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How do i know if a DC is G & T?

(129 Posts)
aristoBLACKcat Thu 15-Oct-09 17:59:29

Please help, how can you tell if a child is Gifted & Talented?

Silly question, i know.

primarymum Thu 15-Oct-09 18:09:47

It depends on whether you mean "Government" Gifted and Talented-which is basically the top 10% in a school ( in one particularly poor year group we had a child on the G&T register for Literacy and on the SEN register for the same subject!) or "true" Gifted and Talented
Gifted describes learners who have the ability to excel academically in one or more subjects such as English, drama, technology; I would take this as at least 2 years above their contemporaries and with the understanding that enables them to maintain and increase this differential.

Talented describes learners who have the ability to excel in practical skills such as sport, leadership, artistic performance, or in an applied skill.

overmydeadbody Thu 15-Oct-09 18:12:39

Well, if they are gifted and telented for school purposes the teacher will identify this.

Is that what you mean?

Usually it is obvious though, because they actually display some ort of gift or talent that is advances for their years.

aristoBLACKcat Thu 15-Oct-09 18:35:23

yes, i have seen several threads on here about G&T and wondered about it.

my DD is 5yo and is an exceptional reader. didnt think of her as G&T though as no-one at school has mentioned it.
she did have a reading test last year in reception and it showed her to have a reading age of 9 years - not sure how this is achieved. teacher was very pleased with her.

she has been put in a year 2/1 class and is doing well.

how would i know if she is G&T or "just a" bright/clever girl?

thanks for your replies.

primarymum Thu 15-Oct-09 18:46:17

It's almost impossible to say! There is a great deal of discussion amongst educators and academics about what really constitutes G&T, just do a search on the internet and you would be amazed! Do we use IQ tests, but these tend to measure verbal and numerical ability so wouldn't recognise art/literature based skills, do we say top 5% in any one subject-does this make them clever or gifted! Especially at such a young age, the difference between gifted and clever is hard to determine. Personally I would say that there needs to be an element of understanding, application and independent extension in a gifted child but my ideas might be completely at odds with someone elses but both equally valid!

aristoBLACKcat Thu 15-Oct-09 18:50:59

thanks primarymum, dont want to make her into something shes not.
i am very happy as things are now, the most important thing is that she enjoys school and is learning and developing every day.

DadAtLarge Thu 15-Oct-09 19:05:27

>>Well, if they are gifted and telented for school purposes the teacher will identify this.

I beg to disagree. The teachers are meant to identify this but most teachers don't. Most teachers aren't even aware of their school's policy on G&T.

Most children who qualify for G&T don't get put on the G&T register. And for those who are the fact is often kept secret and parents are not informed (contrary to the advice from the DCSF).

The important thing, as you say aristoBLACKcat, is that she's enjoying school and developing to your satisfaction.

trickerg Thu 15-Oct-09 23:04:44

dadatlarge - teachers have to be aware of the G+T policy, as it forms part of Ofsted. The parents of children on the G+T register are informed.

It is our schools policy not to put KS1 children on the register as children develop develop at such differnet rates at this age. We cringe at the thought of yummymummies losing their G+T status in Yr 3 when everyone else has caught up.

DadAtLarge Fri 16-Oct-09 09:14:43

trickerg, what teachers/schools are supposed to do and what they actually do with regards G&T are not always the same thing. You'll find numerous examples in the G&T forum here of teachers who don't know the first thing about G&T or what their school's policy says about it. (We've even had a teacher who didn't know what SEN was and thought I was insulting disabled kids when I gave her what turned out to be the official definition for SEN!)

With respect to your own school and its policy of avoiding putting KS1 children on the register - that's exactly what you should not be doing. The G&T program recommends early recognition and that children can be moved in and out of the program. The extent to which G&T is implemented in a school shouldn't rely on how many yummymummies they've got.

That your school has discovered that children develop at different rates is hardly the reason to not implement the program properly. I reckon National Strategies must have been aware of the different rates of development when they specified that the earlier the identification is made the better.

bellissima Fri 16-Oct-09 09:26:27

In my lovely niece's primary school they picked as 'G&Ts' one girl and one boy from each year to go and have special extra lessons at another primary one morning a week. My niece was chosen, her best friend (who, in my sister's view was just as bright) wasn't. As my sister said, she was surprised the other girl's mother still spoke to her. But it was obviously school/local/regional policy to take one girl and one boy. In other words it all sounds a bit arbitrary. My sister also felt that it was her son, who needed extra help reading at some stage, who required more attention than her daughter who is almost certainly bound to succeed in any case - but that, I suppose, is another issue.

trickerg Fri 16-Oct-09 19:55:10

I beg to differ dadatlarge. Children often enter KS1 well ahead of their peers, but things often even out by the end of Year 2. Children just haven't developed enough by this stage to be labelled G+T - bright children will be extended and lower ability children supported.

Of course, if we suddenly got landed with a Mozart or Tolstoy, then we would, of course, acknowledge G+T!

There is such a GLOBAL development in Year 2, where children move from being egotistical to empathetic and from literal to abstract thought. IMHO it is the most important year of a child's growth.

What parameters would you use pre-Y3 for a G+T writer for instance? Can write in sentences / can write a story? There aren't enough SKILLS in place to label the gift or the talent.

pointyhat Fri 16-Oct-09 20:04:33

if you don't know, s/he isn't

primarymum Fri 16-Oct-09 20:31:29

I would agree with trickerg. I run G&T maths groups in my school in both KS1 and KS2, however I would say that the pupils I take in KS2 are gifted, they can think beyond the boundaries of the problem, extrapolate information, apply their understanding and generally show an independence of thought, the KS1 pupils are just good at maths! Ideally by the end of the year I will be able to determine whether they really are gifted but at the moment they don't have the maturity or understanding I feel is required( even at their own level).

DadAtLarge Fri 16-Oct-09 20:43:31

trickerg, I don't argue that some children develop earlier or that some even out (though the extent to which evening out is caused by concentrating on the slower children at the expense of the bright ones is something we may not agree on).

We are not talking gifted as in Mozart. We're talking gifted as defined by the G&T program (top 10% in ability/potential). And the G&T program recommends - though most teachers probably don't know it - that identification is done as early as possible. If you aren't doing that then you aren't implementing the G&T program as you're supposed to be doing. Period.

Personally, I hate that "bright children will be extended" line. It's the patronising clap-trap we used to get when DS's school was failing to recognise and cater for his considerable ability in maths (achievement of L5 on a KS2 paper at age six/Y2).

If teachers can fail to recognise that level of higher ability, they're more than capable of missing ability levels below that. Which is what I advised the OP originally: She asked about GandT (so I assume she meant GandT) and I said that she couldn't trust teachers to recognise a G&T pupil and put him/her on the register.

>>Of course, if we suddenly got landed with a Mozart or Tolstoy, then we would, of course, acknowledge G+T!
Er, you said teachers need to be aware of the G&T policy. I find that many teachers think they know about G&T because they've got an opinion on what "gifted" means. It's not the same thing. Please do check it out: Identifying Gifted and Talented (pdf) Please note that the figure in there of 5% was revised in 2008 to 10% because 3 in 10 schools failed to identify a single child (schools are notoriously bad at this)!

>>if you don't know, s/he isn't
Er, how could you as the parent know? You don't have access to the rest of the class to tell if your child is in the top 10%.

pointyhat Fri 16-Oct-09 20:48:02

don't have the top 10% thing here.

primarymum Fri 16-Oct-09 20:55:21

But surely that's the problem, the Government has defined G&T as the top 10% which is patently rubbish, they just happen to be brighter than the rest of the class/school, it doesn't mean that they are gifted. To be truly gifted means more than simply "better than the rest". So because of this children who actually ARE gifted are lumped in with the brighter than average child and no-one benefits. Wouldn't it be better if we could just highlight those that are "gifted" and make the provision that they need and deserve, rather than say a child is "gifted" just to meet artificial targets of 10%.

SofaQueen Fri 16-Oct-09 20:57:38

I'm puzzled why people need to know if their child is "gifted". If a child is indeed gifted and talented, wouldn't it be obvious?

I might be naive or jaded (my brother WAS a true G&T - won international piano competitions by 9 years old, played Carnegie Hall, blah de blah), but I don't think it really matters.

DadAtLarge Fri 16-Oct-09 21:26:02

primarymum, like you most teachers are quite confident they are doing the right thing for intelligent children. However, review after review has found that we are failing our brightest. Almost all of our brightest children. You'll notice the disconnect.

With the greatest respect to you, the average teacher doesn't have training in teaching the exceptionally gifted. Teachers just muck it out doing what they think is right. And it's mostly wrong. Your employers, experts, researchers and specialists in teaching of highly gifted children accept that there are three areas that need equal attention: breadth, depth and acceleration. Most teachers think that by "extending" these children they've done their bit. They've no clue on acceleration and that the truly gifted need to learn at a much faster speed. And they have no training in delivering at that speed to that particular group. Let's face it, how many of these children do you see in your career?

The government doesn't expect you to cater properly for these children. Sadly, they have no policy for it. And we will continue to fail these children (or send them to the private sector on scholarships). But they do have a policy for the top 10% and by insisting that a child has to be exceptionally gifted before you'll put him on the register you're not doing part of the job you are being paid to do. You're letting personal judgement of giftedness over-ride DCSF policy. If all teachers were given carte blanche on identification, they'll hush up anyone who's reached L3A before the end of Y2 and anyone who's reached L5 before the end of Y6. You may not. Sadly there is strong feeling among teachers that the smart ones will do okay anyway, so let's keep quiet about just how smart they are so we can improve our stats by concentrating on the ones whose SAT scores we can improve.

trickerg Fri 16-Oct-09 21:43:24

We do have the 10% G+T quota for KS2, dadatlarge - we just don't recognise that children can be labelled as such in KS1, using school assessment data. If children are L2 in Y1, we have very high expectations for them in Y2 - but don't see any reason for labelling them G+T. KS2 teachers also have to show that they are accessing G+T children in their planning - so we don't ignore them.

We alos have a transient service population, with children coming in who have been on G+T programmes at previous schools who don't apply at ours.

I have never taught a child in KS1 who is L4/5, and I KNOW that I would recognise an exceptional ability, probably by acclerating him/her in a higher year group. I am used to having L3B/3A children in my top maths set in Y2, and will differentiate work accordingly.

I still maintain that the cleverer 60-month old children have not acquired enough SKILLS to be labelled G+T, and 'ability' at this age is muddied by the home environment.

primarymum Fri 16-Oct-09 21:43:49

Sorry but I think you are letting your personal experiences cloud your judgement too! The top 10% are NOT exceptionally gifted, they are bright but that is it. Of course I do my job, as a school we identify the top 10% in maths, english, science and PE, they are placed on the register, parents are informed of the provision being made for them and, as we are a small school, we use outside resources to extend their learning in breadth and depth and, as far as possible in acceleration too. But because they ARE not truly gifted then there is only so far you can push them and so far they can extend themselves. Surely if we identified those that actually ARE exceptionally gifted then we COULD make appropriate provision for them. But whilst we are stuck with this artificial target of 10% then we have to work with what we are given ( and despite your views, teachers I have worked with have no intention of "hushing up" more able children. The new APP being introduced gives us what we have asked for previously, the ability to assess a child to their actual level rather than the artificial SATs limited levels we have to use at present.)

GoppingOtter Fri 16-Oct-09 21:47:52

i often think its the parents with the 'truly' gifted kids who dont give a rats arse about no silly register ...

not meaning to sound mean spirited

i also ponder the importance at any level

trickerg Fri 16-Oct-09 21:48:36

Agree primarymum.

primarymum Fri 16-Oct-09 21:54:45

Oh, and my son is on the G&T register for Law at his grammar school, so I have experience of both sides of the coin

mussyhillmum Fri 16-Oct-09 23:52:21

I don't think it is true that ALL teachers will extend their brightest pupils. At my DCs "outstanding" primary school, nobody is told whether their child is on the G&T register. There is no differntiation of work, except for the lowest literacy and maths group who are given simpler books, spellings and worksheets. Everyone else is given work at the same level. I don't know if my DS (yr3) is gifted, but I do know he is bored stiff. I am unable to speak to his teacher because the school is very "anti" G&T. Other parents of bright, bored children who have approached the head about implementing a G&T programme have had a hostile reception and got absolutely nowhere.Very,very frustrating to see your bright, inquisitive DC "tune out" of school.

GoppingOtter Sat 17-Oct-09 00:20:13


you sound like me

i have moved my child's school before because of it - frustrating

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