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"Gifted and Talented" - could somone please explain this to me as I'm really not getting it and feel quite cross and I'm not a pushy mum, at all!!

(77 Posts)
sandyballs Thu 31-Jan-13 12:14:45

Honestly I'm not. But please explain how a child who absolutely hates PE and any form of exercise can be identified as "Gifted and Talented" in PE, yet a child who has represented the school in cross country, athletics, basketball and netball, done very well indeed in all of them, and was picked for the teams through trials, yet is not identified as "Gifted and Talented" for PE.

Am I missing something?

sandyballs Thu 31-Jan-13 12:22:49


JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Thu 31-Jan-13 12:37:52

That sounds incredibly unfair but it doesn't surprise me at all. I don't know how teachers come to the decisions they do sometimes. Tell your dc not to worry and to carry on doing their best.

lougle Thu 31-Jan-13 12:38:39

Which child is yours? grin

EdwiniasRevenge Thu 31-Jan-13 12:40:31

Any child that competes at county level should be identified as talented.

Can't remember where the gifted comes from

seeker Thu 31-Jan-13 12:40:42

Sounds odd- but make sure you've got your facts straight. Did you hear this from your child- or from a (forgive me) reliable source?

sandyballs Thu 31-Jan-13 13:22:04

The G&T letters were given out yesterday. I wasn't expecting either of my girls to get one. One of them did in a couple of subjects, great well done her, and DH were pleased, so was she. My other DD didn't. I thought nothing of it until I had an email from a friend this morning saying her son got G&T in a couple of subjects, including PE. She is the first to admit how odd this is as he has always hated exercise and has never joined any teams or done anthing other than reluctantly joining in the standard compulsory PE classes at school.

DD2 is very sporty, she has lots of trophies and medals for sport over the years, and represented the school at primary and secondary for all sorts as I said above, it's just 'her thing' However I didn't expect her to be G&T at sport, last night I just assumed that although she's good there were other kids that were better than her, fair enough, they would deserve to be identified as G&T.

But that's obviously not the case if this lad as been identified as G&T in PE

I'm going to have to risk sounding like a super pushy parent and speak to school aren't I. I know how it will come across but I'm just amazed!

Makes the whole G&T process seem like a load of bollocks to me and sadly takes the shine of DD1's achievements!

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Thu 31-Jan-13 13:27:24

I don't think you're being unreasonable at all too think it's unfair.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Thu 31-Jan-13 13:27:46


BeerTricksPotter Thu 31-Jan-13 13:34:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fubbsy Thu 31-Jan-13 13:34:49

The school should be able to explain the criteria they use. They should also be able to say what extra provision they are offering for the kids who have been identified. If they can't do these things, then it is a load of bollocks IMO.

Theas18 Thu 31-Jan-13 13:41:56

I think it's all tosh TBH. Large number of G+T are being " identified" (something like the top 10% in primary). To me that's no G+T it's the upper end of a statistically normal curve. Lets face it, the bottom 10% (unless they are really a long way from the mean) are not statemented and given loads of extra help.Same for real G+T I think.

Fortunately or unfortunately I don't make the rules!

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 31-Jan-13 13:42:23

Sounds like the school are making up their own G&T criteria based on achievement and encouragement or something. Is it a competetive school? Perhaps they just need to give every child one or two (but why on earth are you even discussing these things with the other parents?)

They've probably got another official G&T register that they don't share with parents.

piprabbit Thu 31-Jan-13 13:46:00

I'd ask the school to clarify their process - it does sound odd.

Floggingmolly Thu 31-Jan-13 13:48:11

I've never heard of a school publicly identifying the g & t kids and awarding them with certificates??? shock
Are you sure they weren't just attainment certificates?

sandyballs Thu 31-Jan-13 13:51:45

I haven't mentioned certificates! They were letters home to parents identifying the subjects that their children had been identified as being G&T in.

We were discussing this out of interest, the kids will dicuss it amongst themselves anyway so why not.

Biscuitsneeded Thu 31-Jan-13 13:54:48

Oh, don't worry, it's all just a (probably moribund) fad and it doesn't mean much. Senior Management will have hassled each department to nominate some students G&T in their subject, it will have been ignored for a week or so while everyone did their real job, and then someone has cobbled together a list at the last minute, perhaps overlooking some students. That's all.

Officially, 'gifted' is for academically gifted students and 'talented' is for PE, drama, music, art etc. Some schools go way overboard and identify 'gifted' children all over the place, filling their parents' heads with the erroneous notion that they have somehow spawned a genius when in fact they just have a reasonably clever child. I'm an MFL teacher in a comp, and I can safely say I currently only teach one child in the whole school who I would genuinely consider 'gifted' in my subject, although of course in tops sets there are quite a lot of bright children. If your DD2 has medals and trophies then surely that tells her and you all you need to know about her abilities; pay no attention to school box-ticking!!

sandyballs Thu 31-Jan-13 13:56:02


Floggingmolly Thu 31-Jan-13 13:56:12

Sorry, misread that bit. Most schools don't make "official" announcements for the very reason you've just encountered.

lljkk Thu 31-Jan-13 14:01:21

Maybe it's an admin mistake?

I'm not sure why you should care, except to be amused at bureaucratic lunacies, because not clear if it impacts anyone else but the child who got the letter.

I remember overhearing a conversation when I was at school between PE teacher and the Mum of my friend when I was a teenager:
Mum of my friend: 'How is Rachel doing in netball?
PE teacher: 'Well of course Rachel doesn't have the best coordination, so she'll always struggle.'
Mum of my friend: "You know she represented Great Britain at an international (name of sport) event in Germany last week?'
PE teacher: 'Oh that's nice that she has a hobby outside school'

'Rachel' (not real name) competed in the Sydney Olympics. Not sporty though, according to our PE teacher. Just not very well co-ordinated, poor thing...

Bit of a random anecdote, but it sounds like your DD is a 'Rachel' - a genuine athlete. Whether the school 'get' that or not isn't as important as encouraging her in her activities outside school - as you clearly realise since you've supported her thus far.

Patchouli Thu 31-Jan-13 14:07:50

Are they in the same year?
As I've got a vague idea that it's the top 10% of the cohort or something - so it might depend on who else is in the school year.

sandyballs Thu 31-Jan-13 14:16:45

Blimey Becstar! Just goes to show.

I'm annoyed with myself for being so bothered to be honest. Does it really matter? Probably not at the end of the day. But it will matter hugely to DD2 who, like me, will just not understand it, and I can't explain this to her. I could last night when she didn't receive a letter, it was very easy to explain that there were other children in her year who were achieving more, trying harder, and that's why the were picked. I also told her to just do her best in every subject and see what happens, that's all anyone can do, their best.

But this makes a mockery of that mentality. She's bloody good at sport, excels in it, yet a friend of hers who bloody hates PE and goes out of his way to avoid any exercise is is identified as G&T.

They are in the same year, year 7.

Makes me question this school to be honest, which is probably ridiculous.

ReallyTired Thu 31-Jan-13 14:35:20

Gifted and talented selection in schools is bizarre. Prehaps Rachael was less sporty at the age of five when the gifted and talented children were identified. The children who believed they were "gifted" at sport sat on their arses and got fat where as Rachael did every sporting activity going.

I suspect that school sport is a bit like school music in that you have to go to outside clubs to get any decent coaching. Most teachers have no clue how to teach music and I suspect little clue on teaching sport.

A child may have raw talent but needs to work to make progress. Having potential is not enough; they need a growth mindset.

"I could last night when she didn't receive a letter, it was very easy to explain that there were other children in her year who were achieving more, trying harder, and that's why the were picked. I also told her to just do her best in every subject and see what happens, that's all anyone can do, their best."

You have set your child up with the necessary mindset to be sucessful in life.

You have resisted the tempation to say its unfair and made clear that all she has do is her best.

iseenodust Thu 31-Jan-13 15:51:32

IMO it's quite random certainly at primary level. DS was identified as talented in PE. DH and I just spluttered at parents' evening 'but he didn't come in the first three in any of the sports day races'.

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