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I have a girl in my reception class who is very able. She is a fluent reader and writes sentences and stories independently using reception and yr 1 and 2 high frequency words. She has been identifed as gifted. Our gifted and talented co-ordinator is obvoiously keen for her to be pushed to reach her potential. However the activites being suggested - in my opinion- are too formal and are her pushing her into a yr1/2 situation rather than being allowed to learn through play. Any ideas on how she can be stretched without her being sat at a desk filling in the endless worksheets which our co-ordinator is providing her with at the moment? (co-ordinator is a key stage 2 teacher) I'm very worried that she is becoming bored and not enjoying school as she is being made to sit and do.

 

Lola

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I had this problem last year with a reception child who was reading Y5 words! L loved role play and so I tried to extend her opportunities for writing here, giving her special tasks relating to objectives. However, she also enjoyed doing the worksheets and actually asked to do them, so I did give some of them to her, usually about once a week.

I also gave her lots of opportunities to help her friends, as this was good for her literacy skills, but also the social side of things.

I also found that giving her non-fiction books to read were great as they were still age appropriate but challenging, altohugh I guess your girl isn't as advanced as L was.

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We had a boy like this in our nursery and I went on a course for the gifted and talented at the foundation stage. One of the main outcomes was that most gifted or talented children experience problems with personal and social development as they grow older, firstly because they were pushed too soon into formal education and did not get to learn through play enough, and secondly because they never experienced failure as everything is too easy.

 

The recommendations were not to extend upwards but rather sideways. I will try to explain. Rather than giving him activities suitable for an older child. We had to enhance the experiences that we were giving the other children to take into account his abilities. This meant that we did encourage writing but as part of the general free choice learning. We had some lovely examples of imaginative writing as well as letters to the staff and notes to the afternoon children. When he did writing I guided him how to improve e.g. not put capital letters in the middle of sentences. We introduced more complex vocabulary and concepts. He even designed a maths game with numbers up to 100. We did have a few problems during group times as he was so far ahead of the rest but this was mainly in maths and language. At these times we were recommended to have a 'box' with activities in that he could occupy himself with. (mainly problem solving in maths and writing or reading in language) - this was the only time we occasionally resorted to worksheets :o

 

We did sometimes have issues with PSED because at one point he started saying that other children were 'thick' but we dealt with this the same way we deal with other issues through circle time.

 

By the end of his time at nursery he was beyond the ELG's in all areas, but at the same time he was popular and sociable. The reception teacher at his school could not believe that he was so well rounded. If anyone tells me he was beyond the playing stage - they should have seen him near the end of the school year dressing up in a pink tutu casting spells.

 

Sorry it was such a long post but I hope this helps

Sue

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What a positive reply Susie, It just shows we are never too "clever / gifted" to play. :D The responsibility is for the educators to promote development, at what ever stage, through appropriate "learning styles" for active children.

 

This reminds me of one of the comments in the draft EYFS document that states that "children should feel like they are playing". This confused me a little, what is play if it is not play that we have to make it feel like play?

I bet your confused now after that question :oxD

 

 

Peggy

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Our previous head believed in 'fast tracking' more able children straight into year! :o (partly to keep class sizes down) The year1 teacher (junior trained) had a very formal style of working (lots of worksheets xD ) and so the children missed out on what I believe are the important bits. Luckily we had a very sensible parent who appealled and had her son transfered into my reception class as she realised he needed to develop socially and emotionally before he could cope with working this way. Her brave move made a number of parents question 'fast tracking' :)

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Peggy,

I haven't read the document you are talking about but can only surmise that it means that whilst it is important to play, the children can also be learning at the same time. Perhaps this is a suggestion that children should not be aware that we are trying to educate them as they play. :D

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Thanks beau, It is just that the whole ethos/thinking to me is that Play is paramount to learning, not that learning should feel like play.

 

It matters which comes first. I feel that "play" is still seen as a word that does not equate to learning in many peoples eyes.

 

Maybe I'm just playing with words. I just still feel disallusioned about the whole early years agenda, focusing on results rather than the process.

I still feel government thinking is not progressing, just going round in circles, changing the "language" used in documents but saying the same thing.

 

When my cold is better, my mood will change and I will be more optomistic and positive, going off now for another lemsip and a kip. Thanks for listening.

 

Peggy

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Aw mate. Hope you feel better soon. Colds are pants.

 

FWIW I hate the whole ELG thing too. We are still doing exactly what we always did but now have to justify the whys wherefores and results and it gets right up my nose! If we spent less time filling in charts nad more time with the children they'd get far more out of us!

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I hope you feel better soon. I understand how you feel about the Early years education. In fact I feel like that every day!!!

I bought this point up with my EYAT the other day. I have had some children in my setting that have easily reached the E.L.G's before they left us.They should be following the N.C. I have had no proper training on this I am just guessing what their next step is. Is it really necessary to "hothouse" children in this way.

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I think that Lola's worries are not that the childs next steps are not met, but the methods used becoming too formal. I agree with her worries. Even as an adult tutor, I have used "active" methods of teaching because they are more successful. I am pleased to read in the media that Teachers at NC1 and above are being encouraged to follow learn through play methods, but pressures from above requiring " assessed outcomes" makes this very difficult for them.

Also, Lola quite rightly states that the childs development should not just focus on what I call the "academic" ( 3 R's) but on the whole child. Therefore I like Susies comments on "sideways" development. Revisiting known concepts in a wide variety of contexts should hopefully maintain interest, consolidate learning and give different avenues in which the learning can move forward.

Let us know what ideas work lola, I'd be really interested to hear whether her whole needs are met and she continues to enjoy learning.

 

Peggy

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We are having a meeting with the head and the Year 1 teacher in the morning to work out transition and to develop a timetable for her to come and see how we work. The new head is keen for KS1 to work in a similar way to the Foundation Stage. We know this isnt going to be well received as in the past she has said 'well you just mess about down there :o ' Thankfully the new head sees theimportance of children being children and wants a bottom up model for the school :)

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We are having a meeting with the head and the Year 1 teacher in the morning to work out transition and to develop a timetable for her to come and see how we work. The new head is keen for KS1 to work in a similar way to the Foundation Stage. We know this isnt going to be well received as in the past she has said 'well you just mess about down there :o ' Thankfully the new head sees theimportance of children being children and wants a bottom up model for the school :)

47758[/snapback]

 

 

Good luck with your meeting tomorrow Marion, I hope the bottom up approach is agreed. :D

 

Peggy

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  • 4 weeks later...
I have a girl in my reception class who is very able. She is a fluent reader and writes sentences and stories independently using reception and yr 1 and 2 high frequency words. She has been identifed as gifted. Our gifted and talented co-ordinator is obvoiously keen for her to be pushed to reach her potential. However the activites being suggested - in my opinion- are too formal and are her pushing her into a yr1/2 situation rather than being allowed to learn through play. Any ideas on how she can be stretched without her being sat at a desk filling in the endless worksheets which our co-ordinator is providing her with at the moment? (co-ordinator is a key stage 2 teacher) I'm very worried that she is becoming bored and not enjoying school as she is being made to sit and do.

 

Lola

47599[/snapback]

:):) Well I wonder if there is also a more able child in Mathematics lurking inside her if so then have a look at Key Stage 1 material in

www.nrich.maths.org.uk - no of your work sheets here and plenty to choose from.

 

BB

:o

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