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How are bright children stretched in Year 1?

(174 Posts)
noseynoonoo Thu 06-Dec-12 23:04:20

My daughter is relatively bright. Her teacher tells me that she is the most able in the class by some distance. However, she doesn't tell me what is being done to stretch her other than encouraging her to tidy up her handwriting. I have witnessed the teacher telling DD not to participate in some work because others will copy her rather than work it out for themselves. This is great for everyone except her. A few ways to stretch her were suggested by previous teacher but current teacher doesn't 'believe' in these ideas.

I appreciate that she can't teach DD parts of the syllabus in advance but can she be stretched in a sideways direction? I'm a bit intimidated by the teacher, I don't want to sound like a pushy parent but I don't understand how DD is reaching her full potential as things stand.

The school is making a point of making efforts to help children with special needs and on the G&T register but I haven't been told how this applies to DD.

What should I expect to happen?
How can I ensure that DD is stretched (whilst not looking like a pushy-mum)?

blackeyedsusan Thu 06-Dec-12 23:30:26

I think you need to find out what the teacher is doing first... have you asked her?

dd needed to learn to work independently. she also needed to work on handwriting. we kept everything else ticking along in the mean time.

learnandsay Fri 07-Dec-12 08:59:40

This subject comes up quite a bit. To see where it has been discussed on mumsnet before you might want to try googling "mumsnet differentiating work" or words to that effect. And also have a look at some of the discussions on the gifted and talented board. But my own view on the subject is you're better off boosting her education at home.

redskyatnight Fri 07-Dec-12 10:08:18

I agree with talking to the teacher first. What areas is your daughter strong in? Is it across the board, or is it (for example) her reading in particular?

In my DC's year 1 classes there was very strong differentiation
For example in maths the lowest ability group might be working on counting and ordering numbers; a mid range group might be working on number bonds to 10; and the highest ability group would be working on adding 2 digit numbers together.

lostintoys Fri 07-Dec-12 10:58:56

When in year 1, my child worked with the top group year 2s in a mixed yr 1/2 class, but when I asked what would happen when he moved to year 2 I was told that he would have to redo the year 2 work that he had already done as he was the only one working at his level. We moved him to a different school with excellent differentiation and he is stretched appropriately.

BarbarianMum Fri 07-Dec-12 12:09:48

At our school it is generally done by in-class differentiation. So in Y1 maths a group would work say, with numbers up to 100 during addition, whilst other groups might work with numbers up to 20, or whatever, depending on ability and attainment. Literacy is much easier as they can read and write to the best of their abilities (your dd can write longer, or more complex, or better plotted stories with more challenging vocab regardless of what her peers are doing).

fleacircus Fri 07-Dec-12 12:11:26

I would talk to the teacher about what you can do to support at home. DD is a strong reader and according to her teacher the content of her writing is good - I don't really know what other children her age can do, so hadn't particularly noticed. We've also begun to realise that her maths is ahead of what is expected of her, although I don't know how much. We try to support at home without interfering with what she's doing at school - so, as her reading is good, we read a lot of non-fiction with her and then follow up any threads of interest. We also give her plenty of opportunities to write at home (she's very eager to do this) and have looked at how she can plan what she's going to write before she starts, and talked about some punctuation rules - but again, following her interest, so I noticed she'd started using apostrophes and we talked about what they show and how they're used.

It is hard trying to find the line between being supportive and being a pushy nightmare though - I'm a secondary teacher so have plenty of experience of pushy parents, I hate to admit that I'm gradually turning into one!

noisytoys Fri 07-Dec-12 12:20:11

DD is the brightest in her class by far. She is in reception and goes to year 1 for maths and year 2 for phonics and has a 1-1 TA for some bits. I have no idea what they will do next year because it is a separate infants and junior school. I don't want her doing year 2 phonics for 3 years

noseynoonoo Fri 07-Dec-12 14:05:18

Thank you everyone who replied.

blackeyedsusan I have asked the teacher - focus on neat handwriting was the response . Anything that had been suggested by previous teacher was something new teacher did agree with/believe in.

learnandsay Thanks for heads up on G&T board - didn't know there was a board.

redskyatnight DD is good at most areas such as literacy, numeracy, sports. I' say music is her only average area, though not due to a lack of trying on her part.

The children do sit on specific tables - so DD is on a table with same 5 people who are the 5 most able but I don't think this changes for different subjects.

fleacircus I did ask how we could help at home but teacher said we didn't need to do anything. To be honest, at this stage I want home to be relaxing time although she does plenty of reading and writing at home.

A friend said I should speak to the SENCO.

simpson Fri 07-Dec-12 14:17:52

I have to admit, this concerns me a bit for next year (DD is in reception ATM) but is currently doing yr1 work (with one other boy who is on the same level as her) with a TA that they both share...The school seem very good at extending her and she has weekly spelling tests, extension homework (which she likes doing and it gives me an idea of how they must extend her in the class).

Currently she has a truly fab teacher who also had her in nursery (attached to the school) and extended her as much as she could then too (despite the HT having a policy of no reading books to be given to nursery children hmm).

I don't want her to repeat what she is doing next yr iyswim....

Can you find out who is the G&T coordinator at the school and speak to them?

In my DC school,it is the deputy head and he has admitted that they will have to put something in place for next yr (when she is in yr1) so I will wait and see what happens and speak to him much nearer the end of the school year.

noseynoonoo Fri 07-Dec-12 14:25:39

I didn't realise there was such a person as G&T coordinator - that's how much liaison we've had - but have phoned the school just now and reluctantly(?) they let me know who it is. The role has apparently changed recently to someone who is new and seems like a 'good egg' so I'm going to try to speak to him.

simpson Fri 07-Dec-12 14:29:04

Fingers x you get somewhere!!!

I did not even know that our school had one either tbh (and DS is in yr3!!) it was only because DD's reception teacher was running late at parents eve and the deputy head came over to me and told me she is on the G&T list and I can speak to him if I have any problems...

noseynoonoo Fri 07-Dec-12 16:57:05

Progress! Form teacher not in today but spoke to teaching assistant after school. She said the G&T coordinator was someone different and has just phoned me back now to arrange a meeting just before end of term.

pecans Fri 07-Dec-12 17:21:07

I'd be interested to know what the G&T coordinator suggests. When my dd was in Y1, the G&T coordinator had no input whatsoever. But dd had the most fabulous teacher who helped her with things like using speech marks etc - she was always challenged and excited by what she was learning. We moved schools and our current school seems less differentiated and she seems way less interested. I have started focusing on handwriting and spelling (when i remember) at home because she seems to have gone downhill in those areas.

DD2 is also top of her class. She is doing some sort of special literacy work with the TA and one other child, and her teacher talked a lot about how intelligent she was and how they wanted to stretch her at parents evening, which was reassuring. dd2 certainly talks about special things she does with this other dc and a couple of dc from the other class.

I do think it is impossible to find out how your child is being stretched without sounding pushy though.

simpson Fri 07-Dec-12 21:23:45

Fab news!!! Let us know how you get on....

Iamnotminterested Fri 07-Dec-12 21:48:04

simpson, getting REALLY bored of us hearing about how super fantastic your child is, ditto others who bleat on about g and t co-ordinators in R, ffs. Yes your child may be able to sound out some words buy it doesnt make them untouchable. God, how hate reception.

noisytoys Fri 07-Dec-12 21:58:15

If you don't like it, don't read it. I don't see why people have to hide that their children are gifted like its a kind of stigma or all in their parents head. My DD has the highest recorded IQ for her age in the country. I only know that because the health visitor referred her to an ed psych. I'm not ashamed about that because someone I have never met has a problem with it and Simpson shouldn't be ashamed and keep quiet about her DD

simpson Fri 07-Dec-12 22:00:34

Ditto. Don't read it then, there is something you can do which is hide threads if you don't want to read it.

The OP asked what to do in her situation and I told her, end of....

simpson Fri 07-Dec-12 22:02:26

However I will say that I am totally realistic, just because she is "supposedly G&T" ( according to the school - of course she is amazing to me, whatever she can do wink it does not mean she will be when she is 7, 11, 16 or whatever...

noisytoys Fri 07-Dec-12 22:06:30

I would be surprised if DD didn't grow up to be gifted. That's not to say its a guarantee that she will be, just she is one of them once in a generation children who make international news. That will probably out me but it makes me so angry when people say parents shouldn't talk about their child's achievements if they are g+t and they should be quiet about it and treat it like a burden

simpson Fri 07-Dec-12 22:08:00

Noisytoys - Is your DD in reception too??

noisytoys Fri 07-Dec-12 22:12:40

Yes she's 4. I will probably get flamed for that too. She was in the local paper when she was accepted as the youngest person in Mensa only because my DF knows someone who works for the paper and they thought it would make a good story, like many local stories that aren't really a big deal. Within 24 hours it was on the news in 14 countries. I didn't realise it would become such a big story before I get flamed for selling DDs soul to the media or something I just thought it would be local paper

bamboostalks Fri 07-Dec-12 22:18:26

I am not attacking you here but why on earth would you have your dd teased for Mensa. Why bother? What possible advantage is there? Also, fwiw there are many stories of very gifted youngsters who do achieve their predicted to entail, it's actually commonplace.

bamboostalks Fri 07-Dec-12 22:19:00

To entail? Meant potential.

simpson Fri 07-Dec-12 22:20:21


My DD is 4 too (but is 5 in Jan). Not got her tested though as there is no need to tbh and I don't have the £££.

She is happy so I am happy iyswim.

Although she is definately G&T at doing the most disgusting poos in the toilet and smearing it everywhere as she gets off the loo as she is so tiny <<boak>>

I have spent an hour cleaning the loo (again) this eve!!

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