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should I ask about G & T - would appreciate feedback

(15 Posts)
porolli Wed 08-Jul-09 18:36:45

My ds1 is ending yr 3 and is assessed at level 4 in every subject. the teacher at parent's evening kept saying he was 'very able'. I think he is very bright and, for other reasons, need to have a meeting with the school to argue his case. is it appropriate to ask about G & T, or will I look like a foolish/pushy mother? in short, is this sort of level for a yr 3 boy 'enough' for G & T ( I was told level 4 was the average yr 6 target level)

choccyp1g Thu 09-Jul-09 11:29:41

Bumping this as in similar situation, but be prepared for everyone to say that our boys are just "average" because they haven't composed a symphony yet. I think it is reasonable to ask the school what they are doing about differentiating work, and setting targets, without using the "G&T" word, which seems liable to get teachers backs up.

madwomanintheattic Thu 09-Jul-09 11:34:37

i think there will be a few children working at this level within the class, and ordinarily in juniors this scenario is managed by 'streaming' (effectively - but just grouping appropriately) for lit and num.

most schools don't require any other sort of differentiation unless the year group is working below average as a whole.

dd1 was working just into level 4's at the end of yr 2, and i think is mid 5's now in yr 4, but she is the only one of mine who isn't listed g&t lol. she's just one of the more able kids and in the top groups at school.

great that they are all doing so well! grin

madwomanintheattic Thu 09-Jul-09 11:36:37

(hopefully that wasn't too awful - none of mine have composed any symphonies yet grin - v disappointing. they are all tone deaf and take after me in that respect though!)

choccyp1g Thu 09-Jul-09 11:54:46

I've decided to have a little chat with next year's teacher, and ask what DS should be aiming for in year 4. Not the actual scores, but stuff like concentration and effort.
He is one of those boys who can achieve quite a lot without much effort, but in the long run the ones who work hard will probably do better in life.

darlingmum Thu 09-Jul-09 12:52:41

Is your ds1 in an academically selective school??...sometimes a 'very able' kid in one school becomes an 'able' kid in another

snorkle Thu 09-Jul-09 13:48:34

Do you know what the school does offer for those labelled G&T? If it's diddly squat (like in a lot of places) there's not much point in arguing for it.

Things you can do with him whatever the school may or may not offer (you may well be doing already):
1) Challenging extra curriculars - music, chess type activities.

2) Regular visits to library - keep him well stocked with books in subjects/areas of interest to him (& some other subjects too).

3) Visits to other places like museums etc.

4) sport - whether or not he's that way inclined, having a physical activity as a hobby is great for mental & physical wellbeing.

porolli Thu 09-Jul-09 14:59:24

thanks for all your replies.
I really don't want to make an issue of it, for him or the school. my concern is that he is young in the year and is being put in a mixed yr 3/4 class next year. this will also separate him from his friends, as the close ones all happen to be in the older within the year. I think it would be a shame for him to get bored, given that he is achieving high marks, and i think that may be more likely in a class with a majority of yr 3s next year (which it will - i think 9 or so year 4s and 20 or so yr 3s). he already says that he sits and reads a book whilst the others finish, several times a day.
I am trying to suggest to the school that it might be easier all round if he is in a straight yr 4 class. it is not a school which focuses on academic work as much as others, but it is a good school and he seems happy there.

porolli Thu 09-Jul-09 15:00:20

ps am not trying to claim that he is a genius - i know he is not and has certainly not composed a symphony! - I just, as we all do, want to get the best and most appropriate school life for him.

snorkle Thu 09-Jul-09 15:35:25

It's probably worth asking for, but a lot depends on the teacher and on what the other children in the different classes are like.

If the mixed year teacher is very experienced and one of those 'inspirational' types, then it's probably better for him to be ahead in that group than ahead in a year 4 class with a jobsworth teacher.

Also, it's just possible there might be a small group of very able year 3s (or even just one), and again he could be better off being with them than with a whole load of his peers who he's streets ahead of.

It might well be better for him to be in the year 4 class, but not necessarily. Make sure you have the full facts first, & good luck.

choccyp1g Fri 10-Jul-09 10:30:06

I had an informal chat with DS teacher for next year last night (at the open night, where they display the children's work and let parents have a nose round). Teacher agreed that he needs to have some targets, but also said that he needs to work on "being absolutely solid" at the level he is currently on.
I think she was hinting that DS is nothing special and I am just being pushy...so I backed off a bit. Will see how he goes in YR4. Like I said before, I know he's not a genius but comfortably in the top groups for everything, and my only worry is that he is a bit too comfortable.

madwomanintheattic Fri 10-Jul-09 10:46:48

dd1 is the same. she cruises along in the top groups and is quite happy. tis absolutely fine. i know she could do more if she was given more, but i'm saving the angst for a few more years lol.

mussyhillmum Thu 16-Jul-09 11:27:51

Hi Porolli. Your DS sounds just like mine - doing well, albeit well within his comfort zone! The ethos of his school is very anti-G&T so nobody knows whether their child is on the G&T register. Certainly, I know that if I were to approach his teacher and ask that he be encouraged to do more, I would be viewed as a pushy parent. However, this is because the poor teachers at our school are regularly cornered by parents demanding to know if their child is "top" in the class and, if not, why not! No wonder the defences go up whenever they hear the word "gifted".

I know that DS is in the top sets for literacy and numeracy and sometimes (although not consistently) is given more challenging work. However, because he can do the work without really having to engage his brain, he struggles with "sticking" at things which he finds difficult. He also has a melt-down if he should make a mistake ("I am rubbish",etc.) I have tried to counter this by enrolling him in extra-curricular activities which require work and thought. Violin, in particular, has been fantastic for this. It is a difficult, technical instrument and he is never within his "comfort" zone for long. Through violin, he is learning that you have to work to achieve results and that it is ok to make mistakes. His reading is particularly advanced, so I make sure we have lots of time for reading and trips to the library. He is less keen on writing, so I am afraid I resort to bribery to get him to write longer pieces!

choccyp1g Thu 16-Jul-09 11:37:54

Hi MussyHill mum, I'd love to know what style of violin teaching your DS does. My DS sounds similar to yours, and we tried Suzuki method. It was a disaster. I think because they go very slowly at the start, literally WEEKS before you actually play any notes with the bow, DS decided he was "rubbish" and just would not do it. The teacher actually said he was progressing quite fast, but we had to stop as the violin was in mortal danger.

mussyhillmum Thu 16-Jul-09 15:11:18

Hi. DS attends Colourstrings in North London. They primarily use the Kodaly and solpha methods. It was VERY tough going at first - lots of plucking! We still have problems managing DS's expectations of himself - constantly pointing out that even concert violinists make mistakes! At Colourstrings' suggestion, we keep a mistake book. Every time DS makes a mistake during practice, we mark it in an exercise book and "celebrate" that he is learning ie it is through mistakes that we learn how to do things properly. This appeals to DS's analytical brain and we now never have an argument over practice at home. However, he stills struggles with making mistakes in class (his teacher will think he is stupid, people outside the room will think he is rubbish because he is playing "baby" songs, etc). He will be playing with the Colourstrings orchestra in the autumn and I am hoping that he will then realize that he isn't rubbish and that everyone makes mistakes! He is already fretting that people will laugh because he is "rubbish", but I'm being hard core mum. It's not that I want DS to be a concert violinist; I want him to overcome his fear of failure.

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