Hi, there! Does anyone have any recommendations about West Ak primary schools for gifted kids? In particular, Kaurilands, Fruitvale, Glen Eden, Konini, Titirangi, Woodlands Park or schools around these areas!
Any feedback would be great! Thanks!
Our boy attended Kaurilands for 6 years and no-one picked up his giftedness, or was interested in our attempts to have him extended. I think they thought that we were over anxious / pushy parents!
They do have an extension programme, but only a few are able to participate in it, places are offered to kids that are acheiving academically, which normally rules out gifted kids!!
If we had out time again, knowing what we do now, I wouldn't choose it.
I wonder if its a bit of an over generalisation to say that offering extension to kids that are achieving academically "normally rules out gifted kids"? I've always thought that one of the definitions of intellectual giftedness was at least the potential to achieve highly in intellectual pursuits. I realise that potential may not be being realised in the school environment for many kids, for a whole host of reasons. But one surely can't go from there to saying if a child is high achieving, they're not gifted?
Maybe what was meant was "can rule out some gifted kids"?
Thanks for the feedback. I'd heard a similar experience about a child at Titirangi. Both Titirangi and Kaurilands have been suggested to me as suitable for gifted kids so your experience is good to note. Hope the intermediate years were better!
Our son started at Kaurilands this year and we are finding them really good. He has a great home teacher who wants to try to keep him "5" but is also willing to send him on to other activities that will help extend him. They have tried a number of tacks (maths is his thing) and he is now going to a year 6 class for maths. It's not every day, sometimes only once a week, but they are monitoring things really well. He also goes to a weekly science class. We are really happy so far and would recommend the school to anyone.
Wow! You sound like you have a fantastic teacher at Kaurilands. It's great to hear of teachers who are supportive and willing to try different options to extend kids! Thanks for sharing that - it gives us another option to follow! We're not having the best experience at our school and the teachers are anything but proactive. Do they also have a school gifted programme?
Does anyone have any recommendations for primary schools in area of Swanson, waitakere, henderson heights area, for gifted kids. our local primary has a G&T programme but 1/2 hr once a week, for one term a year just dosent seem to be enough, so mr 6 now attends ods, miss 5 has just started at said local primary, only lasted 2 days in new entrant before being put into a year one class, so looks like we may 2 kids at ods soon. I would like a primary that streams or ability groups the children, where they receive extension learning on a regular basis. Too much to ask? I hope not. Any info that could guide me in the right direction would be great.
Don't bother with Titirangi Primary - totally deadbeat programme with a tiny amount of kids who seem to be the underperformers so if you have a gifted high performer, they won't let you in!!! Bizarre!!
Summerland School in Henderson is currently running a series of whole day seminars for what they term their `High Flyers, Creative Thinkers and Bright Sparks'. A whole day mathematics workshop led by a guy who was clearly very popular with the kids , a whole day of astronomy and a day where they were put to work solving crimes. More to come this week and next. Might be a fortuitous time to check them out.
We have found Titirangi Primary excellent. While the GATE program was a bit average, the regular teachers are fantastic. They quickly picked up that our son was gifted, his teachers have all given him a lot of individual attention and support and he loves school.
No sure what 'ANON' is referring too...my son is a top performer and was invited to join the GATE program....
Hi There, Does anyone have any recommendations for primary schools in the area of Te Atatu South, my son is Eurasian turning 5 in March. I have started looking at Tirimoana Primary School, Freyberg ... I am willing to move into a new area if needed?
He is learning Chinese & Korean at the moment. Any more info that could guide me in the right direction would be great.
My son just started Konini this year2012 got a new principal and has great teaching skills and a high standard of gifted kids also a great mixture of culture and personality in the kids new principal is called Michael malins and he is a very good person we have seen a change in our son alot
Just my two cents:
I have just withdrawn my children from Kaurilands. My son attended there for five and a half years. He was consistently bored and no one mentioned 'gifted' or acceleration or anything. He did join a science group that met once a week but it was a 'token gesture' rather than a real benefit to his schooling and the boredom issue. Later, they commented that they wouldn't put him in their extension group because he daydreamed in class...except the daydreaming was a product of his boredom. So it was a bit of a vicious circle. We ended up getting him independently tested, after a search on the internet told us that he fit the profile of a 'gifted' person. Kaurilands never once mentioned the word, despite two other kids in his class going to One Day School. It was peculiar.
Also, I should mention because of the discussion above, that he was excellling academically. When we removed him, he was two years ahead in maths and spelling, and five years ahead in reading. But Kaurilands never sent him out of class for extension and argued against acceleration. His academic excellence was purely on his own merits, and as I say, Kaurilands refused him entry to the extension group last year because of his daydreaming.
My daughter was only there for one and a half year, but did have one amazing teacher. Unfortunately one amazing teacher doesn't make a compelling enough reason to keep our kids at a school that's not extending or catering to our children, and I just found out on the weekend that one of my daughter's classmates also left because of the lack of extension at Kaurilands.
I'm hoping to have more luck at Green Bay which is looking very promising.
Also, there has been very good feedback on this forum about Summerlands Primary, in regards to catering for gifted students, so if you're looking in that area, it seems to be the school to go to. There's not many other decent schools in the Swanson/Henderson Heights area.
We have had experiences with two schools out West.
Schools are a funny thing. We have a saying in our house "you always love your school till something goes wrong". We say that because we loved our last school, kids were involved in everything, took part in the GaT programme until something happened and wasn't dealt with in a way we found acceptable. So when the Principal told us to move if we didn't like, we did and were gone by the end of the week. The DP asked me if the new school had a gifted programme and I said No, she said I was doing the wrong thing moving and I agonised over the decision, there was no going back.
We then moved to Swanson School and I have never looked back. My kids have been in GaT when it is applicable, they take part in interschool sport, even though they arn't the most skilled but the school believes in giving everyone a chance to take part if they want. We have had problems but they are dealt with. I can't tell you what my kids scores are on anything. I know they are both gifted but at the end of the day they are happy, they want to go to school each day, they are making progress at school and their learning needs are definitely catered too. I know of some kids that have been accelerated and that is good for them. Why did I choose this school? Because when we walked in, it just felt right.
Wow DES I am amazed that we have had completely different experiences with the same school, I wanted it to work because it suited me, I tried to work with the school and struggled for 18 months, but in the end had to move my two gifted children because they did not like the school would cry most mornings begging me to not leave them there, only had experience with one good supportive teacher there, this school protects there inexperienced bt teachers, and twice put my gifted son with bt's they had no experience with gifted learners and one even suggested there was no such thing. The extension classes are a joke half an hour, once a week for one term of the year, my kids were unimpressed and reported that it was a waste of time.
I'm pleased that your children are now happy at this school, I find it strange that my children were not happy until I removed them from this school, our new school does not do extension classes, there is no need for them if your child is catered for within the classroom, which for the first time they are, so much so that both have decided to stop going to ODS, they say it's because their new school is so good they just don't need it anymore, music to a mothers ears.
So many terrible times at your school, but I'll leave it there as I have nothing nice to say about our time there. So glad your children are happy though, that's what it's all about, I do know what it's like when there not, heartbreaking.
I can't recommend Woodlands Park primary highly enough. Our experience with them has been fantastic, both in regards to the gifted side of things and the challenges my child has. They have a philosophy of teaching to each child's ability, not their age or year, and from our experience they walk the talk. Very approachable staff and lovely, small and friendly school.
Just a follow up to my earlier comments - we have had our first parent/teacher interviews at Green Bay Primary and are so pleased with the progress our children are making. Even though one child is more than a year ahead in reading and spelling, and the other child is nearly two years ahead in reading, writing, spelling and maths, they are BOTH BEING CATERED FOR WITHIN THE CLASSROOM! They are both being put with kids of similar ages AND abilities, so neither feels 'weird' or 'abnormal'. Plus, our son is doing robotics as an extension thing, one day a week. Both kids report to be happy, and that there is less bullying. Can definitely recommend Green Bay Primary at this stage.
Has anyone had any experience with Arahoe Primary? They seem to offer a load of extra programmes for music, dance, sports, cultural groups? But I'm not really sure what they offer for the academically gifted. We are new to the school and the spread of skills in my son's class is jaw-dropping - from kids that don't know their letters to a few extremely fluent readers. I suspect the spread is across everything from maths to writing. I daren't mention any extension yet as he is still in junior school.
Also I have been having my doubts about whether the fact it is a mid decile school is why the spread of talents is so huge? I keep worrying that my own lack of success and therefore inability to move to a richer area is impacting on my son's education. I know that is an unpopular idea and I hate it myself but I can't help wondering if the baseline wasn't so low there might be more time to put some energy into extending the upper end? Any ideas?
I am amazed at the constant search for extra work for gifted and talented kids. When did bright kids turn into gifted or talented kids? This term is thrown around so casually, i do find it funny. When i was a kid the gifted kids were the kids that could do maths for age 11 at 6 and kids with a reading age of 15 at 7..kids that were amazing at music and showed a real gift. I am proud to say that i am am the mother of 3 amazingly smart kids who come first at everything and are top of their classes. I am very proud of them but to spout that they are 'gifted' academically simply would n't be true. They cannot speak 6 languages or play classical violin to grade 9 but they do have the ability to sit, listen and learn and be taught and enjoy that. If your child is not catered for in the classroom you should be stimulating them at home...if your child is bored at school then that is a different matter. if you kid is badly behaved at school and you use their giftedness as an excuse then shame on you.
Sadly, anon, all you've done with your post is show your astounding ignorance about giftedness. Perhaps it would be wise to do some reading to inform yourself. You've fallen into that widely-held view that gifted kids are 'super achievers' and fail to take account of things like over-excitabilities, twice-exceptionality, asynchronous development and the very real social and emotional needs of gifted children.
To answer your question, when did bright kids turn into gifted kids, they didn't. It's just that ill-informed people often think they are one and the same. Gifted kids can indeed be 'bright', top achievers, but many are not high performing academic achievers in school. Many have to wait to get out of the system before they can really fly.
Oh to have the relative "peace" of a bright kid! My 8 year old boy hates school - yes, he is doing maths at 12 year old level but he reads and writes like a 6 year old. He has few friends because he has the intellect of an 12 year old but the maturity of an 8 year old. My boy hates himself because he thinks he is stupid.
"Gifted" is not one size fits all. Gifted is a really hard road for parents and child and siblings. "Gifted" is not something you want your family laboured with, if you had the choice at times.
Do parents of bright kids dread parent-teacher meetings like I do?
Well said anon, sue, and Robyn. I have two very different gifted children, one is top of the class for everything and just areally neat kid, with at times quite severe emotional needs, and another who tested higher than the said sibling, yet often under achieves at school, is always getting into trouble, and getting noticed for all the wrong reasons with often unacceptable social behavior, mostly due to intence boredom. Never have I used their giftedness as an excuse, yet I understand the cause that leads to the effect, I only hope my children are blessed with teachers that also understand. So yes half of me dreads teacher /parent interveiws.
I was disappointed to read the 'shame on you' comment aimed at parents who 'use their child's giftedness as an excuse for bad behaviour'. As the parents of four gifted sons we have had our share of problems in the school system. Two of our sons did indeed experience behavioural difficulties at school. Both are kind, funny, enthusiastic kids who were totally perplexed with the whole school system and found it hugely challenging to conform.
They are both mentally and physically active and it really was an ordeal for them to sit still on a mat while the kids rote read abcs, counted to 20 and learned their days of the week! Neither was directly defiant to their teachers but disruptive behaviour due to boredom (rolling on the floor, climbing under desks, talking, tapping, daydreaming) was the norm for a number of months/years.
Our other two boys were quieter personalities who generally tried to fit in within the classroom environment. One of these 'good' boys was, however, sent to a psychologist who deals with gifted children lacking in social skills as he spent the first couple of years at school with absolutely no friends. As the psychologist said "he's six with the vocabulary level of a 15 year old..what's he going to talk to the other kids about?". So he was 'good' at school but desperately unhappy.
The problem is that a lot of people like anon believe it's the high achievers who ARE the gifted kids (one of our boys was at the top of the class in everything, one average, two at the bottom..yet all four have IQs over 130-140). In general these high achievers are often the talented and bright kids who thrive in the school system but not actually the truly gifted kids. As also mentioned by Sue, gifted children CAN achieve amazing results...but sadly often not before an incredibly bumpy ride identifying their giftedness, solving issues including 'bad' behaviour, depression, loneliness, boredom, and helping re-enthuse and motivate these wonderful little learners.
Unfortunately many people are ignorant of what 'giftedness' really means (including much of the education sector) and I must admit we were exactly the same until we started having issues at school with our first boy. We have learned an awful lot in the last 12 years and, in my opinion, the MAJORITY of gifted children will be the 'badly behaved' or 'daydreaming' or 'socially inept' children in the class. And yes, the odd few who are absolutely brilliant in nearly every area of academia.
Good luck to all those parents of gifted children. It definitely can be overwhelming at times but (with our eldest two now 17 and 16, happy, sociable and achieving well) it does get easier!
Wow, thank you Denise for your comments. We are about to enter school and I already know we are going to have trouble. Even just this weekend was an example. For Saturday and Sunday we did not engage much with DD, bad behavior, today a different story.
When fully engaged she is wonderful, when not, she is sulky and not very nice to be around.
I know most of us gifted parents agonise for hours about schools and it seems ones experience may different from others due to teachers, activities or the difference in our kids. I am just going to take the leap and see how it goes. I know my new school does not have real extension programs but they have programs DD is interested in.
I don't say the gifted word often, I use smart, but secretly I like the word gifted because we as parents have been gifted such wonderful, sometimes challenging kids. And they are all different -lucky us!
And thank you Anon for reminding us of the type of people we deal with everyday and the education system is full of. History is full of gifted people who were not even recognised even in their own eras.
When I observe my own gifted child's so called disruptive behaviour I see loads of learning and experimentation combined with all sorts of naration ( much nonsensical) and jumping around. I don't see misbehaviour I see a child full of life, enthusiasm, positive energy and desire for exploration. He is a fabulous little mathematician to boot. In my opinion it takes a certain sort of very gifted teacher to manage this behaviour in a positive way so that both their own and the childs dignity is managed with care and understanding to benefit the whole class.
My child can sit still but I know that when he is jumping around he just can't contain his enthusiasm for what he is learning and it is then that I know it is all sinking in.
i currently am lucky enough to live in hobsonville, hobby primary is great, but they tend to hold kids back a bit,I asked his teacher about harder spelling and maths and was told shes not allowed to give him words outside of the circiclum ( yeah my spelling terrible) and they wouldnt help him advance on computers) marina view is meant to also be great and i have seen friends kids go from struggling at massey primary to whenuapi and suddenly start to excel, i sadly have to move and cannot afford the rents round here, my son excells in math and reading and spelling he is also very skilled on computers but we havnt been able to get him extra help for his advanced knowledge which is a shame....i will be looking into swanson after having read this as sunderland to expensive its private....
Hi, I have two children at Arahoe and another due to start at the end of next year. One is Year 2 and the other is Year 3. My oldest child really struggled this year health wise and we believe he is now suffering from an anxiety. Their solution to the problem was to homeschool him or stay with him on the school grounds all day! There are quite of few inexperienced teachers there at the moment and I am not quite sure they would be able to cater for gifted children. Teachers are too quick to blame issues on "parenting" rather than a school problem. My son is extremely bored and losing confidence in his abilities daily. I am having to reassure him every day that he is doing really well - this should be coming from the teacher! He is very quiet and seems to go unnoticed.
I checked out New Lynn Primary recently and it appears to be a really lovely small school. The Principal is so warm and friendly and I recommend him very highly. All the staff and pupils are also very welcoming. The only thing keeping me at Arahoe is the strong relationships both of my children have formed. If things do not improve this year, we will definitely be moving on.
A friend of mine has a child at Titirangi and to be honest I wouldn't recommend them either and they are a Decile 10! Decile rating only reflects the money in the area and does not reflect the quality of teachers they have all gone through the same archaic training. If I had the money I would send all my children to Steiner or homeschool them.
I wouldn't recommend Waitakere Primary, the don't have a G&T programme, extension happens in the class (susposably) however my son is gifted and is very bored and under stimulated, he has to attend the One Day School just to get him through the week. The management at the school are also very difficult to deal with and I really do feel that they even just play lip service to the IEP. I consistantly think about changing school but am unsure to where??