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How much does primary school choice matter?

Hi folks! So glad to have found this site, I'm feeling rather out of my depth. So, second born (almost 4 y.o.) was assessed as gifted 2 weeks ago, scoring in the top 0.2% of a test designed for 4-6 year olds. Yay! Right? Well, psych highly recommends that we send her to a school which caters specifically for gifted children. We live in Sydney's Inner West. The nearest I can find is Strathfield. Unless I stop working, I really can't imagine how this is possible. So, our local school is an infant's school, grades K-2. Total of 80 students, very much catered to individual capacities, willing to skip a grade if indicated by a child's performance (I checked). I said all this to psych, who listened, nodded, and then said "I highly recommend against that course of action." She says the kid will form more meaningful and longer lasting social relationships if she's able to associate with her "intellectual peers" than if she's at a mainstream school. So, for those who are further along this path, how much does it really matter? Will she really benefit from being sequestered away among other gifted children, or is it better for her to learn to get along with the rest of us mere humans? Or will that make her feel her different-ness? Will she try to dumb herself down in order to fit in? Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

Date: 28-March-2012 @ 6:27 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 6137
Status: Approved
Author: ruth.et.al

Re: How much does primary school choice matter?

Hi,
My son is 7 and in grade 2. I found out he was "smarter than the average" when he was 3. He attends our local school, however it has been a challenge, my son would often get bored and actually began to underacheive to try and fit in. He is in a 2/3 class, yet the intellectual stimulation he needs is different. He's with older kids and that is ok, yet they still don't quite get him. I agree with your psych. I am looking now for Public schools that can cater for my son and his needs and have other like minded children. The school I spoke to recently has a range of students, with teachers that can cater for the "gifted" . If I'd known then what I know now, I would have enrolled my son in a school that would cater for his needs. Your daughter would more than likely benefit from a school with like minded children. To fit in, be understood, accepted and to be free to be yourself is half the battle won while on the "school days" journey. Good Luck.
Date: 9-April-2012 @ 11:01 am
Rating: 0
Views: 3893
Status: Approved
Author: MichelleUW

Re: How much does primary school choice matter?

Hi i have no idea how much i am alowed to say on her but if your close to wattle grove or st ives north, have a look at these on the net.... Might give some help.... I have a friend with a gifted child who goes to the first one and would highly recomend, and myself personally would go the other, if i lived in NSW.... But i dont. Im feeling ou of my depth also, i have only just found this aswell. Look foward to hearing how your journey goes. :)
Date: 18-April-2012 @ 1:12 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4008
Status: Approved
Author: nikkim

Re: How much does primary school choice matter?

It does matter. I am 2 years in since our discovery in grade prep. our primary school selection process was to go to the one around the corner. Prep was a disaster as she had no peers in her class and she was bored - so disappointing for a child who wanted to go to school at 2 and even devised a strategy of having 2 birthdays in a year so she could go early.... grade 1 was better as they put 3 smart kids together, & so far this year has been ok. I would not say she is anywhere near reaching her potential or learning capability, but she is at least relatively happy. I struggle with whether that's acceptable or I should be doing something different.

The assessment was a turning point for my interaction with the school. Be prepared to invest yourself as advocate, moreso if the school doesn't have a program. If you work this will be hard.

Date: 31-May-2012 @ 12:57 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4069
Status: Approved
Author: ibea

Re: How much does primary school choice matter?

I'm in Adelaide. Nice relaxed pace of life in this small population, but as far as gifted provisions go - downright depressing. Only a couple of the elite über expensive schools seem to have genuine policies / or real awareness. Too bad for us.
My daughter (in 99.7%ile) - kindly tolerating her first year of school is showing signs of 'trouble ahead' - becoming the class clown, giving cheek to teachers (at 5) ... It's scarey cause I know she's capable of some unbelievably bad behavior - if she gets truly fed up. It's got to the point now where if the phone rings during the day, I automatically think "oh god, what's she done now?". AND IT'S ONLY RECEPTION?!
Writing this has actually made me realize that if we were at even close to the right school, I wouldn't be feeling this way.
We have 12 more years. I have to figure something out.
If you have options for better schooling - take it! Your child, most likely like ours, will not only 'play up' at school, but be more difficult at home if frustrated or confused about who they are, and can be.

Date: 15-June-2012 @ 9:11 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 3828
Status: Approved
Author: Celeste

Re: How much does primary school choice matter?

Ah Celeste, you're in Adelaide! Me too!

I second that re schools here. We are sending our children to the local school, it's what we can afford. If the local private schools had more to offer maybe we'd look at a return to work for me to finance it. Fact of the matter though is that I haven't found much better on offer. We seem doomed no matter where we go.

I feel for you re your daughter's first year at school. Until recently I was looking forward to my children starting school as it meant the load would be off me at last (whoops, did I say that out loud?!). I'm realising though that like you, it's not going to be an easy journey.

It's our turn next year. My 4 1/2 year old enjoys parts of kindy life but often has tanties on kindy days as would rather stay home. She complains that she's done all of the activities before and doesn't want to do the same thing again and again. It's a great kindy, she's just past that stage of her development. She likes the other children but doesn't play with them. Spends much of her time alone or talking to staff. I've just noticed that she's started to mispronounce words (dropping the D off the end of all words i.e. walkIN instead of walking). I presume this is to fit in and be more like the other children? She will be one to hide her true self (already does around some of our family friends) in order to be 'normal'. My son on the other hand who starts the year after that will be a handful behaviourally like your daughter. The hard part like you said is that frustration and anger at home when their needs aren't met at kindy/school/child care. We as parents seem to be the ones to wear the consequences of an education mismatch.

My daughter seems to think that she'll be so happy once she starts school and has real work to do. If only I shared her confidence...
Date: 24-June-2012 @ 8:52 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 3888
Status: Approved
Author: threebee

Re: How much does primary school choice matter?

Hi there,

A thought for those in Adelaide. Have you looked at the schools that have an IB or a SHIP program there are a number in the metro area. There tends to be a degree of extension at those schools. I know Flinders Park,Clapham, Eden Hills as well as many more do have these programs.
http://www.resaust.com.au/index.php?p=5_6
What about scholarships?
Date: 13-July-2012 @ 3:07 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 3693
Status: Approved
Author: Astronaut

Re: How much does primary school choice matter?

Also kindy is the ideal environment to discover and 'play' whilst guided by educators. No kindy should or would be doing the same activities again and again. Have you tried talking to the director about extension for her and her interests. 'Sounds like there maybe emotional and social areas to develop.
Date: 13-July-2012 @ 6:35 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 3710
Status: Approved
Author: Astronaut

Re: How much does primary school choice matter?

Here's the thing; it's finally dawned on me... There's no point taking this issue all that seriously. There really isn't! :)
Lets face it - the ONLY educational setting that REALLY WILL inspire, engage and allow my daughter to surge ahead with passion and utilize her abilities without inhibition is...

To be crew member on a research vessel somewhere out in the pacific, assisting with identifying, photographing and describing the ecological context of deep sea marine invertebrates. Right? Right.
At this point anyone who has not in fact LIVED WITH a gifted 5 year old will assume I am joking - that's fine)... Now, how far are we in fact from that possibility?? Yeah.
So, given our interstellar scaled distance from the 'ideal' educational setting, aaahh - why worry about it. I'll just get another ocean book and take her to the beach on Saturday.
Date: 13-July-2012 @ 11:44 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4081
Status: Approved
Author: Celeste

Re: How much does primary school choice matter?

Okay, just for the record, it wasn't that simple.
School was a humiliating mess that just got messier the more we tried to tidy it up.
We are now 'Open Source' learning. The term homeschooling comes loaded with so much negative baggage that I've come up with my own, more accurate term. You may use it if you wish, no charge.
AND IT'S GREAT. My brain is in overdrive, not least because I'm juggling her needs with my own study, but I haven't been this happy in years - it must be the challenge I needed. Oh yeah, and the kid who rocked the boat - er, more like put an axe through the hull... She is ignited and taking off, in so many ways. Now that she's not exhausted every day from the emotional drain and frustration of school, she's getting passionately into everything, from devouring Enid Blyton to pouring endlessly over a microscope to playing backyard cricket with dad and getting to know other gifted kids and homeschoolers of all walks of life.
I'm also getting to know who our true friends are, by their responses to our radical change. Most are positive and pulling together to help make it work. Those who want to criticise from the sidelines, who don't have faith in us, can go their merry way - AWAY.
Date: 9-December-2012 @ 11:10 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4099
Status: Approved
Author: Celeste

Re: How much does primary school choice matter?

Out of interest, did you find a school in Adelaide? My son is 8 and has the added problem of Adhd. Although I am not sure that diagnose is correct. It would seem some teachers are too quick to label and suggest medication as a solution as we found out whilst living in the Blue Mountains. A friend of a gifted child suggested getting him tested. Although not up in the high % he is in the 96%. My issue is once you tell a teacher he has been tested they look at you like you have gone mad. You are made to feel you are a pushy parent and who tested them, were they qualified, they have seen no evidence of him being particularly bright? What qualifies a teacher as an expert in the testing process and to challenge a highly qualified professional and make you feel like you got it wrong. Back to my point, we are now in Adelaide and struggling with his new school Mawson Lakes and looking for other schools, yes there are 3 schools delivering the SHIP progamme but they are all in the beach areas, I wonder if anyone has had success with the IB programme?
Date: 5-April-2013 @ 1:29 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4443
Status: Approved
Author: ingy

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