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I need some advice

(8 Posts)
mylifemykids Sun 18-Oct-09 20:30:40

DS has just started primary school. He is bright, I wouldn't particularly say he's 'gifted' but I do know he's above 'average' for his age. His teacher has mentioned the G&T register but I don't really know how that works.

He was given a reading assessment last week and the teacher has informed me that she'll let me know her findings this week or maybe after half term, but then she said the school doesn't really have the resources to help???

He can read and write well, his mathematical skills are very good, he draws detailed pictures, he's very interested in things around him (he's reading about the planets and space at the moment). But I have NO idea what to do to help him and am worried the school wont do anything to aid his development.

I don't particularly want him singled out for extra learning when the rest of his class are pretty much still doing a lot of playing rather than learning, but then I also don't want him held back just because the other children are still at the playing stage!

I really don't know what to say to his teacher and wondered if anyone else has been in this situation (I'm sure there are plenty of you!) and could offer me a few words of advice.


LynetteScavo Sun 18-Oct-09 20:34:37

So he's just started reception?

Sounds genuinly G&T to me..., but don't forget social skills are important to, and every 4 year old needs to play with other children to develop ther social skills.

You sound fab, by the way! smile

mylifemykids Sun 18-Oct-09 20:50:17

Yes he has just started. I don't 'get' the G&T thing though. How do they decide who goes on the register?

He's got plenty of friends in and out of school so I don't worry about the social side of things too much

It's causing me to lose sleep already worrying about what to do for the best for him...only another 14 years of school to go!

LynetteScavo Sun 18-Oct-09 21:07:48

G%T kids are the top 10% in the class/year.

The thing is, if you have a not very bright year, then it can mis-lead parents into thinking little Johnnie is genious, when's he's just bright.

It does sound to me as if your DS is streets ahead of where most children are in reception, although my sister was the same, as were a few aquaintances DCs.

I'm not sure what to sugest...hopefully someone with a G&T child will come along soon.

DadAtLarge Sun 18-Oct-09 21:10:18

State schools have been failing the brightest children for a long time. The G&T program was started to attempt remedy this (and to prevent the smart ones "leaking" out into the private sector). Under G&T, schools are meant to identify the top 10% in ability in each class and put them on the G&T register even though they may not all be "gifted" in the commonly accepted meaning of the term. Schools then have to account for how they've catered for them and meet various quality standards.

There is a lot of information about G&T on the National Strategies site and the DCSF's.

mylifemykids Mon 19-Oct-09 07:54:22

Thanks DAL. The fact that they have to account for how they've catered for them has given me a little more hope!

Will check out the sites you've given me to see if there's anything on there which might help us.

I do agree with you LS that some parents will think their child is a genius. I truly don't believe that of DS, although, like I've said, I do know he's bright for his age. And, I really don't want that ignored just because he's in state school.

I've got half term next week to arm myself with anything appropriate I can show to his teacher to try and get him the 'help' he needs to keep him going at the pace he is!

Thank you

Romanarama Mon 19-Oct-09 08:05:42

I'd just say the main thing is to make sure school is interesting enough for him to enjoy it and he should be OK. One of my sons is very bright - could read his letters by 20 months, and read properly at 3. Spoke like a 5 yo at 2, never made mistakes etc. He's doing very well at school at 7, but is now less obviously streets ahead of everyone. He's in that group of the brightest and most motivated and has more challenging books to read than most, but there's a lot to learn as they get older, so he's not bored. We're not in the UK though so I don't know anything about G&T (except the pre-prandial!) and though he's not in a selective school, it's a bit self-selecting being populated almost solely by the kids of well-off expat professionals.

And the most important thing when they're little - and big too - is to read and read, which he can do at home too.

DadAtLarge Mon 19-Oct-09 09:35:25

mylifemykids, you need to be warned that many teachers will put up a fight. They don't like G&T, they don't like the more intelligent children getting attention "at the expense of those who really need it". (There's this current thread where I've been attempting to help/advise some teachers on G&T implementation and you'll notice the teacher resistance).

You seem to be willing to do the research so I'll make some suggestions. You'll find that the G&T program devolves a lot to Local Authority (LA) level and leaves it to the LA to decide the Local Authority Quality Standards (LAQS)

Ask your school for a copy of their policy on the teaching of "able and exceptionally able children" (don't mention "gifted" because some schools can't bear to use the word in any context and it puts their backs). Have a look at your LA's website, find out who's responsible for G&T and request them for a copy of the LA's policy and a copy of the LAQS. That arms you for when (if) you need to go in and see the G&T coordinator at the school.

The important thing is that your DS is happy rather than hothoused. But you will find that the system is designed to even out the intelligent kids - the smaller the ability range the easier the class is to manage. And children like your DS end up very, very bored. That is something to avoid.

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