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gifted/ able 5 year old

(11 Posts)
whataboutbob Mon 03-Dec-12 13:02:44

I'm aware all this might sound a bit obnoxious or snoozeville but I'm trying to determine if my son is "able" as his teacher says, or gifted and in either case what if anything should be done. In contrast to his elder brother who is average I would say, the youngest seems to do well at anything he turns his hand to. I'm giving him extra maths with a Bond book, 1 year above his age group and he sails through it. He was doing piano last term, his teacher said his memory and ability were exceptional. Unfortunately we lost her so I'm in the process of looking for another one. Generally speaking he loves learning and has great ability to retain info.
His school scores good on most Ofsted criteria, but is not outstanding in any way. They don't seem particularly motivated to nurture and stretch his abilities and I haven't pushed as I don't want to seem, well, pushy.
Any advice? Should I just let the school continue to gove him standard education, or make an effort to stretch him? And what is the most effective way of doing so? What will the difference be in the long term? We are absolutely not a family who can afford private education but I'd like him to get into the best possible secondary school.

smee Mon 03-Dec-12 13:31:43

He does sound bright, which is great but what's he like socially? I'd say that's as important. Also maybe bear in mind that it's quite hard to tell at 5. I know kids who were way ahead at that age, who got zoomed past in say years 1 & 2. If he's happy at school, that's what matters for now. If he's way ahead in year 2 and not being stretched, I'd say worry at that point.

Tiggles Mon 03-Dec-12 13:34:59

It's hard to say, DS2 was working a year ahead in literacy and numeracy since early in reception, and as he is taught with the year above, so having differentiated work, he has always been on their able and talented list. BUT, personally I think he is bright not gifted. I guess it depends on your personal definition of gifted.
But, irrespective of definitions the school should be differentiating his work to make sure that he is working at the right level.

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Mon 03-Dec-12 13:36:39

I think it's important that school understand him and set him work accordingly. Not that easy I know in a large class but still doable.

Why not speak to school, soon?

Tgger Mon 03-Dec-12 13:45:42

He should be given work or "learning" within the class that is differentiated so that it stretches/stimulates him. It depends where his strengths lie, I think at 5 generally they can still fit in the Y1 class quite easily- is he Y1? In YR there is a lot of freedom to learn through play that should suit children like your DS.

Long term I think you have to trust your instincts. If your child is happy and engaged at school then it's going pretty well. If you start to doubt this then it's time to look around/at least have a chat with the teacher.

PP is right that at 5 it's the bigger picture to look at, the social side and participation in class etc, but perhaps at 7/8 you might want to prioritise the academic side.

whataboutbob Mon 03-Dec-12 14:40:36

Thanks all. Yes he's in year 1, he'll be 6 at the end of the month. He says he loves school and has no complaints. I'll speak to his teacher and ask whether he's getting any differentiated work . But it sounds like at this stage the best thing is to give him a little extra stimulation at home and see how things progress over the next 2 years?

Tgger Mon 03-Dec-12 14:49:12

Think people will have different views but that's my view with DS who is just 6. DH keeps him entertained generally with lots of chats about science etc. grin.

Have you seen his school books re writing etc? This reassured me with DS as he is producing a lot more in Y1 than YR.

smee Mon 03-Dec-12 14:49:32

Do they give you SATs levels? Ours do, which makes it really easy to see if they're progressing. Also, you could ask if there are other children working at his level, as that's really important I think if they're to stay motivated. They should be setting differentiated work across all levels, not just for the brighter ones, so definitely ask how they do that. Great to hear he's happy though. I honestly think that matters more than anything in terms of achievement. smile

Tgger Mon 03-Dec-12 14:58:00

IMO SAT levels are unnecessary (but whatever floats your boat). It was useful to know that DS was "working above age related", though grin.

I agree that it is useful (although not entirely necessary) to have other children at about the same ability. For DS he has a pal he reads with of the same level and who according to him "is the best speller in the class as he always gets the spellings right, whereas DS sometimes gets them right, awwwww"

smee Mon 03-Dec-12 15:29:07

Couldn't agree more on SATs, but if they tell you what level they're assessing them at, it does at least reassure that your child's moving forward not backwards. grin

Rudolphstolemycarrots Mon 03-Dec-12 16:19:43

Surely the teacher will be differentiating. He won't be alone, he will be one of many working a year or two a head.

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