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Provision for what was called 'g and t'

(24 Posts)
scouting Fri 07-Feb-14 15:16:09

Please could you tell me what provision your school makes for the more able cohort in the class.

For e.g. Do they have some kind of register? If so have you been told that your child is on it?

Does the group do extension work within the class or within and also outside (for e.g. groups pulled out and given an extra lesson)?

What are these g and t groups: pe? literacy? maths? music? e.g. writing club? extra maths group?

My friend, for example, says her daughter is taught maths an extra half hour a week with several other kids by the Y6 teacher.

Another friend, at another school, says the kids who are on the g and t register for literacy take part in a journalism club.

There's also a science club.

If your school doesn't do this do they do adequate extension work within the class.

If they do, are these extra groups helpful?

If they don't, should a school be doing this?

Views gratefully received.

Iamnotminterested Fri 07-Feb-14 16:54:06

Wow, lots of questions! Well, never been officially told but long suspected and judging by what levels are being achieved dd1 probably is for English, history and drama in year 8, Dd2 for literacy in year 5. All work completed in class, no 'clubs' or pedestals and in my opinion that's how it should be, I loathe the idea of more able kids being put on pedestals for all to see, builds resentment and is demoralising to other kids. I have no need for lists or letters or any of that crap, knowing that they are being stretched in lessons, achieving and enjoying is enough.

harryhausen Fri 07-Feb-14 17:04:45

For all I know, our school doesn't have a G&T register. If they do, I have no idea whose on it.

My dd did some extra work with a couple of others in Year 3. At first I thought she was behind as she complained she had to do work while everyone else played. I asked the teacher and she said it was the opposite and it was a bit of extension work to stretch them. However, details weren't very forthcoming. It's never been mentioned since and she doesn't seem to have done any more in Y4 - however she's still working at level 5.

I find it all a bit mystifying. I've just ignored it as it's not a problemgrin

cansu Fri 07-Feb-14 21:19:15

I actually think all of these additional classes are a massive waste of time and resources. Children who are more able can be catered for within the class by pitching the class at the right level generally in primary school. In upper school they are usually set and therefore end up in the right groups with the right amount of challenge. There are very few truly gifted children and in most schools the G and T register is simply a list of the most able kids. Obviously this is relative to the other children in that particular school. So a child who is G and T in one school may not be so in another. If I was the parent of a child who was more able and they were getting on OK and were happy, I wouldn't give two hoots for any ridiculous extension work.

RueDeWakening Fri 07-Feb-14 21:26:27

DD was put on the G&T register for maths, English & science when she was in reception, she's now Y2. As far as I can tell, it means nothing, and nobody has mentioned it since. She has very occasionally done some small group work with a TA, and I'm told her work in class is differentiated, but that's it.

They have rejigged the classes this year, and she's now with a few kids working at a similar level, which is helping enormously - according to her teacher she stuck out a mile last year (and coasted for most of the year as a result).

Elibean Fri 07-Feb-14 21:58:23

I've never heard the expression 'gifted and talented' used by school to a parent about a child.

But the top sets get extension work, yes. And as a parent governor, I have heard the expression and know it just means 'the most able kids in any given cohort'.

And neither of my dds have ever been labelled g&t, but dd1 gets taken into a separate maths group once a week and taught by a retired secondary maths teacher, and dd2 gets to join her year's 'special book club for gifted readers' (along with a dozen other kids).

In other words, all kids - including the more able ones in any given class - should be stretched and encouraged to reach their potential. Same goes for the less able ones, and the ones in the middle, etc.

As for 'adequate extension work', well, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't - according to dd1. But given she is in a class of 30 with a vast variety of abilities and needs, I think what she gets is great.

onetiredmummy Fri 07-Feb-14 22:15:40

Ds1's school run an invitation only g&t club. Ds was invited and they do gardening and planting veg one term, then a school newspaper another term. It's not very exciting and ds chose to go to Cubs instead when the 2 things conflicted. The club is an hour after school one day a week, there's no extension work that I know of but there is homework and I assume all of the class has the same, it's not occurred to me that its extension work.

Tbh my ds is intelligent, articulate, dreamy and a bit left of centre smile but I'm not sure he is truly gifted. The teacher before Christmas at parents evening told us he was the cleverest in the class but nobody said anything before then except for the stars of the week award for maths and reading etc. I hope ds doesn't have a massive shock when he starts secondary and realises that he is among others with the same capabilities and not a wunderchild after all....

ReallyTired Fri 07-Feb-14 22:28:27

Ds attended a series of workshops for more able scientists in year 6. His school picked the six children out of a year group of 60 with the highest marks. He made nylon and was taught about different types of chemical bonding. An average ablity child would have got nothing out of the workshop. I think any child who was a strong level 5 in science would have enjoyed the workshop.

Prehaps what is unfair is the sheer arbitarness of only having the top 5 to 10% on a gifted and talented register at every school in the country. At ds's school being reasonably well behaved, able to speak English and having a pulse seems sufficent to be labelled as gifted and talented.

"I hope ds doesn't have a massive shock when he starts secondary and realises that he is among others with the same capabilities and not a wunderchild after all...."

This has happened to ds. Its not as bad as think and you may find that your son enjoys being in the company of those with similar ablity. Ds' new school do not consider him to be academically gifted, but think he is talented at singing instead.

marmitecat Sat 08-Feb-14 07:37:32

At our school a number of children are taught out of year group for certain subjects. Nothing on sport or music or art - but the good ones will be picked to play in concerts or for school teams etc.

KingscoteStaff Sat 08-Feb-14 10:09:02

When OFSTED come in, one of the thing that they will be looking for is whether the high achieving children are being stretched and challenged appropriately.

For example, is a child that achieved level 3 at year 2 making the appropriate progress towards 5A/6 at Year 6 or is she/he being allowed to rest on her/his laurels. If that child is also EAL or Pupil Premium, then the scrutiny is even closer.

I am the G&T co-ordinator, and when OFSTED come in (we are due) I would be prepared to tell these 3 things:

1. What the teachers do in class eg. differentiated and extension work; differentiated homework; opportunities for children to undertake in depth project work; evidence on planning of appropriately challenging questioning.

2. What we do in school eg. Invitation Maths club 1 day after school for Yrs 2+3 on Tues and 4+5 on Wed (12 children in each); book making club for G+T writer;, opportunities for talented sportsgirls/boys to share their skills coaching the younger children and to reflect on their captaincy skills.

3. Opportunities outside school eg. directing talented children towards local out of school clubs for drama/sports/art and (if necessary) approaching those clubs to enquire about bursaries; entering children for weekend masterclasses at secondary schools or institutions.

Every child has to be shown to be making progress - whether they start from a high or low score.

CouthyMow Mon 10-Feb-14 01:35:17

There's no ability in Primary to differentiate in Maths if your child is working above lvl 6, and as I've found in Y7 at Secondary, that seems pretty much the same - top set are working on lvl 6 work. DS1 is bored rigid. I have started sending him in with a GCSE textbook to work through, once he has finished the class work in 10 mins. The teacher hasn't noticed yet. He has had the textbook since the start of December! I am going to bring it up at Parent's Evening. Haven't had a date yet...

CouthyMow Mon 10-Feb-14 01:39:19

But Kingscote - if a child has securely reached lvl 6 by the end of Y5, the primary seems powerless to do anything more with them. They sit through boring Maths lessons for the entirety of Y6, get full marks in the lvl 6 SATS, but learn NOTHING.

And because they have 'made the expected progress from lvl 3 in Y2", Ofsted don't care either. Despite the fact that he was easily working on lvl 4 stuff in maths in Y2. So IMO, he DIDN'T make expected progress, as there was no teaching of lvl 7 work.

And there still isn't, other than from me.

CouthyMow Mon 10-Feb-14 01:41:36

And he's on Pupil Premium through FSM's, but that hasn't changed the fact that there ARE outliers that State schools can't appropriately differentiate for.

And it's the same at the other end too - they can't differentiate effectively for a child working on p-scales in Y6 either.

There are points at either end if the Bell curve that differentiation within a standard class just does not work for.

calmb4storm Mon 10-Feb-14 09:34:35

OP, you might find this book useful. It describes what schools should do, and explains why some do more than others.

At my DCs school the G&T phrase is never used, and its hard to know whether its adequately provided for or not. They do have something called "Thinking Club", but it has the air of a secret society .... nobody's ever told their child is in it, so you have to rely on the kids themselves for (usually unreliable) information. My DC has been in it, but it seems irregular and its not clear how much its membership evolves over time and whether children are swapped in and out. They also have setting for maths ... 3 groups, with the top and bottom groups being taught by specialist maths teachers, and the middle group being taught by the form-teacher.

Sport G&T is not well provided for at all. They do participate in inter-school competitions, but not very well. I remember an incident when one of the most able athletes forgot his PE kit on the day of the try-out for the annual athletics event ... he wasn't allowed to participate. I thought that was harsh (especially given his relatively disadvantaged family circumstances).

Having said all that, the school was inspected recently, so maybe things will change following a bit of advice from Ofsted. Hope so!

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 10-Feb-14 09:34:49

I don't think our school does "G&T" as such. the top groups are just given slightly different work or extension work/challenges at the end of the class work I believe. I am not entirely sure to be honest although my children are top end of the class (going by what staff have said not me guessing or assuming). Does it stretch them sufficiently? not entirely sure, I think both are very capable of doing much more than they do but not sure what I can do about it. If they were happy with what they were doing then it wouldn't worry me particularly but both are complaining the work is too easy so I think I may have to ask some carefully worded questions.

ReallyTired Mon 10-Feb-14 09:38:10

"But Kingscote - if a child has securely reached lvl 6 by the end of Y5, the primary seems powerless to do anything more with them. They sit through boring Maths lessons for the entirety of Y6, get full marks in the lvl 6 SATS, but learn NOTHING."

That is so not true. Dd primary school had a boy who was working on level 7 work in year 5. The child had a tutor come in for an hour once a week to do extension work and create a programme of work for the rest of the week.

"And it's the same at the other end too - they can't differentiate effectively for a child working on p-scales in Y6 either. "

Again its a matter of the will being there, but in some circumstances inclusion can work. The challenge is creating a safe enviroment for a child with such a low intellectual level. There is a world of difference between a child who is on P8 and a child who is working at say P4. A child who is working at P4 really has to be in a specialised unit as their care needs are so high.

Acinonyx Mon 10-Feb-14 10:04:06

But is that the exception rather than the rule ReallyTired? Certainly doesn't happen at our school.

tiggytape Mon 10-Feb-14 10:24:01

The phrase g&t is not used at DS's school but he has been invited to some day activities for children "identified as gifted" in certain subjects so I assume therefore someone somewhere has made this decision.

Apart from that though there is no special provision in class - he is in the top groups but not so much of a genius he has to have special work beyond that. I suppose if he was the type of child who could sit a maths A Level at 8 they'd have to do a lot more with him but he is "normally gifted" if there is such a thing i.e of high ability but not so far from the norm really.

Schools don't have to make special provisions anymore though beyond differentiating work to make sure it is suitable for all children. Some still choose to run g&t lists etc but they don't have to.

DeWe Mon 10-Feb-14 10:48:21

At infant level I've never heard it talked about as G&T, but they do very much differentiate the children in class in groups, and even within the group at times.

At juniors, they don't tell you explicitly, but have 2-3 G&T literacy events during the year that children are invited to attend. They will only be invited to one.
For maths, they are set across the year (large school so lots of sets), and the top set is treated as G&T. Last year 2/3rds of the top set got level 6 at year 6 SATS.

At secondary (normal comprehensive), we get a list of school based G&T stuff they can choose which to attend after school. Plus they seem to run lots of external trips which they invite some of the children to attend. Dd1 (year 8) is also attending "masterclasses" at the local university on Saturdays this term.
They are very keen to stretch the top end. Dd1 is currently working at 8a in her best subject, and they are giving extention work to her and two others who are working at that level.
They don't limit what level they can work at, in fact they positively encourage them to push ahead.

fluffycarpets Mon 10-Feb-14 10:50:18

Thanks. Our school differentiates within the class. The current teacher does it quite well, as did the last teacher - but it's inexact. There are no additional clubs or groups of any kind, certainly none within school hours (the after school clubs seem to be treated as a kind of childcare). I can't work out how much this really matters.

fluffycarpets Mon 10-Feb-14 10:51:00

After school club is dance and football and takes place at another school.

KingscoteStaff Mon 10-Feb-14 15:47:41

But Kingscote - if a child has securely reached lvl 6 by the end of Y5, the primary seems powerless to do anything more with them.

It's certainly harder. I have 2 Year 6 boys doing GCSE Maths and Computing this summer. They are cousins, and both dads are mathematics professors and have been coaching them since birth! In class, they have work set on My Maths, but one stuggles with shape and joins my level 6 group for that.

And it's the same at the other end too - they can't differentiate effectively for a child working on p-scales in Y6 either.

Got one of those too! (It's an interesting year group...) She was P7 at Year 2, so her target for end of Year 6 is 1C. She's so nearly there in Maths and Reading, but not in Writing.

CouthyMow Mon 10-Feb-14 16:48:26

They are lucky in your school then, Kingscote. The majority of schools seem unable to differentiate for those at the extreme ends of the Bell Curve...

sittingbythepoolwithenzo Mon 10-Feb-14 17:12:40

No G & T labling in our school, but the work is set at the level for each child. So the top set are extended, and within that set, there are different levels too.

Our Head quite firmly believes that each child is gifted/talented in their own way, and it would be wrong to lable.

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