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Gifted & Talented Primary Years #24


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#1 ampersand

Posted 11 November 2011 - 03:51 PM

New thread for you!

Let me know how long you generally like them to run and I'll keep an eye on them.

Cheers,

Ampersand

#2 mum850

Posted 11 November 2011 - 07:26 PM

Gold!!!
(having an immature moment sorry)

#3 Delayfish

Posted 11 November 2011 - 08:27 PM

Hi ladies,
I posted in the last thread a couple of days ago and didn't receive any replies - I'm hoping it's because you all just missed my post not because I'm asking too much (or because my post was waaaaay too long) unsure.gif ninja.gif

Basically my DS (Prep, Vic) is way ahead of the curriculum, his teacher has advised me that academically he could easily go into grade 2 or even grade 3 next year but socially we (the teacher and DH and I) agree he is not mature enough. His only option is a Prep/1 composite next year. His teacher has recommended an Individual Learning Program for him as he his very concerned about DS getting bored at school, but has advised again skipping a grade for social reasons.

Am I doing the right thing? I am looking into having him (and DD, grade 4) tested (thanks BMJ and lotsa for all the advice re testing), but honestly I can't see what difference it will make right now. Even if his IQ were 200 he's still not mature enough to skip a grade, I think it would be detrimental to his social development. How do you balance the academic and the social needs of an advanced child?

Thanks in advance for any advice ladies original.gif



#4 mamaknits

Posted 11 November 2011 - 09:04 PM

Delayfish, sorry. I read but I didn't get round to replying and also because I don't have first hand experience yet to be able to offer any advice from my own experience.

When we attended teh GERRIC conference for parents recently, one of the things I took away was that emotional maturity is often mistaken for immaturity, especially amongst boys. A highly gifted small child may, for example, appear to cry easily and so appear less matured than his age peers. However, if probed, you may find that he is crying because he feels something so deeply, and it is an emotion that is older than his years. An example provided was that in a typical class, when shown a disaster such as the bombing of the twin towers, the children may be fascinated by the explosion and the be in awe of the tumbling down of the towers. The gifted child may cry or be distressed because he is "thinking of the people trapped in there or dead". I have observed similar (not the same) in my own child in that he thinks more deeply about issues like death and suffering than what I have seen in most children his age. The upset behaviour or tears may lead one to think he is less emotionally matured.

So the question is, is your son truly socially/emotionally immatured or is he more matured and that maturity is mistaken for immaturity? When left on his own in a mixed group, who plays with him and who does he play with? Age peers or older children?  That will give you an indication, I think, of how he will get on in a class of older kids.


Whether or not to have him skip.. that is a personal decision and not an easy one at all. I am not saying you should or should not have him skip a grade.. just suggesting that the "immaturity" may not be that at all.

#5 kyrrie

Posted 11 November 2011 - 09:39 PM

Wasn't ignoring you delayfish, but I don't have experience with the composite class structure where that's the only option. In fact your situation would be a real concern for me. And DD is not even necessarily gifted (but is definitely advanced).

She is now in yr 2 and was in straight classes in both K and yr 1. Both teachers she had in those years strongly warned against her being in the top year group in a composite and one even suggested the lower year of a multi-ability composite would in fact be worse because of potential resentment from the older kids, at an age where differences really start to be noticed.

Is there any chance of keeping the same teacher next year? Get hold of the department's GATS policies so you understand all of the options schools should offer. I'm sure Victoria has lots of information. If not I can give you the links to NSW's, which are excellent. Then organise meetings now with everyone who makes the decisions in the school. DD had teachers walking into their offices saying you need to do something and then me backing that up and I'm so happy with the outcome this year. She has had a wonderful year.

I hope someone has some experience with their kids being in the upper year group in a composite and has some positive advice.

#6 melaine

Posted 11 November 2011 - 09:57 PM

Just stalking the thread - my DS is bright, but not gifted as far as I can tell, but I'm a preservice teacher interested in G&T.

My mum had a similar issue when I was in Grade 1 (in a 1/2 composite)  My teacher suggested grade skipping but my mum decided against it (based on age, physical size etc more than maturity). The situation was complicated by the fact that we moved states and I ended up in a 1/2 composite again. Unfortunately my teacher had no idea what to do with me and I spent most of the year in the library working on 'independent projects'. However, when I started I went through a phase where I decided to completely switch off - got all the basic spelling words wrong etc when in reality I could spell anything right after learning it (i.e. reading it). My teacher thought my mum was a crazy, pushy mother I think...


I definitely think an ILP would be necessary in a prep composite - I imagine he is bored this year in prep, let alone when they start reviewing letter sounds and basic number facts all over again. There is only so much you can differentiate the curriculum to cater for the extremes in the class.

I assume the school is quite small? Most of the schools near me have straight prep classes... In my experience (limited at prep), you can cater for gifted grade 2's in a grade 1/2 better than a grade 1 in a prep/1 class - because (some) preps need SO much support for the first two-three terms.


#7 Delayfish

Posted 12 November 2011 - 07:54 PM

Thank you all so much for your replies, I appreciate it so much original.gif

QUOTE
When we attended teh GERRIC conference for parents recently, one of the things I took away was that emotional maturity is often mistaken for immaturity, especially amongst boys. A highly gifted small child may, for example, appear to cry easily and so appear less matured than his age peers. However, if probed, you may find that he is crying because he feels something so deeply, and it is an emotion that is older than his years.
Mamaknits, I have never heard of this before, how intriguing! I have no idea at all if this would apply to my DS, maybe I need to talk to a psych about it? Or have DS talk to a psych. DS is highly emotional and cries very easily, which I must admit I assumed was emotional immaturity and therefore haven't put any further thought into it. Thanks for the information, I will definitely put some more thought into it.

QUOTE
Is there any chance of keeping the same teacher next year? Get hold of the department's GATS policies so you understand all of the options schools should offer. I'm sure Victoria has lots of information. If not I can give you the links to NSW's, which are excellent. Then organise meetings now with everyone who makes the decisions in the school. DD had teachers walking into their offices saying you need to do something and then me backing that up and I'm so happy with the outcome this year. She has had a wonderful year.

Kyrrie, unfortunately DS's teacher is moving to the senior school next year and will be teaching a 5/6 composite - I'm disappointed for DS, but elated that my DD might be in his class next year (grade 5). He really is a wonderful teacher. I will look up the Vic GATS policies, thank you for that idea. I think I really need to have both kids tested, as the school (especially the principal) seems reluctant to admit that they are advanced/G&T and the school seems unable to really cater for them. Maybe when I have test results (ie, something more concrete to work with) the school might be more supportive?

QUOTE
I definitely think an ILP would be necessary in a prep composite - I imagine he is bored this year in prep, let alone when they start reviewing letter sounds and basic number facts all over again. There is only so much you can differentiate the curriculum to cater for the extremes in the class.

I assume the school is quite small? Most of the schools near me have straight prep classes... In my experience (limited at prep), you can cater for gifted grade 2's in a grade 1/2 better than a grade 1 in a prep/1 class - because (some) preps need SO much support for the first two-three terms.

Undomesticmumma, thank you for your thoughts. I agree that an ILP will be the minimum I think DS will need in a Prep/1 composite. His teacher told me that there have been a number of times this year when DS has told the teacher he is bored, but the teacher has responded immediately with more challenging and engaging work (ie, no ILP needed so far apparently).But things will be different in a P/1 comp. His current teacher suggested that an ILP would not be considered until term 2 next year, but I think I will push for an ILP in term 1 - why waste a term waiting around??? Yes it is a small school, approximately 200 students.

QUOTE
....there's no 1/2 class???? My DS1 will be going into a 1/2 next year after a full year of prep (rec). A year of prep/1 definetly doesn't sound ideal...that means half of those kids will be totally new to the concept and just starting on the alphabet...but will a good teacher it could work??

taranicole there are 3 x Prep/1 composites next year, and 2 x 2/3 composites, unfortunately no 1/2 comp which would have been great for DS.

QUOTE
She says even at a private school with a slight gifted focus (or at least acknowledgement) she's not convinced enough is being done with extension but feels that as long as her kids are coping, happy and still enjoying learning then that's just as important rather than pushing and pushing just to see how far they can go....if you know what I mean...
I understand what your friend means, and I agree with her to a point, but this is exactly the relaxed approach I took with DD (grade 4, has been academically advanced since kinder), and the result is that she has never been challenged, has never learnt to cope with challenges, and completely goes to pieces if she can't do something easily, perfectly and in 3 seconds flat sad.gif I'm only just realising that I didn't push enough with her, and now, since I've been talking to her teacher about the possibility of her being G/T, her teacher is 'backpeddling' and trying to convince me that DD is not very advanced at all. I'm wondering if she's right or if DD is underachieving due to never being recognised/pushed? So, I'm very wary of treading the same path with DS, if you know what I mean!

I am absolutely kicking myself that I didn't organise testing earlier this year, but anyway, I'm on to it now and hopefully the results will give me some guidance about where my kids are at and what to do with them next!

Thanks again for the replies ladies, I'm ever so grateful original.gif






#8 mamaknits

Posted 12 November 2011 - 08:13 PM

Delayfish, according to the GERRIC conference, if there are no underlying problems (e.g. 2E), then the emotional maturity is somewhere between the chronological age and cognitive age (slightly closer to the cognitive age). Social maturity is similar to emotional maturity. I know this is a general statement, and does not apply to everyone, but from what I seein my own child, I think this would be about right.

ETA: If you have time to read it, you can look up "a nation deceived". It provides some useful and interesting information about acceleration. It may not sway you either way, I think, but is informative.

Edited by mamaknits, 12 November 2011 - 08:25 PM.


#9 baddmammajamma

Posted 14 November 2011 - 06:02 AM

Hi delayfish, I am on my iPhone so please forgive any choppiness or errors. My 2e daughter is not socially ready for a grade skip (mild ASD) but is academically working well above grade level. What has worked for us is subject matter acceleration  than a full fledged acceleration. She is in kindergarten/prep yet does a significant amount of coursework with the gifted students in grades 1 and 2. Now that that arrangement has worked out well and she has gained more comfort in being with older kids, we will have more flexibility to contemplate more radical subject matter acceleration. She is on an ILP, primarily because there's no other child profiled the same way (her level of giftedness PLUS the special needs).  So far, so good. Her school has really gone out of their way to tailor an individual program for her. Best wishes!

#10 Delayfish

Posted 14 November 2011 - 06:29 AM

mamaknits as far as I know there are no underlying issues (2E), but I have read of giftedness masking LDs so will wait for testing to be sure. Thanks for the info about 'A Nation Deceived', I've found it and am working my way through it.

BMJ I will insist on an ILP for DS next year, but the school has made it clear that he will not be joining another class for any subject acceleration, they are convinced they can provide what he needs in his own class. I will wait and see. I think part of my problem with this school is that there is NO G&T program, no kids skipping grades (ever!), no acceleration programs, no HAP. There seems to be a general reluctance by the school to accept that kids may actually be gifted. It's a little bewildering for me, especially after reading on here about so many public schools that cater for G&T kids. I think my next step is to get the kids tested, so I can go back to the school with 'evidence' - I don't feel I have the confidence to push the school because (especially in the case of DD) they keep insisting that I'm wrong and the kids aren't actually gifted. Which is entirely possible I guess. I need the test scores and reports so I can make a decision about how hard to push the school and how hard to push the kids!

Thanks so very much to all the wonderful mums in this thread who have offered me so much advice and support, I am very grateful original.gif

#11 baddmammajamma

Posted 14 November 2011 - 06:42 AM

What a bummer, df, that they don't seem to recognize the need to differentiate for gifted kids! This might be a dumb question, but is this the only school option in your area?

#12 ninaandted

Posted 14 November 2011 - 09:49 AM

hey df - thanks for the interesting question! We've recently had our eldest assessed and have found his psychologist (that we eventually ended up with after much searching and following recommended leads) and his OT to be the absolute best.

I'd probably recommend getting the assessment done and finding a good psychologist to work with longer term as there are associated issues with G&T kids that it helps to be aware of and make your decisions based on.

One key issue with schools is that G&T kids do not carry any extra funding, so it makes it difficult for them to actually resource adequate support. Secondly, some G&T kids actually have learning difficulties and/or underperform for their IQ 'score' so schools can either doubt the results or not be able to reconcile the difference. Thirdly- many G&T kids are gifted in specific areas that are not academic, so it really makes for a complex mix for the school to cater to.

I would recommend that a psychologist who gets to know your child can either guide you through a process that is recommended for kids that are going to be advanced or can give you an idea of how well emotionally they will be able to cope. A big factor for these kids is dealing with and/or preventing anxiety as well. Many parents are faced with the need to provide additional support for the child's area of interest at home and just work with the school to deal with the social/emotional aspects of school to have a happy and contented child! You might find that ends up being your focus, rather than academic advancement. Having said that though - the school might also find that any additional issues they are experiencing can be solved by addressing boredom! lol.

Good luck with it all. We enter the school system next year - so it should be very interesting. Preschool has been a huge learning curve for all of us - including his pre-school teachers!!

#13 baddmammajamma

Posted 14 November 2011 - 09:59 AM

I totally agree with ninaandted.

One clear advantage of testing is being able to present to the school validation of your child's giftedness. Of course, there's no guarantee that they will use that information fully to your child's benefit, but it can negate views by the teacher(s) that a particular child "Just isn't THAT advanced."

Our school does a great job at catering for gifted kids, but they also encouraged us to do testing so that everyone could get a better read on our daughter's gifts. The process was so much more than just confirming giftedness and getting an IQ score.

Good luck with your next steps. There are plenty of parents here who can relate to your questions and concerns!

#14 eL~loco

Posted 14 November 2011 - 09:26 PM

.

Edited by eL~loco, 21 February 2012 - 10:49 PM.


#15 kabailz13

Posted 15 November 2011 - 02:59 PM

Just a quickie from me...

After the reluctance from James' teacher to offer extension or even differentiation in class, we had him at home last week sort of homeschooling. It went well, however I decided to try again with the school. I spoke with his teacher last week when dropping DD1 off and she mentioned that she was conducting testing in James' class which he missed so will catch him up on this week.

So, this morning when dropping him off, she turned to me and mentioned the testing that she did with him yesterday and that she thinks he might have photographic memory! Now, I think she is wrong with that but I'm so glad that she is finally seeing what I've been talking about! She mentioned that he wrote a sentence from a story he had read, exactly as it was in the book without looking and spelled it all correctly. Now, I don't know how hard the sentence was or the words but she was suitably impressed! I'm going to ask her for a copy of it this afternoon.

Also in awesome news..... James is a great but mostly reluctant reader. Last night while he was picking a book to read in bed (our nightly tradition) I suggested he might want to try a book he picked from the local library - Dinosaurs next door. It's a 48pg chapter book (still lots of pictures) with a built in ribbon bookmark. I showed him how we use bookmarks and that he could just read a chapter or two then put the bookmark in and read more tomorrow (he typically baulks at anything longer than the school readers). So, off he went to bed and I could hear him reading. Then he announced that he read the whole thing biggrin.gif So proud of him! He even asked me to reserve some more that were listed in the back of the book so we've done that too.



hmmm, that wasn't so quick but it was all about me! Sorry about that. Will be back later original.gif

Edited by kabailz13, 15 November 2011 - 03:14 PM.


#16 kabailz13

Posted 15 November 2011 - 07:27 PM

ok, so I spoke to his teacher this afternoon. The sentence he wrote was

"Max pushed the ball in the creek"

She said that she had never seen a child his age (or in year 1 - so up to 6.5/7) spell all of the words correctly. She showed me samples of what the other kids in the class wrote and most had "poosht" "creec" "bol" etc. So, whilst I think it's great that he did it, I'm kind of a little despondent... I still don't think she realises that he can spell those words because that is where he is at with reading and writing, not because of some highly unlikely ability (photographic memory).  rolleyes.gif

This is definitely making me want to test sooner rather than later - I want those substantiated results to show the school  original.gif rolleyes.gif

#17 LiveLife

Posted 15 November 2011 - 09:01 PM

Kabaltz, please don't take this the wrong way, I'm not trying to show off but honestly a third of our year 1 WA class could write that sentence correctly complete with capital and full stop.  I would have little faith in your teachers knowledge of year 1 ability.  Our class also had recent testing and all had to write a sentence.  I just asked DD and she thinks the sentence was "My family went to the beach to swim, collect shells and build sandcastles." Our teacher told me 3 kids got it 100% correct including the punctuation.  Our class did not get to read the sentence first, it was only read to them with no visual cues.

Get yourself by iq and achievement testing if this is the type of teacher you have to convince.

#18 Kay1

Posted 15 November 2011 - 09:21 PM

Hey all,

I know I have been absent for months - all has been going well - but no longer. sad.gif Despite meetings with the teacher, learning support and stage co-ordinator DS is still telling me that he is finishing early and having to sit and wait with nothing to do. He has no homework apart from readers which are optional and he rarely does as they are easy and boring. He has completely lost his spark for learning and no longer asks the amazing questions he used to. sad.gif I honestly cannot think of one thing he has learned all year. All he wants is to play computer games.

Tonight we started a project together on Pluto in an effort to get him going again. He is still very reluctant to write so its not easy but at least he's interested. I am going to talk to his teacher again....sigh.

I did reading groups this morning and honestly I think they are all bored. I was playing games with them that involved reading words the whole group has been confidently reading for months. The teacher doesn't seem to have a good grasp on where they are at. Very disappointing sad.gif .

DS is also having night terrors every night - going on 4 weeks now - so that is keeping us busy. I am wondering if it might be connected to his lack of stimulation? Have to wait til December to see the paed, GP was clueless.

I hope everyone else is doing well, haven't caught up on all the posts yet...

Edited by Kay1, 15 November 2011 - 09:22 PM.


#19 kabailz13

Posted 15 November 2011 - 09:32 PM

LiveLife - I completely agree! While I was there today, a girl in James' class picked up a book to read. She then proceeded to ask what it was called - the teacher told her to sound it out and she struggled greatly. The book was called "A Map". How on Earth can you differentiate in the class setting when one child can't read 'map' and another is reading 2-3 year levels ahead?? I do not begrudge this girl (or others like her) nor the teacher for wanting to help them, but I strongly believe that each child should be given work appropriate to their ability.

#20 kabailz13

Posted 16 November 2011 - 01:11 PM

Kay1 - we have a very reluctant writer in DS too. He is interested in the solar system too and I've been trying to come up with activities that aren't writing based and also not too crafty as he is craft-averse. I like your idea of individual planets (or dwarf planets). Thanks for the idea! I hope that you find some joy with your sons teacher - it's so hard isn't it!?

eL~loco - at our current school, the splits are pp/1, 2/3, 4/5 and 6/7.

BMJ - your quote "Just isn't THAT advanced." really resounded with me. I feel at the moment that DS's teacher is wound up in this. James' hand writing isn't stellar and is a reluctant writer to boot - she seems to take both of those things as proof that his reading, comprehension etc can't be at the level that he shows at home and instead, he has some uncanny ability..... arggghhhh. I'm so jealous of how wonderfully your DD is catered for at her school! It is just absolutely awesome.

taranicole - thanks original.gif I think it's great that James is doing what he is and enjoying it all.

ninaandted - you make a very valid point regarding the lack of funding for G&T education. Whilst it is incorporated into education department policy, how do you cater for the differentiation or extension in class without any funding that is sometimes required? (particularly when your resources are needed for children at the other end of the scale as well). I'm not really sure there are many solutions for that. Although out of class subject extension like that which BMJ's daughter does might be one option for reducing the demands on the class teacher whilst still providing appropriate learning opportunities to all. It's all a very complex topic isn't it?

Edited by kabailz13, 16 November 2011 - 01:13 PM.


#21 mamaknits

Posted 16 November 2011 - 01:34 PM

Oooh Taranicole, that's greatthatthe results are so quick. you should have seen me at the end of my 4 week wait - climbing the walls!!

kabailz13 - I do acknowledge that it is difficult to differentiate when there are kids in class on both extremes of the curve in terms of ability and achievement. I know that most schools in Australia don't do it, but I wonder whetehr itw ould make a teacher's job easier and more effective if the children were streamed in terms of ability or achievement.

kay1 - that's very disappointing sad.gif I hope you get better teachers next year. It's one thing when the bright/gifted ones are not recognised and are bored but if the whole class is bored then it's another problem entirely!



#22 Kay1

Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:34 PM

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your kind comments after being absent for so long.

I had a chat to the teacher today. She saw me after school (doing the daily round up of all DS1's belongings rolleyes.gif) and said (a little too gleefully) that they had tested the kids today and he got 10 spelling words wrong in the level two set (he is working on level 3 at the moment). I saw the test and they were words like of - he had written ofo and girl he'd written gril. Now obviously he can spell both those words but didn't bother to check them or pay attention properly. Some he just plain got wrong (build) which is not entirely surprising to me as I haven't done these words with him for months. She also said he was easily able to read level 30 but his comprehension put him around 25. She said that while he was out of the ballpark ahead of the other kids when he started there are now a few reading at a similar level (which she seemed to think I'd be annoyed about but am actually happy about - the phonics program is one of the reasons I chose the school as I was hoping the other kids would catch up quickly). I told her his comments about being made to sit and wait when he finished and she said that he just does very half hearted rushed work and the barest of minimums which is why she won't give him anything else as she insists on their "best work". Fair enough and I do believe her as we see this at home - to him its all about finishing first and nothing we say can make him think differently. I am just at a bit of a loss as to how to motivate him. He seems to have lost his spark with everything at the moment. sad.gif

I have decided I have been way too soft and just let him coast lately so from now on I will be expecting a lot more. Spelling tests every day and pushing him to work on a project. Dh is going to teach him his times tables. Last year he would devour non fiction books - now it seems the other kids are just hitting this stage and he is over it. He stubbornly refuses to read in reading time and will do Where's Wally instead (which he is not allowed to).

I feel like he is completely disengaged and I just don't know what to do about it. sad.gif I really hope things look up next year.

Edited by Kay1, 16 November 2011 - 10:36 PM.


#23 baddmammajamma

Posted 17 November 2011 - 06:18 PM

kay1, even though I know offline of your worries, it is still sad to read about them too. I just don't like the see "the fire in the belly" extinquished in any child, especially one as bright and interesting as yours. sad.gif  Fingers crossed that there is a wonderful Grade 1 teacher waiting in the wings for next year.

WTF is up with these teachers who don't try to motivate gifted students and also seem to take perverse delight in letting parents know that their kids "just aren't THAT bright?!" Makes me want to jump through my computer and slap a few people!

taranicole, hope the test results are fabulous.

On our end, I've been getting over some unexpected surgery, so school friends have been in charge of shuttling my kids to/fro school each day. J has coped very well, all things considered, and has even had some truly fabulous moments this week.

I feel almost guilty reporting out about how supportive her teachers/school are, in light of what so many of you are facing. My husband & I have a meeting set up in 3 weeks with "all the players" (current teacher, next year's slated teacher, G&T Head, head of curriculum) to discuss what worked particularly well this year, what didn't, and what type of extension is planned for Day One of Grade 1. Since J doesn't cope with sudden change that well, I want as much of her extension/acceleration to be in place when she returns to school -- if they are going to send her off to Grade X to do maths or writing, I want her doing that from the get go. Everyone seems to be in agreement, which is a good sign.

I should add that my kids' school has a fairly new (though seasoned principal) who really is doing all of the right things in terms of gifted education. The previous principal was a bit rigid -- no grade accelerations but for extraordinary cases, no subject matter acceleration without jumping through a jillion hoops. You can really feel the positive impact that this new leadership has had on the school.

Off to go chug pain killers. Sending best to all. xx

Edited by baddmammajamma, 17 November 2011 - 06:20 PM.


#24 abcangel123

Posted 17 November 2011 - 08:57 PM

It really frustrates me hearing about teachers who don't know how to extend properly-ours included. I just had a disagreement about the whole 'they all even out by yr 3' comment with another teacher. They even out because the one's who are already there don't get taught anything for the next few years! I also got told off for extending my 3 yr old class, who were showing early literacy skills. The argument was, there will be nothing for them to learn when they get to preschool! Oh it really gets me fired up.

We too have heard the "oh she's not THAT bright, there are many others in the class just like her" comment. And when they tell you everytime you try and ask for something more,  you do start to wonder if it's true...

BMJ- So happy to hear your school is on top of everything. And organised to start planning for next yr. If only more schools could be like that. We are just hoping for a better outcome next year like many others...

#25 Delayfish

Posted 17 November 2011 - 09:28 PM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 14/11/2011, 09:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
One clear advantage of testing is being able to present to the school validation of your child's giftedness. Of course, there's no guarantee that they will use that information fully to your child's benefit, but it can negate views by the teacher(s) that a particular child "Just isn't THAT advanced."

QUOTE
What a bummer, df, that they don't seem to recognize the need to differentiate for gifted kids! This might be a dumb question, but is this the only school option in your area?

I'm hoping the test will do just that!
In answer to your other question, no, it is not the only school in the area, in fact I drive past 3 other primary schools to get there, and in all other respects I love it. DD has been there for 5 years, and I have not really had anything but praise for the programs and teachers there, it is a wonderful environment. I've just never come across their G&T program (or should I say lack of G&T program!).
The principal seems absolutely convinced that they can cater for my childrens' needs...but she's not acknowledging that they need any more than the current environment, so we'll wait and see. I really really don't want to move schools, I would prefer to fight for better programs for my kids at this school, but I will consider it of course if it becomes absolutely necessary.

QUOTE ( @ 14/11/2011, 09:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
waves.gif delayfish,

I know you love your school and this doesn't actually answer your questions, but I'm curious about the 2/3 class next year. The VELS are Prep, 1/2, 3/4 and 5/6. To me it seems unusual (please inform me otherwise if I'm totally off with the fairies, and I do say unusual not unheard of) to mix two different VELS levels in one class?! I really think a 1/2 split would be much better for your DS.

And please don't kick yourself about testing earlier, you're doing it now, so tongue.gif

Hi eL waves.gif I am not at all familiar with VELS levels so have just googled and I see your point. I 'think' it's a numbers issue, being a small school. I understand some of the number crunching that goes on to create classes, and I know they are juggling class size, number of classes, specialist teachers, our newly imposed cap of 250 students, experienced and grad teachers etc. Our splits next year are prep/1, 2/3, 4/5 and 5/6. But the school has a policy of utilising composite classes, which I have no problem with, I just want to know how exactly they are going to cater for my DS. I honestly don't mind that he's in a prep/1 composite next year, as long as they give him a program that enriches and extends him and continues his love of learning.
Should I be looking at your school eL? What's your G&T program like over there?

I'm reading all the other personals, I just don't feel I have enough experience in this area to contribute anything useful! But thank you all so much for the continued feedback and support.




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    Wise words from kids movies

    The movies we watched as kids had a lot more to offer than just entertainment. Here's ten wise quotes from kids movies.

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    Best buys of the 2014 toy sales

    We have rounded up some of the best from this year's half yearly toy sales from the big stores around Australia.

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    31 iconic family films from the 1980s

    If you grew up in the 1980s there will be a number of films that are close to your heart. Here are 31 of the most iconic for you to watch with your own kids.

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    10 live-action remakes of famous animations

    After the success of "Maleficent" at the box office Disney is opening their vault to re-work the classics into live-action movies, and a number of other film studios are following suit. Here are ten live-action remakes to look forward to.

 
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