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So, you take the ten 'cleverest' children from Year 2 in a community school...

(51 Posts)
PoptyPing Thu 15-Oct-09 14:50:07

... and you send them home with letters in their book bags saying that, because they've 'been identified as being above average ability', they're being invited to join a 'Thinking Club' after school, at which they will be undertaking various, um, thinky activities.

And then the other parents get wind of this and people start complaining, and other parents are pissed off and hurt, and some of the children work out what's going on and are very upset not to have been asked.

WHat do you reckon to this then? And yes, this is my daughter's year - but I'm not telling you which side of the fence we're on until you tell me what you think!

MusterMix Thu 15-Oct-09 14:51:28

I think its in line witht eh G and t policy.

thedollshouse Thu 15-Oct-09 14:52:03

`Thinking club` hmm. It all sounds a bit daft. What type of things will they be thinking about?

bigchris Thu 15-Oct-09 14:52:20

i'm bettingyour in the ten cleverest

at ds' school they have a lunch art club that is 'invite only' so i guess it is the same kind of selective thing

southeastastra Thu 15-Oct-09 14:53:01

our school has this for those who are gifted at maths. to be honest i wish they'd do one for the ones that are lagging too! (my son)

MusterMix Thu 15-Oct-09 14:53:10

if they did the same for the 10 weakest woudl there have been a hoo ha
its envy.

3LegsandNoTail Thu 15-Oct-09 14:53:49

As MusterMix says. This is what schools all over the country are supposed to be doing, in one form or another, to meet the needs of their G and T pupils.

Lonicera Thu 15-Oct-09 14:53:49

It's fine as long as my child is picked wink

MusterMix Thu 15-Oct-09 14:53:56

But i woudl argue that teh clever kids actually get NO TA time in class at all and there is a LOT of help for the weakest( as it shoudl be ) and for equitys sake surely its nice to meet ALL kids needs?

MrsGently Thu 15-Oct-09 14:54:00

I wonder why they are not trying to encourage the other 20 children to think.

MusterMix Thu 15-Oct-09 14:54:33

its probably basic philosphy

maybe the otehrs arent clever enough to do what they are planning to do?

VulpusinaWilfsuit Thu 15-Oct-09 14:55:41

Lots of schools DO have something for less able pupils also, and often extra TA support, reading sessions etc..

G&T policy should do this.

it is the ones who are only average who get least 'extra' help, but then having extra support at the top and bottom in theory leaves the teacher able to teach at the most 'mainstream' level. Sounds about the right approach to me...

Hulababy Thu 15-Oct-09 14:55:41

I think this is fine, and many schools do it. It is generally part of he G&T programme, which all schools should be doing providing. Many schools run special trips for G&T, or extension activities.

I run a study support group in a morning 3 days a week (or will do when it restarts next half term). We target key pupils in Year 1/2- in my case these are children who are just falling behind in literacy and not quite likely to meet their end of KS1 targets, with a particular emphasis on EAL students and BME children. Only those target pupils are invited to join the group. Other children know about ti and yes, of course they;d like to come. We do some fab exciting topics (IMO) and the children who come love it.

I assume the school also offers other clubs and activities for other children.

It is for parents to explain to their child that not everyone can do everything all he time.

MrsGently Thu 15-Oct-09 14:56:33

I knew a woman who taught philosphy thought in primary schools in Glasgow - she said it was brilliant for all children - not just the clever ones.

overmydeadbody Thu 15-Oct-09 14:56:36

I think any children, regardelss of ability, could do with extra 'thinking club'a ctivities, but if it is line with G&T stuff, I wouldn't complain if my DS wheren't selected (although he would be)

claricebeansmum Thu 15-Oct-09 14:57:26

Think this is absolutely fine. These are children who need extra stimulation. Why are we so ashamed of excellence.

IMO it extends from this bonkers philosophy that everyone is equal and we're all winners. No - some are brighter than others, some are more sporty. Is there an uproar everytime the footy team is picked?

MusterMix Thu 15-Oct-09 14:57:29

yes I agree - clever kids dont get support.
ds2 is spending a lot of time "on the carpet" atm waiting for the others...

PoptyPing Thu 15-Oct-09 14:57:38

WHat is the G&T policy. I mean, how many children are supposed to be included? Is it supposed to be the top 10 per cent, or is there no particular target to meet and it's left up to individual schools?

Thanks for all your opinions BTW. Muster and Mrs Gently, your two points are getting a good airing from the opposing sides in the playground (talking about the adults here).

MusterMix Thu 15-Oct-09 15:00:20

i think say to them" if it was a group for weak writers" woudl you be as cross - if the answer is no then there you are!

MusterMix Thu 15-Oct-09 15:00:37


PoptyPing Thu 15-Oct-09 15:02:27

10 per cent randomly? Are you sure? grin

Apparently at ours it's been done on 'raw test data', whatever that might be - wasn't aware that our children had been tested yet <naive>

SOmeone asked if our school does other clubs. It does, loads of them.

Hulababy Thu 15-Oct-09 15:06:28

So long as the school does offer clubs and activities for other children - which you says it does - then def not an issue.

I wonder if those annoyed parents would feel so annoyed with my Study Support group, if their child wasn;t invited to join?

MusterMix Thu 15-Oct-09 15:06:41

no i meant he number 10 was I presume chosen randomly
not 9
or 20

notagrannyyet Thu 15-Oct-09 15:15:25

TAs usually help with DC who are behind in numeracy and very basic reading. These are the essentials and without them no child stands a chance at secondary school.
I have G & T DC and personally I would rather resourses used to ensure every child can read rather than the cleverest in a class having free chess lessons etc.

PoptyPing Thu 15-Oct-09 15:15:53

Oh right, thanks Muster

Thanks for all your views. If you're gonna twist my arm, I'll admit that DD is in the Thinking category... but I can empathise with those who are pissed off, I'd be royally pissed off if she hadn't been asked (out of pure disappointment that she hadn't 'made the grade').

It is true, as Wilf said, that the kids at the upper end of the scale seem to have very little attention from the teacher in the normal course of things - our classes are all full 30s, and the teachers' and TAs' time does seem to mostly go on the children at the lower end of the attainment range, although I think that's fair enough in general.

I think the cat is among the pigeons at least in part because our school didn't seem to do G&T provision before.

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