09 11:20:12

dont think thats "pretty normal stuff" for 4 year olds!!

think thats just the bright ones!!

but i'm no help to you solid about how they assess it - think you just need to make sure he's not bored at school and that the teachers are giving him books that arent too old even though he can read them! dd was a very good reader in primary school and on of the teahers in y1 told her to pick books from y4 - the content was so inappropriate!

just let him enjoy school before trying to make him singled out from the class!

hana Tue 23-Jun-09 12:15:55

ok, perhaps not 'normal' but certainly not G&T!

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 23-Jun-09 12:24:48

Hana, it depends on how YOU define G&T, but in the primary school context, where G&T means the top 5-10% of the class, SGB's son sounds like he would be included in most schools.
SGB - I would say any four year old who can do what you describe would automatically be flagged up under the school's G&T programme before too long. No need for you to do anything, as they will be assessing him at school soon after he starts and his abilities will be apparent.

thirdname Tue 23-Jun-09 12:26:21

well as G&T is supposed to be the top 10% in a class he would certanly stand out in our school. Dd belongs to top 10% but certainly couldn't read before starting school.
But I am at a loss why you should do anything specific about it .

gingertoo Tue 23-Jun-09 12:41:25

In my experience, kids in school are assessed, then assessed, then assessed again for good measure!!! So if he's G&T it would definitely be picked up in his first term so I don't think there is anything specific you need to do.

I wouldn't worry too much about the actual learning side of starting school yet - it sounds as if he's doing great I'd be thinking more about how he's going to be with a new environment, new teacher, new friends, new routine etc etc - starting school is a big step - the learning will fall into place after that.

SolidGoldBrass Tue 23-Jun-09 12:53:26

My biggest concerned is him being bored at school, really. I am not a mental hothousing mother, we want DS to be happy and do what suits him, and what's best for him.
THis is partly my mum and other people going 'Have you had him assessed yet? He's extra bright isn;t he?' and me worrying that I am neglecting his potential or something.

OrmIrian Tue 23-Jun-09 12:58:16

LOl at 'pretty normal' grin Only if my 3 were seriously sub-normal. And I don't think they were.

As others have said I suspect he will make his mark fairly quickly SGB. G&T is probably irrelevant in the first year or so anyway. Reception is more about getting them used to being away from home, socialising with other children/adults, following rules, as much as anything 'academic'.

gingertoo Tue 23-Jun-09 13:25:40

I don't think he'll be bored, SolidGoldBrass, I think he'll love it! He's obviously a bright little boy so he'll really enjoy soaking up all the new learning experiences that he'll get at school.
You are definitely not 'neglecting his potential' - if he's already reading and doing sums, you've given him a great start! The school will definitely pick up on this when he starts (at my DC's school they have a 'assessment week' every half term!)

talbot Tue 23-Jun-09 13:26:38

But surely any good teacher will ensure he won't be bored? Personally I'd be wary of labelling anybody at this age. Four years down the line and abilities will have evened up and even changed dramatically.

I'm rather surprised that the top 10% are labelled "G&T". At our non-selective prep school, the results are consistently in line with those achieved by the top 20% of the population and that's with no selection. The kids at the very top are of course regarded as bright but are never referred to as being "G&T".

gingertoo Tue 23-Jun-09 13:49:29

I agree with Talbot about abilities changing further down the line.
DS2 could read when he started school but now in year3 he has leveled out and works in the more able half of the class but is def not top.
DS1 on the other hand could not read when he started school and he hated writing with a passion. I had to endure years of 'bright boy if he could only get it down on paper' type parents evenings BUT in year 5, he has just been identified as G&T in Maths and 'extremely able' in English??!!

fembear Tue 23-Jun-09 13:51:06

Don't do anything. Teachers hate it if they think that you have been doing their job for them (and usually imply that you did it all wrong, too) or if they think that you are telling them how to do their jobs.
Wait until the teacher approaches you and then feign surprise at his ability.grin

fembear Tue 23-Jun-09 13:52:06

DS's ability, that is. Not the teacher's.wink

talbot Tue 23-Jun-09 13:57:19

gingertoo - snap! In Year 1 we were advised to send DS1 for assessment to an Ed Psych as he had such problems with reading. In year 5 now he is at the top of the class and we are advised to put him in for the most highly academic of secondary schools. I feel sorry for a number of kids in his class who were broadly regarded as unbelievably bright at 4/5 (reading Roald Dahl, writing fluent stories) but at 9, are now average. I think that must be a difficult adjustment to make.

gingertoo Tue 23-Jun-09 13:59:51

Lol at "Teachers hate it if they think that you have been doing their job for them (and usually imply that you did it all wrong, too)" grin
With DS2 I cleverly (or so I thought blush) taught him to write his name and a few other letters before he started school. His teacher sighed when she told me that he would have to 'unlearn' that writing style because they didn't 'write like that at this school' He was supposed to be putting little flicks at the start and end of each letter in preparation for joined up writing......whoops!

ihavenosecrets Tue 23-Jun-09 14:05:12

Normal for a 4 year old! hmm

It is quite likely that he is G&T. Why are people so quick to dismiss parents when they suggest that their child is academically gifted?

talbot Tue 23-Jun-09 14:07:12

But can they really assess someone as that at the age of 4? As it happens, my youngest can do all of that and he turns 5 next week. I would just refer to him as being bright.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 23-Jun-09 15:13:59

But that's all that G&T is really Talbot. It's just the government's label for their 'pick out the bright kids and make sure they've got something to do' scheme.
Some schools refer to them as 'more able' pupils which might make a bit more sense.

The confusion on this board tends to come because G&T is used indiscriminately as a term for both these children and the 'prodigy' type children who are a completely different ballgame.

SolidGoldBrass Tue 23-Jun-09 15:22:22

I am not claiming DS is a prodigy. He just does seem to bea bright child and lots of people comment on it (strangers in the street FFS!) I also worry a bit that because he is tall for his age and articulate that people don't always realise he is only 4 and might judge him harshly.

DadAtLarge Tue 23-Jun-09 15:34:31

"In my experience, kids in school are assessed, then assessed, then assessed again for good measure!!! So if he's G&T it would definitely be picked up in his first term so I don't think there is anything specific you need to do."
Nope it won't. There's nothing definite about it - there's a huge element of hit and miss. My DS spent 3 years at school before they admitted he should have been put on the Register three years ago.

SolidGoldBrass, I'd give the school a term or two, no more. During that time read up on their G&T policy and criteria - it varies from school to school.

He may or may not be a prodigy but it sounds like he's comfortably in the top 10%. Don't do what we did. Nudge the school about G&T if they don't identify it themselves. If they talk about it being unhealthy to "label" children right from Reception ask them to read their G&T manuals again: earlier is better.

singersgirl Tue 23-Jun-09 16:11:38

'Being on the G&T register' doesn't necessarily mean anything, though. So insisting your child is on a register wouldn't mean they got anything special. It depends on the school.

He sounds very much as DS2 was when he started school, and it was definitely not 'normal' within his class, though it was not freakishly abnormal. His teacher picked up what he was doing pretty quickly.

There is some 'evening out' in that some children learn to read later and catch up, but to be honest the only 4 year olds I've ever seen reading the equivalent of Roald Dahl remained pretty bright by 9 - certainly not average, though not necessarily extraordinary.

madwomanintheattic Tue 23-Jun-09 16:16:57

sgb - on our transition visit, i just said 'oh, she's taught herself to read, but i don't know really what level she's at. i'm guessing you assess that sort of thing anyway, and you're the professionals so i'll leave it to you' (and hid the cs lewis lol)

it was fine. they differentiated her reading from the start, and plonked her on the g&t lists for the stats.

essentially the g&t thing is a red herring - what you want for your child is appropriate differentiation. as long as they are doing that, it matters not a jot whether there is even a list in place.

SolidGoldBrass Tue 23-Jun-09 17:05:09

Yes that sounds great, madwoman - it;s not that I want them to go, ooh look at the little genius, we are not worty - I don't want him stuck with the just-turned 4s going 'A is for Apple' all day (he is a September birthday so will be nearly 5 when he starts school).

talbot Tue 23-Jun-09 17:05:55

Aha LGP - thankyou so much! I thought G & T referred to those sorts of kids who are doing oxford degrees in maths at 11.

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