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What can a SENCO do for a bright child?

(19 Posts)
InkyMamma Thu 17-Sep-09 15:01:55

As per my previous thread... if the SENCO gets involved with a bright child, what can/will they do?

Also many thanks for the help I have recieved today, I will of course keep updating...

DadAtLarge Thu 17-Sep-09 15:52:21

The DCSF definition for SEN is (children who have) "learning difficulties or disabilities which make it harder for them to learn or access education than most other children of the same age"

Your DD does not seem to qualify.

It's fine if the school is using the SENCO to help support your DD but you'll need to be cautious about this too. Your DD will almost certainly not get a statement and not get any funding.

If she's far ahead of her peers, I'd also ask to see the school policy on able and exceptionally able children. Ask them how much and what they do under the (mandatory) G&T program, speak to the G&T coordinator at the school and/or the Leading Teacher (who may work across the whole cluster of schools) and read up on the G&T. If you request your local authority they'll send you a copy of their own G&T policy and what they expect of schools in their area. There's a lot more information on the National Strategies site and elsewhere.

If DD qualifies, you can challenge the school as to why she's not already on the register and write to the Head about it. Being on the register is not itself any guarantee of anything but it will arm you for future "meetings" with the school and allow you to take the case further. More details later if you need them.

You say in your other thread "her reception teacher ... didnt want her to be pushed at a young age"

It's not in her interest to be pushed but it's certainly in her interest to progress at her own speed even if that speed is faster than what's convenient for the school.

As others have advised you, it's best to keep relations with the school cordial at all times and to come across as someone who wants to help them and work with them to achieve an outcome that all of you identify is desirable.

InkyMamma Thu 17-Sep-09 16:11:22

thank you for a very helpful response.
I always thought a SENCO was about helping children who founder things harder to learn in the first place...

i finally feel today that the school realise S has intelligent and interested parents! I rang a little while back to inform them I would be withdrawing her with immediate effect from the school bus service, and I explained fully my reasons. The head AGREED with me that S has a wonderful intellect beyond her age, but emotionally is still very much 5 years old, and this is the very essence of her difficulty.

i think the difference here is that S doesnt have to be pushed... she thrives on the challenge and really steps up to it. shes already whizzed through the set programme and is a 'free reader' already. Im also conscious of not wanting to be a pushy mum, but im proud of her, and i just want to know shes happy at school, you know?

DadAtLarge Thu 17-Sep-09 16:20:36

InkyMamma, that describes most of us. But if the school feels that her most urgent need is emotional development, you would get the school onside if you asked them how you could support their efforts in that area.

InkyMamma Thu 17-Sep-09 16:26:34

ok i will do. im sure there are ways that S and i can work on understanding emotions and responses at home together.

Kammy Thu 17-Sep-09 17:07:28

My ds has the involvement of the SENCO because he is so far ahead of his peers in maths. We had a really useful year last year working with her and the end result is an individualised work scheme and plan for the next few years (he's Year 3). Mind you, the first 2 years of school were a bit painful, untill they realised ds was not going to slow down!

InkyMamma Thu 17-Sep-09 17:31:11

in what way painful, kammy?

Kammy Fri 18-Sep-09 12:28:50

Sorry, got sidetracked by the tea time rush!

I just mean that at first school were reluctant to acknowledge his abilities. In reception, everyone agreed he was very bright,but he still had to learn number bonds to 10 like everyone else (at this point he was teaching himself all the multiplication tables). In Year 1 his teacher finally gave him a SAT's paper early and was very surprised that he got a Level 3 with ease (I was not surprised). Eventually in Year 2, the SENCO did some testing with him to determine his ability and this was indeed very helpful as the school have a much better idea of his abilities (although I think they still struggle a bit with knowing what to do with him - he wants to learn algebra atm!)

Anyway,the upshot is that he has an individualised work scheme, and the SENCO has said she will continue to monitor how things are going untill he leaves juniors.

I have learned to be patient - we need to work with the school and not alienate teachers.


InkyMamma Fri 18-Sep-09 14:22:27

you are so right kammy.
im trying soooo hard to make sure the school know that we want this to be a collaborative process, and all the while being mindful that i cant roll over and accept them saying my daughter has behaviour issues when all the while shes bored stiff!

example... last night, she brought home her homework. question 1 - i am pink and i have a curly tail. she had then a picture of a dog, a pig and a cow. she huffed her way through it in 2 minutes then got out her own workbooks and did half an hours work on past, present and future tense. this morning enroute to school she demanded to know why plants needed water and sunlight to grow, which led onto a discussion about photosynthesis... i could cry at times!!! if only i had the money for private education

colditz Fri 18-Sep-09 14:25:43

If she's in reception they have to stick to early years education guidelines, which should mean lots and lots of free play - sympathies, because ds1 has a real knack for maths which I think is sometimes overlooked.

InkyMamma Fri 18-Sep-09 15:13:59

shes just gone into year 1, and after a happy reception year the school are claiming she morphed into some kind of monster, beahviour wise.

Kammy Fri 18-Sep-09 16:54:06

Can you pinpoint what is different or what made reception so happy? Did the teachers approach her differently or did she have different opportunities to stretch herself?

I do think primary schools sometimes have difficulty with very young children who are very obviously gifted in a particular way, in that they simply don't know what to do. The SENCO has been wonderful at ds's school and but when she met with the area G&T co-ordinator she told me she didn't really get a satisfactory answer about how to stretch ds i.e. they told her nothing she hadn't thought of herself!

I wonder of you could find out what topics they are looking at in Year 1 and think of ways for your dd to be stretched? For instance extra reading or more topic based work that she can put some effort into?

Lastly, the other thing that really helped ds was taking up a musical instrument. It seemed to use up a lot of the excess brain energy in quite a focused way.

Good luck, let us know how you are both getting on.

InkyMamma Mon 21-Sep-09 14:10:58

Hi all, just home from the grand meeting ;)

on the whole went much better than i expected. i have been told that she IS on the gifted and talented spectrum and they are pushing her as far as they can. shes in a high ability group for academic work.
the SENCO person was a pain in the arse, to be frank. she pushed and pushed for an IEP, which i think is just crackers. thankfully the class teacher understood that S just needs more time to settle and find her feet in the new environment. i said that i was very uncomfortable with S being on an IEP for behavioural issues at 5 years of age, especially given her academic ability. i also gave our side of the school bus issues, and the teacher is also going to investagate if S has been subject to bullying.
the plan is to work more on helping S to develop emotionally, so a good outcome i feel!

Miggsie Tue 29-Sep-09 13:02:27

Oh, this sounds like my DD, she is "bored" by year one already, asking not to go to school and complaining she is doing things she already knows (couting to 20)...I'm off to see the teacher very shortly now I've read this, DD needs extra stuff to do.

To keep her occupied this weekend DH taught her how to use an abacus, now she's adding numbers with 100's in, so I'm really not surprised that counting to 20 is dull for her.

They have already doen an English SAT with her as she finished the entire reading tree in reception but now we are off to do it all again in Maths I think...

DadAtLarge Tue 29-Sep-09 14:13:31

"that i cant roll over and accept them saying my daughter has behaviour issues when all the while shes bored stiff!"
They may be thinking they won't roll over and accept you saying she's bored stiff when their day to day experience - and main problem - is a difficult child whose behaviour is disrupting the whole class.

Wasn't it accepted all around that both boredom and behaviour were issues?

I think the SENCO's idea for an IEP is very sound. It would give her the means and tools to help your DD both on the behaviour and boredom fronts. An IEP could include the formal allocation of extra teacher/TA time, extra resources etc., which your DD may now not get. But as long as you are happy with the outcome, I guess...

beachfeet Tue 29-Sep-09 14:29:16

Hi Inky, I will be watching this thread with great interest, as my DS has just gone into year one and he is very bright and in his words finds school work “boring”. He has also flown through the reading program and gave up doing school work for a while due to his frustration
He has been having some extreme outburst in school and been excluded on one occasion and now on a IEP. This is so far working well, and DS is responding well to his mentor. There are no behavior issues at home, but the school did find this difficult to believe.
However I’m really concerned with his long term educational needs. We have only recently realized by the end of reception that he is very bright. We will be have a meeting with the school shortly

InkyMamma Mon 05-Oct-09 20:10:34

well to update things are going very well. the home/school book has done wonders in letting my little madam know that everyone talks about what shes been up to, and the last week has been much better. fridays comment was that she was a pleasure to have in the class. im very proud of her indeed. the school have also taken on board my concerns about the level of work, and have been giving her some tough homework and classwork, which has been great. shes reading very well, and just seems a happier child all round. in terms of the IEP, we are not going down that route just now, but we did record the points of our meeting, just to clarify what was required on both sides of the agreement. outside of school we have put in some more activities to help her social development, and shes having a great time.

InkyMamma Mon 05-Oct-09 20:12:03

i also meant to say, DadAtLarge... the IEP would not have included the G&T business, just her alleged 'behavoural problems'!

madwomanintheattic Wed 07-Oct-09 21:17:46

sometimes they cross over though - dd2 was statemented for her physical disability, but the 1-1 support was also able to differentiate her work appropriately and allowed her to work at her own pace, rather than having to stick with the classroom schedule. 1-1s are very handy for lots of things lol grin. that said, the school did have two sets of ieps in place, one for her disability, and one for her g&t targets, but the 1-1 was only employed on the basis of her disability lol.

we miss the 1-1 no (have moved and dd2 is still under assessment locally). this morning i was told that despite her recognised iq and ability, dd2 would not be able to access the 'plus' programme that they run here for able pupils as they need to be able to show that they are gifted acroos the board (ie can write with a pencil...)

funny old world.

the girl can type lol. in the same sentence they offered her a scribe so that she doesn't become frustrated. but that's a whole other thread...

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