Big Sister and all her cousins G&T, but is my youngest DD.

(30 Posts)
annw1 Mon 18-Nov-13 20:56:59

I'm so confused my youngest DD is in reception and has just been moved down a group. This is causing me grave concern as I don't think they are reaching her or harnessing her abilities.
My eldest DD is in Y2 and was added to the school G&T list at the start of Y1 as having talent across all subject areas. She accelerated through the school reading scheme and is now doing KS2 work across both maths and literacy.
All of their cousins are G&T and it is very easy to assume that my youngest DD is also. It was a shock when the school first told me about my eldest DD and I have had to take the time to read up extensively about it all. I therefore know that my youngest DD bears almost all of the characteristics of a child with high learning potential. She is highly energetic and gets bored very easily. At her first parents evening we were told that 'she does not listen'. That did not surprise me I struggle to get through to her if she is focussed on an activity, she just will not budge. The fact that they could not extend the she doesn't listen to the thought that my DD could be distracted by something that has caught her attention outside or something within the classroom tells me that they have not worked her out yet.
At home she will happily sound out words in books whilst at school they are sending books home without any words in. I've tried to tackle them but all I get is that 'she will be moved on when they think she is ready'. That was last week and this week I find they have moved her down an ability group.
She can ask the most profound questions and will continue to question until she is happy with the information that she gets. Yes she is slow to pick up on her writing but then that is common in a G&T kid whose intellect is far ahead of her ability to hold a pencil and write with it.
I'm lost and unsure where to go, they will not listen to me the whole situation is made worse by the fact that she is in a job-share situation for teachers. Neither has reached a point where they know her. She prefers one over the other and unfortunately it is the one that she does not like who seems to mainly look after her needs.
The fact that she has been moved down an ability group just alerts me to the fact that they are not getting through to her. I want to arrange another meeting but I honestly don't think I will get anywhere. What should I do..

SatinSandals Tue 19-Nov-13 06:38:41

Relax- she is very young.

christinarossetti Tue 19-Nov-13 06:45:22

How do you know she has been 'moved down' an ability group?

I would be surprised if teachers didn't realise that children get distracted tbh although learning to listen, sit on the carpet etc when requested are all vital skills in the first term of reception.

I would focus on helping her to be able to do these things rather than worrying about whether she is g & t or not.

FlirtingFail Tue 19-Nov-13 06:55:38

Energetic, gets bored easily, sounding out words, slow to pick up writing....sounds like a (lovely) normal Reception child to me!

kitchendiner Tue 19-Nov-13 07:38:37

High achieving and G&T are not necessarily the same thing. She could be the most G&T of all of you yet the hardest to motivate or the most easily distracted etc. G&T at Junior tends to be more about achievement than potential. Children who are twice exceptional don't get picked up as being G&T.

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Nov-13 07:47:16

If the school is doing ok by your eldest re G&T, why not assume that they know what they are doing in that area, and relax?

Reception is more about learning to be at school and socialising than steaming through academic work. It sounds like your DD needs a bit of practice at being in the classroom, listening to the teacher etc.

DeWe Tue 19-Nov-13 11:40:00

I have a similar situation.
In that I have dd1 who is clever, dedicated, amazing concentration, keen to learn, and always trying to push her levels up.
She was identified as G&T across the board at primary, and still is at secondary.

Now I have dd2. I know that, from doing things at home, she is better than dd1 naturally at maths. Her reading is, and always has been above dd1's at the same age. Her writing is much better in content, but weaker in technical ability. She has been doing dd1's (3 years older) homework since she was 3yo-and achieving top marks in it. Dd1 explains, dd2 does it, works very well.
She has not always been in the top groups, nor has she achieved the levels dd1 has.

Now actually I don't think this is the schools fault. Dd2 does not have the concentration at school she does at home. Nor does she have the keen to learn, pushing her abilities attitude. Dd2 may have a time of pushing herself, and then slacks off and can spend half an hour of her time gazing around and then finds she hasn't finished.
A teacher has to assess what they see. They can't look at dd2's work and say "if she'd concentrated then she would have got...". Also, ime the top group is often left to work more independently, and that, for her, meant a time of dreamy haze with very little work. So sometimes not being in the top group has helped her work.

richmal Tue 19-Nov-13 11:52:53

The ability group will depend on what the others in her class are able to do.

For instance, if a child can add simple numbers they will be in the top group if the others are mainly learning to count or the bottom group if the rest mainly know all their number bonds to 10.

You could always increase her ability by going over things at home.

Iamnotminterested Tue 19-Nov-13 21:15:02

So basically you're pissed off that her sister and cousins have been labelled as 'G&T' and she hasn't and it just isn't fair because you think she should be? Really?

SatinSandals Wed 20-Nov-13 06:49:24

I think it is because the school have the mad system where they have to have a percentage of G&T these days so perhaps your DD's year are exceptionally bright and she doesn't make the top percentage whereas she might have done a different year. They are going to treat her according to needs anyway so she doesn't need a label. In a different school your other DD and her cousins might just be average so I really wouldn't worry.

tumbletumble Wed 20-Nov-13 07:29:10

I help out in year 1 and there is a boy who sounds like your DD2 - imaginative and good at maths but lacking in concentration. He's not on the top table either. The teachers can only assess what they see.

I wouldn't worry too much - she's still very young and has loads of time to show her potential. Keep helping her at home. At this age the table groups are very flexible and lots of children move between them.

lljkk Wed 20-Nov-13 11:29:13

Listening even when bored is an important skill on life. I'd work on that one, sounds like her main problem.

annw1 Wed 20-Nov-13 23:12:35

Thank you to everyone for their replies. They have supported me and made me step back from this issue.

As to one answer about I quote being 'pissed off' I'm going to ignore. The idea of this discussion board is to seek help from like minded Mum's. This was far from helpful and could not be further from the truth!

LilyBolero Thu 21-Nov-13 16:23:58

And this is the problem with all this 'G&T' stuff. It's a label, and there's pressure about whether a child 'is' or 'isn't', and it's bonkers imo!

For example, my ds2 couldn't speak 3 months before starting reception. Where my other kids have been v precocious, he was v behind.

Turns out he was mostly deaf through lots of his toddlerhood.

Reception - in the 2nd ability group for reading - fine.

Y1 - Suddenly speech arrived, reading went through the roof, and he zoomed up to the top of the class.

KS1 SATs - breezed through with level 3s in everything, has a reading age of 12 (he's just 7), is soaring ahead with music. His art is amazing - everyone is struck by it.

No idea if he's 'G&T', but I'm really pleased the school are challenging him, and bringing him on, and the best thing is he LOVES being a kid and playing!

SatinSandals Fri 22-Nov-13 06:40:13

I don't think that you want labels and you certainly don't want them so young. It makes education sound like a race, and if it is a race 'slow and steady' often wins!

ReallyTired Wed 04-Dec-13 10:51:45

I am surprised that you know what ablity groups your child is in for reception. Its still very early in the year.

Has your daughter had a hearing test yet? If she has glue ear then she might find hard to focus and listen. Glue ear might make your child underperform at school.

annw1 Wed 11-Dec-13 21:59:34

I know about the ability groups as by friend has been a supply teacher in the school. As to listening I have read books on spirited kids which explains the potential reasons why my DD2 may not listen.

In any event I'm happier now because my DD2's ability has been identified. Her teacher is working with me as a parent after I acted as an advocate for my DD2.

I would highly recommend acting as an advocate where you think your child has high learning potential.

LePetitPrince Wed 11-Dec-13 22:07:54

I find the concept of a G&T programme strange tbh. Should the child who is just outside the criteria not get extension work or attention when in a different cohort he would be safely in the top 10%?

I've also never heard of set groups in Reception. They are so young and should be focusing on socialising at this age.

I would put the whole thing to the back of your mind.

Iamnotminterested Wed 11-Dec-13 22:26:38

You sound bonkers.

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Wed 11-Dec-13 22:31:05

OP, you should trust the teachers to get on with their job.
All these levels, groupings and G&T register mean diddly squit in the long term.
It really doesn't matter, just let your child be.

I'm boggling somewhat at the idea of ability groups in reception class, less than 3 months after starting school.

kitchendiner Thu 12-Dec-13 07:57:34

Well done for being an advocate!
Disagree with subsequent posts.
It's totally normal to want your child to be in a suitable ability group if such a group exists. Not being in the right group can cause behaviour issues.
You don't sound bonkers.
Don't necessarily trust the teachers to get it right - they have 30 other kids to worry about.

Chocciechoc Fri 13-Dec-13 22:21:56

I'm sure the teachers know what they're doing; she's probably in the right group for her ability at the moment.

simpson Fri 13-Dec-13 22:40:03

My DC school had ability groups in reception (for phonics only). I thought it was quite normal confused there was a lot of movement between the groups too.

kitchendiner Sat 14-Dec-13 07:39:52

There is a lot of evidence on line about how teachers do not always get this right. You wouldn't necessarily expect a teacher to know that the weird, non compliant child with illegible writing is actually very very clever and should be on the top table - especially when they have 30 other kids in the class with all kinds of abilities and issues to worry about.

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