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Gifted and Talented question

(11 Posts)
Canshopwillshop Wed 06-Jan-16 12:01:02

I was helping out with reading in DD's class yesterday (year 6). The classroom assistant gave me the wrong paperwork initially which I realised when I started flicking through it. However, I caught sight of DD's name on a couple of lists which appeared to relate to spelling and literacy and her name was clearly ticked under the column headed 'Gifted and Talented'.

This was a complete surprise to me as none of her teachers have ever mentioned it. She is in top set for literacy but I wouldn't say she is flying.

I would like to ask her teacher about it but it's slightly awkward as I obviously wasn't meant to have seen that particular set of papers but surely as her parent, I should have been told about this? Not sure how to approach things.

Inkymess Wed 06-Jan-16 12:48:03

As far as I know G&T categorisation can often be used just to define who is in top set. Schools have to prove that they are stretching the most able they have in class. If Ofsted call they can then quickly identify those DC and show that they are being stretched with appropriate harder work. It does not necessarily mean those children are truly exceptional in a G&T sense. I believe schools can get marked down if bright pupils are left to cruise

Canshopwillshop Wed 06-Jan-16 13:38:02

Ok, thanks Inky, that makes sense. I think she is on top table in top set and a least one of the other names on the list I saw are on her table so perhaps it is just to indicate that. Thanks for clarifying.

Iwantakitchen Wed 06-Jan-16 13:43:03

Ds is top of the class but we've never had a teacher say to us 'he is top of the class' . I don't think schools do that anymore at most you can figure out where your child is in comparison to the others because of sets and work sent home, and the old grading system of 4a but this is changing... which table they sit, etc. Some schools will have a very clear G&T policy others don't but it doesn't mean they don't stretch the children in question.

tiggytape Wed 06-Jan-16 14:02:30

There used to be funding for G&T programmes. Most of that is largely gone and it wasn't particularly well targeted anyway. The top 10% of pupils at one school can vary hugely in ability to the top 10% in another school so identifying the top few children in a class wasn't necessarily the best way of deciding who to support and how.

That said, schools do still need to know which children are of high ability in certain subjects so they can ensure their learning needs are met - especially in this era where proving progress is everything. So it is good that DD has been recognised as gifted at literacy and hopefully this means she is being set work that stretches her and helps her to move forward. The time to approach the school might be if you felt your DD was being left unchallenged or not making progress.

Canshopwillshop Wed 06-Jan-16 14:04:07

Thanks Iwant - I'm not questioning whether or not she's being stretched in class, just querying why I didn't know about her being identified as G&T. You are right though about different approaches - friends of mine whose children are in a different school are always going on about 'so and so being on the G&T register' but our school never mentions it. i'm surprised that the G&T column was even there on the paperwork but I think Inky has put her finger on why.

Canshopwillshop Wed 06-Jan-16 14:14:12

Thanks for explaining Tiggy. The weird thing is that some of the kids I read with are on higher levels than DD (still identified as 4a etc). However they are not on top table nor ticked in the G&T column. It could just be that the list I normally work with which has a list of pupils/levels etc is out of date. I've obviously only got half the story - pays me to stick my nose in where I shouldn't!

Mandzi34 Wed 06-Jan-16 14:20:14

Our school doesn't have a G and T category either but the work is differentiated and the children have an understanding about their capabilities. Maybe your DD is particularly good with her written work but some of the others have slightly higher levels of comprehension hence the higher reading levels? I know the two don't necessarily go hand in hand. There are kids in DS class who are better readers than they are writers and vice versa.

Bluelilies Wed 06-Jan-16 14:24:20

My DC's school had a policy of not telling parents their child was on the G&T list because the head believed that if you labled children as G&T they then thought they would do well at everything because they were clever and not that they would do better at things through trying hard. And obviously if you tell the parents, they'll tell their child. They simply labled every child that got a level 3 in their Y2 SATS as G&T I think. It was all pretty meaningless in terms of what happened in classes especially higher up the school.

SoWhite Wed 06-Jan-16 14:28:50

G&T is relative to the set of kids you have. In a group of brainboxes (A), the very top are the G&T. In a lesser able set (B), the top are G&T. Even though, when comparing schools or academic years or whatever, many of the top in set B wouldn't make it in A.

As a result, there's not actually much to report. If your kid is getting the support they need, and is challenged enough, you've got no worries.

Canshopwillshop Wed 06-Jan-16 21:12:38

Thanks all. Decided not to say anything to teacher - sounds like it's a something and nothing.

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