Gifted and Talented
My child is an able learner – what support will we get?
More able and very able children are identified as soon as they enter the school and their progress is carefully monitored by the class teacher and by senior staff. Teachers will provide work which is enjoyable and challenging and stretches your child. We have a teacher whose job it is to oversee this work and she has the job title Able Child Co-ordinator (ABCO). The ABCO maintains a list of all such children and works with class teachers and parents to ensure these children can develop at their own (sometimes rapid) pace.
The school works with Hampshire’s Inspector/Advisor for Able Children and receives regular advice from the national Gifted and Able Child group (GATE). We recognise both academic and non-academic ability – from the brilliant mathematician to the brilliant gymnast, we want our able children to flourish.
Please contact the school for further details.
Suggestions for parents of able children in Primary Schools
Parents have the most lasting impact on their children’s lives. A child’s early experiences provide him or her with the dispositions for learning throughout school life and beyond. Through exposure, interaction, encouragement and support, parents enhance their child’s ability to think creatively and critically.
The following advice is based on research into the intellectual, social and emotional needs of able children.
• All children, including the most able, have a unique profile of talents, abilities, strengths and relative weaknesses.
• There are a variety of ways in which parents can help the development of their children, but as children are all different, factors that help one child to develop will not always be appropriate for others.
• A child may develop faster in some respects and slower than expected in other respects, for example a child may have an early or advanced ability in language and reading, but be a reluctant writer.
• All children, including the most able, need to develop self-esteem and confidence, and to be given praise and encouragement.
• Talking with, and listening to, children is one of the most important factors in their development of language. Language develops the learning pathways of the brain.
• Children need to know that parents are most proud of who they are, and not simply of what they achieve. A child’s ability should not become the centre of the relationship between parent and child.
• Children need to be allowed failures and mistakes. They are a necessary part of growing up and learning.
• Able children can be self-absorbed. They need to be encouraged by parents to appreciate and listen to the views of others, and to learn to interact with others.
• It is important to be aware of the needs and talents of the other children in the family.
• It is important to complement what is done at school, rather than replicate what goes on there.
All Children, whether gifted, bright, average or below average, deserve the chance to lead a happy and satisfying life. Gifted children have a great thirst for knowledge and it is vital that this need is recognised as early as possible so that parents and teachers can give them plenty of opportunities to develop their talents. A good school will try to identify very able pupils and to meet their expectations and needs. The school will have developed an agreed policy on how their most able pupils are managed.
It is very easy to destroy the self-confidence of any child and this is particularly so when they are talented, gifted and able. Their experiences with their teachers, their peers and their parents are critical, and it is always important to look for the indicators which suggest that a difficult, unhappy or bored child has hidden talent. We are aware of the factors which suggest children are “underachievers” at Redlands and are more than ready to support them.