Anyone heard of a primary school "gifted and talented programme"?

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  • Anyone heard of a primary school "gifted and talented programme"?
  • Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    So, our two kids came back from school with letters saying that they had each been identified as “gifted and talented” in a couple of subjects. But the letter didn’t really say what it actually might mean.

    Anyone got a similar thing with their school? Is it a box ticking exercise by the school, or a device to keep the chattering middle class parents playing one-upmanship at the school gates?

    It’s a couple of weeks till the next parents evening so I was wondering if I should expect anything on the back of these letters, given that my kids are in Years 2 and 6 so will spend the next couple of months prepping for Sats anyway.

    chilled76
    Member

    It’s a label that will stay with them through school and will mean that class teachers should know to push them right from the off when they meet them.

    Beyond that there may be the occasional extra curricular activity they get invited to because they are on the G+T register.. for example I run extension maths sessions for primary schools in the county (they send around 6 of their brightest mathematicians from years 5 and 6 on the run up to SATs for some extra level 6 maths lessons) at our secondary school. English and Science dept’s run some of these days too.

    Really depends on what the school choose to do extra for these pupils, but in the same way low ability pupils get extra support it will mean they get other opportunities to have their learning extended.

    johndoh
    Member

    Clearly it’s for parental oneupmanship. Well done, your kids are great.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    the G+T register

    is that what they call the staff room now πŸ˜†

    commander
    Member

    Aye my boy was put on it for his IT skills, its a particularly good school so may not be typical but for him it was excellent. He went to organised events on some weekends to work with others who were more able than usual lessons accounted for, had options to enter regional competitions etc, generally stretching him in an area he had shown promise in. When he moved up to high school it was taken account of and so has continued, he’s 14 now but goes to the 6th form computer club and extra study lessons, and works on the same project work as the students in these classes so the whole episode really has bettered him. More important, before anyone thinks ‘pushy parent’, he has loved every minute of it. In fact when teachers changed and his extra support dropped off, it was him who asked us to speak to the school to get the extra work and support back in place. Totally recommended but I do believe a lot is down to us being lucky and having two excellent schools near. I would ask the school what the programme looks like as most the events will be arranged well in advance.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    It happened to my kids too, they got taken out of some lessons to do some higher level extension works. Usually top 10% ability group. It used to be a formal programme with separate funding, but thought that stopped years ago, some schools have kept the name for “extension” type work. My youngest is in Y7 now so I don’t know what’s happening in primaries now. Certainly helped them reduce boredom when standard lessons weren’t stretching them, and gave me less of an excuse to give the school “catch-up weeks”, when I would take my crew away for a cheap holiday while the others tried to catch up. πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    a device to keep the chattering middle class parents playing one-upmanship at the school gates?

    or on internet forums?

    So, our two kids came back from school with letters saying that they had each been identified as “gifted and talented”

    πŸ˜‰ (I’m just bitter that my Y2 kid hasn’t got one 😈 )

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    Thanks for the replies – what I was hoping to hear but wasn’t sure whether it would be carried on when older one goes to secondary in September.

    Junkyard
    Member

    my kids are on it

    A pointless thing for middle class as if schools need to spend their precious resources on those who are not struggling

    The odd meeting where they say how to push them and the odd extra curriculum activity

    Nothing really

    johndoh
    Member

    Junkyard – yet you open by telling everyone your kids are ‘on it’.

    Pretty well much sums it up.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    Hah! If they’d had this in my day I’d have been straight on the Lazy Little Sod register!

    Daughter starts school in September. I shall start lobbying forthwith.

    Good stuff MoreCash!

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    as if schools need to spend their precious resources on those who are not struggling

    This really hacks me off. School, the education system, life, isn’t about just doing enough to get by. Your kids need to be pushed to reach their maximum potential, just as those who are struggling need extra support. They deserve their share as much as anyone else. Not just to ensure they reach their potential, but 11 or 13 years at school where you can just drift along will be a distinctly boring time.

    In this country we need to recognise this and not be embarrassed by it. If the country’s best athletes can be picked out at an early age and put on Olympic development programs, why can’t we do it for the gifted and talented academics too.

    theotherjonv ……. thats why its there!

    johndoh
    Member

    Gifted? At year 2?

    Nothing like the same as recognising a natural athelete when much older than that.

    Junkyard
    Member

    yet you open by telling everyone your kids are ‘on it’*.

    Forgive me for pointing out that I was speaking from experience and able to answer the OPs question [ as well as say what I thought of it] πŸ˜•

    I wish i had just turned up to have a dig at folk instead, even the ones who agree with me

    *FFS Given what I post on here is it not obvious my kids would be bright 8)

    johndoh
    Member

    Sorry, I’ll bow out, had too many glasses of wine.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    How is their spelling?

    alwillis
    Member

    Not every school has it. My primary didn’t and I felt a little aggrieved when I got into the local grammar school and was almost left behind through no fault of my own. Turned out ok in the end though.

    As an aside, this is the sort of thing that should be encouraged, as per theotherjonv’s post above:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-26450512

    Junkyard
    Member

    I re read that post 50 times before pressing send πŸ˜€

    As good as your kids straw men πŸ˜›

    robbo
    Member

    G&T is there to make middle class parents send their kids to comprehensives to keep a balance in the school to make sure the teachers don’t go mad teaching low ability all the time. It turns the kids into cocky little sh*its and is very divisive to other kids. Its not subject specific, is difficult to get onto for late bloomers and causes them to miss loads of normal lessons on trips. At least it is in my school…

    mattsccm
    Member

    As usual plenty of politically motivated cobblers here. It gives those who are good a chance.
    Good idea and much more valuable than throwing money at no hopers.

    Junkyard
    Member

    That is not politically motivated?
    What does give them a chance mean? They already have the same chance as everyone else and are thriving….its not like they can sit GCSE early and get a degree by 16 so it achieves very little IMHO.

    In school you get a cross section from those who are struggling to read and grasp the basics { Pe teachers πŸ˜‰ ] to those who are thriving.
    Those who thrive will thrive without any additional resources being thrown at them – its almost like they are naturally gifted and talented.

    Those who struggle will need more help.

    We can choose which group we think needs to have the teachers limited time thrown at them and additional attention devoted to them and who has most to gain from it and what society wants from education.

    I would rather choose to help those who are struggling just as I think doctors should devote their time to the ill, poor diet, non exercising cohort rather than dedicate their time to the healthy.

    loddrik
    Member

    Everyone’s kids are super intelligent aren’t they..?

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    I would rather choose to help those who are struggling just as I think doctors should devote their time to the ill, poor diet, non exercising cohort rather than dedicate their time to the healthy

    Can’t disagree with this, but it isn’t the same thing because someone ‘healthy’ has already reached the threshold where to all intents and purposes you don’t need to be any healthier.

    i don’t think you can say the same about intelligence, particularly in the context of children. They need to be stretched to make sure they reach their potential, just as much as underperformers need support to improve. Being ‘just enough’ intelligent doesn’t benefit them or wider society.

    My issue is that we don’t seem to recognize this or, if we do, we feel embarrassed by it. Being good is something to be celebrated, not ‘oh shucks, it was nothing’ about.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    Schools should work to maximise the potential of all students, not just those who are on or below the line when it comes to natural ability or progress.

    It is very easy to bore the arse off a bright kid by making them sit through another lesson recapping topics they have already mastered for the benefit of children who are learning on the normal curve or underneath it.

    I don’t think you have to dress it up as anything special (‘gifted and talented’), just stream the kids sensibly and teach at their level.

    My kid’s school was nobbled by Ofsted for not doing enough for children who were exceeding national expectations, they seem to have raised their game a bit now.

    crispy
    Member

    My lad was put on it in year 1 for his reading which was 3-4 years ahead.

    Junkyard:
    A pointless thing for middle class as if schools need to spend their precious resources on those who are not struggling

    This rings true for me. Unfortunately our school had no head teacher for three years and everything got a bit rudderless and the school really went downhill. This was largely at the expense of the kids who sat outside the norm, one way or the other.

    We had to move schools in the end, because it’s one thing when your kid isn’t being extended in their work, but it’s entirely another when they start going backwards because of it.

    BTW, on that subject, kid’s development is not linear anyway, but in some cases it’s also normal for kids to come off the Gifted and Talented register too.

    For more reading on Gifted and Talented, and stuff you can do to help out, we were given contacts here:

    PotentialPlus

    TomorrowsAchievers

    Lastly, and from some tough experience, having gifted children isn’t always a picnic. In fact having a gifted or talented kid is also having a kid with Special Needs.

    Quite often there will be asynchronous development of some aspects – heightened emotion and sensitivity and,in some documented cases, even a higher sensitivity to physical pain.

    Excerpt here from Silverman, 1997 which really resonated in our case:

    To be gifted is to be vulnerable. To have the mental maturity of a 14-year-old, and the physical maturity of an 8-year-old poses a unique set of challenges analogous to those faced by a child with a 14-year-old body and an 8-year-old mind. Parenting a child with large
    discrepancies in either direction is equally challenging; even moderate discrepancies can be daunting

    We found loads of good stuff in that paper for us:

    Silverman, 1997 paper.

    In my son’s case, his physical stuff lagged his mental, and though he’s had a decent catchup in the last year or so, his fine motor skills still lack some precision. Also, his emotional development is so far ahead of his schoolmates that he had real trouble finding (and keeping) friends. They didn’t “get” him for a long time – a bit of a weird kid, didn’t like footy or sport, always reading and making jokes they didn’t understand, and it’s only really been recently (and at the new school) that he’s made some proper mates.

    Anyway, didn’t mean to ramble on. Not all gifted kids have the downside we had, and best of British to you and for your kids in their journey.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    My son is on it and unlike Junky, I’m pretty proud of that.

    I think it’s great – he gets to go and do sciency stuff that he loves at the school he’ll be going to next year.
    He’s also on it for sports, which is brilliant cos it’s something that never would’ve happened to me!

    Nice to be bumped up for being a high achiever and briefly separated from the thickos πŸ˜‰

    Junkyard
    Member

    I do no think it is anything like special needs at all. G & T are outliers within the range of normal special needs are outliers outside the range of normal and will likely always remain there.

    I hate the use of the word normal here so forgive me

    Able and thriving is not in any sense a disability or a special need.

    Have they done any actual research that shows G & T have more emotional difficulties or whatever than the norm?

    I cannot copy from you article but it seems like waffle to me – Max and the golf ball could be written about any child. What child does not do stupid things they cannot explain?

    as for saying you need to adapt your parenting to the child…no shit sherlock.
    EDIT:

    My son is on it and unlike Junky, I’m pretty proud of that.

    I dont talk like this to them πŸ˜‰
    TBH Had they worked hard rather than just been gifted i would feel proud. its like being proud because your kid is the tallest in their class. they dont do much to achieve it. My kids try as hard as any other kid they are just genetically* lucky

    As they age they may well do things where the natural talent is matched by application. then i can feel pride for then they will have achieved something.

    * OK i may well be laying myself open to some mockery here πŸ˜‰

    crispy
    Member

    Maybe it’s a bit beyond you, Junky… πŸ˜‰

    Junkyard
    Member

    πŸ˜€

    Perhaps I have special needs and I just dont fit in and struggle to get on with morons normal folk πŸ˜‰

    FWIW I have never been against academic streaming and if they took all the G & T and put them in a school I would have no issue with this but what we have currently is nothing like that and just a bit Mleh

    crispy
    Member

    TBH Had they worked hard rather than just been gifted i would feel proud. its like being proud because your kid is the tallest in their class. they dont do much to achieve it. My kids try as hard as any other kid they are just genetically* lucky

    Totally agree with this, btw…

    EDIT: And, I should have written “can sometimes be like having a kid with Special Needs.” In our case, it is.

    flicker
    Member

    mattsccm – Member

    As usual plenty of politically motivated cobblers here. It gives those who are good a chance.
    Good idea and much more valuable than throwing money at no hopers.

    πŸ˜€

    My eldest was put on “the list” whilst at primary school, he was pushed that little bit harder and had an evening maths session at the local high school with kids of similar abilities from the surrounding primary schools. He loved it, the greasy little swot.

    He’s in year 9 now and choosing his options, taking his maths GCSE a year early and a further maths/statistics qualification the year after.

    From reading above I guess it depends on how each individual school tackles it really. For my son it’s worked out very well.

    Nursery say my sons special, is that similar?

    mogrim
    Member

    maccruiskeen – Member
    the G+T register
    is that what they call the staff room now

    Where can I get one of those glasses??? Married to a teacher with a birthday coming up…

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    TBH Had they worked hard rather than just been gifted i would feel proud. its like being proud because your kid is the tallest in their class. they dont do much to achieve it. My kids try as hard as any other kid they are just genetically* lucky

    Totally disagree. Sounds just like the PC way to talk about stuff – just like the old non-competitive sports rubbish that was attempted a few years ago.
    If they don’t try hard, then their gift or talent won’t show will it?

    Premier Icon johnny
    Subscriber

    It’s called differentiation: Recognising pupil’s individual needs, whenever they are struggling or whenever they need their full potential encouraging. I’m sure no-one would be happy with the idea that everyone should be taught the same…?

    I love the assumptions this is all about middle class parents: G&T programmes are based on ability not who your parents are and it’s often a way to recognise innate ability and application, allowing pupils from families that have no experience of tertiary education to aspire to and access higher education.

    It also has a real impact on pupils individual development. Often talented pupils become bored by classes which they find too easy to access. Bored students become badly behaved students, especially as they see the gaps in the system much more readily! Also, if you’re in a school with somewhat of an anti-academic culture, then G&T time can be a bit of a haven for bright, marginalised, studious kids. (Who may also have other social/learning needs)

    The idea that intelligence mitigates the need for specific attention is painfully shortsighted.

    crispy
    Member

    Yep, it just comes out sometimes. Reading or maths or whatever is just easy for them. That’s the gift. Otherwise they’d just be “hard working…”

    crispy
    Member

    The idea that intelligence mitigates the need for specific attention is painfully shortsighted.

    *Applauds*

    If they don’t try hard, then their gift or talent won’t show will it?

    a study recently suggested that something like a 1/4 of the variation in exams sucess is down to genes.

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