I have just received the enrolment pack for the One Day School. I was recommended this option for my 6yr old daughter by the GATE teacher at school. I'm anxious about enroling my 6yr old daughter because she's coping well at school at present (not necessarily being extended), and I'm not sure that I should be "fixing what isn't broke". I do however like the idea of having the ODS option up and running so she has the support when/if required. She is a very complex girl and needs loads of understanding at home, but appears to enjoy school and is well behaved and focused there.
What are people's thoughts on the ODS option - is it something I should try before problems arise rather than when/if they arise?
Also, if she went, it would be in Tauranga. Has anyone got their child attending Tauranga ODS school at the moment, and would they recommend it? Any feed back would be appreciated. Thanks.
ODS is marvellous, I had my child attend for three terms and had to withdraw recently because I lost my job!! What a shame.
But my child absolutely loved it. We went because there was a problem at school - year 2 aged 6.5. This year has been totally different. I don't know if it is because of ODS attendance or because of a different teacher, and I guess we will never know that.
Sorry I can't help you with the decision as it is a tough one, but I think for the most part most of the kids enjoy getting together with like minds and being challenged. You could just try it for a term and see how it goes.
My daughter is well behaved and very compliant and sweet at school. She has struggled with boredom all year (after skipping year 4 and going into a yr5/6 year - she is in top yr 6 Math and Reading Groups), and didn't like telling her teacher that she was bored (didn't want to hurt the teacher's feelings).
ODS has been great for her. It gives her 1 day a week where she fits right in, and has a stimulating day. It doesn't give her any specific extension (eg Maths) - but extends her mind and makes her happier. It makes the 4 days at school more bearable - wednesdays now carry her through.
My daughter ( just turned seven) attended ODS - in Auckland - for the first two terms after she turned six. She enjoyed it and we were happy with it. Towards the end of her second term she told me she didn't want to go anymore, and had a list of reasons all worked out! Mostly to do with things she felt she was missing at her regular school on a Friday. Her teacher this year has been doing a good job of meeting her needs and by and large my daughter was happy at school ( pretty much my measure of whether things are going well/ her needs are being well enough met) so we agreed to stop it. Other things have since been put in place at her regular school, including a GATE programme which she loves but whether this will continue remains to be seen.
My thinking re ODS is that if things start to not go well again at her regular school then we would go back to ODS, but as the social side of things does not come so readily for her I prefer her to be as much a part of her school life as possible.
As an aside, sending her to ODS did draw attention to her from other parents who became aware that she wasn't at school every Friday. I found this difficult to deal with - not a reason to not go of course, but just something else to be aware of. I get very uncomfortable discussing "the G word" with anyone other than a couple of close friends.
My younger daughter has just started school and (although she has not been assessed) my thinking is the same - if school is going well and she's enjoying her learning that's great, and if not, then we would look at ODS for her too ( hopefully it won't come to this - not sure how we'd manage to pay for both of them - arghhh!)
Just some thoughts from my own experiences, hope it helps. Good luck!
Hi there Tough Decisions,
My DD is now 12 and we have had her in One Day School in both Auckland and Tauranga. What a fantastic decision that has turned out to be. Whenever we touch on current affairs of some kind my daughter will contribute with amazing information that she "learned from One Day School". Never does she mention things she learned from "normal school".
During our journey we would not always be able to finance ODS for a term or two and we noticed the difference immediately. When she came home from "normal" school she would be quiet and withdrawn. Whenever she came home from her day at ODS she would bounce around and tell us jokes and be her own self. ODS seemed to help her adjust to normal school a lot better too.
I can not recommend the school in Tauranga highly enough. The teacher is just wonderful there. We are very fortunate to have someone like her in our city.
If you would like any further information about the local Explorers club or other information regarding opportunities for gifted children in Tauranga please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all for your replies - extremely helpful. After reading the replies, my husband and I have decided to trial her for a term. If she enjoys it then it's obviously good for her, if not, it's there for future use if we feel she needs it. Thank you all once again, we really appreciate it.
Hi, I am in Tauranga too and friends keep telling me that my 4-yr-old is gifted and that I should get him 'tested'. I am going to wait until he is closer to school age to make any decisions but I am interested in finding out about GATE. Do you have any local contact information please? Thank you. Sarah
Hi Sarah, Just to advise you there is often a long waiting list for Ed Psych appointments for testing so you might want to get on the list early and defer later if the situation changes (e.g. if you're thinking of having the info for school enrolment)
The first 2 years at school can be devastating for gifted kids if not catered to. Learning to hold back or underachieve, frustration at the slowness or disinterest from teachers and other students, downright resistance from even the sweetest teachers. You need to know if your child needs to be catered to differently. And be prepared to push for it against opposition.
I do not recommend Tauranga Primary school. While there is a good atmosphere and resources (except in music) they are not child centred. They believe completely in their programme as is and cannot conceive of any other provision being necessary. One day school was a day of relief in our household.
I read that you don't recommend Tauranga Primary School for gifted kids. I have just enrolled my son to start in term 4. What Primary school would you then recommend and why? Also maybe some tips would be helpful incase he does attend Tauranga Primary!
Kind regards Fiona
Unfortunately I can't help with schools in Tauranga city area, but my son goes to Kaimai School which is about 10 minutes or so out of town. They are fantastic, and very child-centred. All the teachers (from the Principal down), are there for the kids.
We are looking at ODS for our son (yr 5) and they are very supportive.
Can't recommend this school highly enough.
You should find other parents of past pupils to talk to also. Experience can be mixed depending on the needs of the child, but I do know that I wasn't the only one who was frustrated by the lack of learning support for gifted kids at Tauranga Primary. I suspected that there was a non belief in giftedness and/or the need for any differentiation. While they were okay about a child going to one day school or taking time out for parent organised activities or tuiton, I would still get pestered with the "attendance=achievement" mantra. Clearly (To me) the opposite was true. School meant frustration and disappointment. I persevered with school mainly because of school trips, playing with friends at lunchtime and a break for mum - until his test scores at school started to slip backwards (is this even possible!) and the school assured me that it would be alright -it would come right!
You will need to be at them all the time to offer her real opportunities for extension. In and out of the classroom. Which means that you will need to research what extension really is, because the school doesn't know. Gifted and talented are NOT the same thing. It is very stressful.
I wasn't convinced enough about any of the other schools to make the change, although I did hear that Greenpark had some sort of gifted program.
Tauranga Primary is an excellent school. My "gifted" son goes there (and also One day School). I wouldn't say that it catered well for the more intellectual but hey, that is what One day School is for - it compliments a normal learning week at school :)
I would like to say that Selwyn Ridge in Tauranga is an excellent school, my daughter loved it there. She wasn't bored at all, the kids get so many very cool opportunities not just academically, but in sport, the arts, in leadership etc etc.
I am new to Tauranga and have been researching primary schools for our 4 your old twin boys. I found on this site a recommendation for Matahui Rd school just south of Katikati (it is a private school so costly) and we visited the school for 2 hours recently and thought it is excellent. It is based on Howard Gardners Multiple Intelligence theory and Art Costa's Habits of the Mind. We feel the school is very child centered and offers child directed learning options which work great for most types of kids. I think it is worth looking into if you can afford it - there is bus service from Tauranga.
Hi there, I have a 6 year old son who attends Greenpark School and I recommend it thoroughly. They have a GATE program and the Assistant Principal Christina Leaf is an excellent source of information and support (she has a gifted son herself).
I'm also looking into enrolling my son in one day school but as a single mother I can't see any way of being able to afford $660 per term. Does anyone know if the program is subsidised at all?