Hi all. I have a recently assessed gifted daughter due to start school term 1 next year. She is very confident, socially mature, friendly and for the most part pretty well behaved. When she was assessed at just over 4 years most subtests came out between 5 years 10 months - 7 years. Her reading and maths were also around 6 years, although I suspect her reading to be higher as she told me she didn't feel like doing it so didn't answer what I know she knows. It has been suggested that she go into a y 1/2 composite doing year 2 work then move to a y 3 the next year. I am generally pretty happy with this. I guess my only concern is the number of kids in the class. The school she will be attending has a year 1 which has approx 15 kids max and a year 1/2 with 25 kids. I am concerned that the number of kids may be overwhelming for first year of school and she will be lost in the class. Would it be better to be y1 with less kids but possibly more one on one? Although In reality i am not sure how much she will get if she already knows the work. I would really appreciate any advice. Many thanks :)
Really it all depends on the kid, how social, mature they are etc and could cope with these large numbers. My son started with 10 in his class as a year 0/1 - however given the choice I would have gone to the year 1/2 class straight away. He is year 6 now and still struggling with boredom, I wish we had been able to accelerate him in the early days.
Have you thought about trying a term or two in the y1 class just to acclimatise to school and then looking at moving to the year 1/2 class? My opinion is the earlier you get them moved the easier it will be for them socially as they are just accepted by the kids and come up through the classes with the older kids, no big deal.
Best of luck this will be the first of many hard school decisions!
I agree with Marshe about moving earlier rather than later. It simply isn't a big deal if that's the class she has always been with even if she is much younger than everybody else. I also think that year one classes have that smaller ratio because the children have much higher needs when they are settling into school but those needs may be quite different from your daughter's needs, specially if she is academically much more advanced that the other children.
Have you talked about it with the school? Is your daughter used to a large group of children from kindergarten or preschool? Do you have an opinion about which teacher would suit her better?
Thanks for your reply. She is very confident and gets on better with older kids. There are between 30-40 kids in her preschool class depending on which day she goes. They do however break off into smaller groups for reading, maths etc. she seems to cope ok with this. She does have a core group of 3-4 friends and pretty much stays with them although she is happy to talk to the others. I was also concerned that the year 1/2 may have the not so academic year 2s as they have a straight y2 class also. So it may negate any benefit of being in a y2 if they are all effectively at a y1 level. I will be meeting with the school term 3. The principal did not seem too keen to talk about anything until we had the report.
Marshe from memory of earlier posts I think your son is at the school we finally decided on. Would love to hear some first hand experience if you get time.
Hmmm that's interesting then because in all honesty I've not found them too great to deal with when it comes to the gifted - basically I gave up and it is simply a waiting game to get him out of there into intermediate next year.
I don't want to sound negative or put you off but you asked for an honest opinion. I found the principal not very easy to deal with and would be totally surprised if they are open to acceleration. In our case when he was in year 0/1 (at which time I didn't know he was gifted) they moved him to a year 2 class for reading because he was so much more advanced than the rest of the class, however this is REALLY the only time they have catered to his special needs. He is now year 6.
They did start up a special online class for all the year 4 and up gifted kids a couple of years ago but it wasn't successful simply because the school didn't really back it up and run it like it should have been, they just paid lip service to to scheme really. Basically it comes down to the teacher, he has been lucky and had some great teachers that will push him and extend him, and let him work in a way that suits him, but then this year that doesn't seem to be happening and he is very bored.
Once they hit senior school, year 5 up they move them into groups for maths so they work with others at their level - then they have an extension maths class once a week for two terms, that's all the 'official' extention they get.
In my opinion they also don't cater to kids that are a bit different (often the gifted) i.e they often complain that he doesn't get involved in any of the school stuff, but the problem is most of the things offered are based on sport and he is not interested in any sport whatsoever. They have nothing else to offer that he is interested in - so he doesn't get involve.! Go figure. Sorry in saying that they do have a great music teacher and they do offer quite a bit more at intermediate level, and sometimes I think that is the problem - a lot more is offered for the intermediate kids.
I hope this has been helpful, I believe in being honest when I'm asked my opinion because I wish I had been told a lot of this. At the end of the day it will depend on you and your child, each child is different and has different needs, I know of gifted girls that have gone through the school very very happily, we have a couple of exceptionally gifted boys who excel beyond belief, how much of this is down to the school I do not know because there is absolutely NO gifted community at the school, you're on your own with that battle, in saying that I also know of other gifted boys in the school who haven't been too well catered for. I remember my ds's best friend being offered special things from the school that he wasn't - so don't know if the parents pushed or what!
It will be interesting to see if they let you pur her in a year 1/2 class. Unfortunately I haven't been the best advocate for my ds, I'm not very assertive and feel I have done him a disservice - but that's my personality, can't be who I'm not, can only try my best.
Thanks for this Marshe. I have heard that about the principal so will see what she says. When we had the first look around the lady who took us( cant remember her name) said they would do the year 1/2 for her but the principal would want to see the report. Our ed psych has written a pretty prescriptive report saying what is needed for her plus her social maturity etc. will be interesting to see what they say.
We looked at a number of the local schools and she currently attends the private preschool attached to the private school. This was our first choice but we have not had much luck at preschool level getting any extra work. Won't give her readers because what will she read next year. That kind of attitude. So we are not too keen to spend the money and still have to fight. Pls we have an 18 month old also to consider.
We finally settled on the current school as they seemed most receptive to listen at least. I am guessing this is different once you are there. I am hoping the fact that dd is very willing to please, no quirks, social and pretty well rounded may help. She is very into sports, drama, music and will really give anything a go. At this stage. Am hoping that school life doesn't suck the life out of her. Before I had a gifted child I was not very assertive at all. Since having her and looking at schools, meeting principals etc I have become much more forward and tougher in advocating for her. This forum certainly helps.
The whole thing is all very hard and was getting very depressing. Especially when ds looks to be the same as his sister. We will be sending her to a girls school in town at year 7 so just hoping the primary years are not a nightmare.
Thanks for your honesty Marshe, really appreciate it. Good luck with your son.