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Find A New School.....

Last year I entered this forum and posted a message describing my then 9 year old daughter in her classroom. The article was titled "Teachers Take Note". This is a follow up message to update you on the action that we took as a result of being supressed by the school executive. I have noticed that there are quite a few of us in the same situation and I want to share my experiences with you.
My daughter has always been bright, and has shown that in many areas of her life, inparticular her maths and english abilities. She has been bored in the classroom since the 3rd week of kindergarten where she was forced to read at a basic level when she was capable of reading several years ahead of her peers. I didn't really worry about it then, as it was just the beginning of her education and I figured that by year one they would realise that she needed extending within the classroom. However, year one came around and she was forced to endure a composite class where she watched the year 2 kids doing work that she was more than capable of doing but that she was not allowed to do. She was in grade one therefore she had to do grade one work. She was mortified and would come home crying with frustration. I approached the teacher who called me a pushy parent and told me that children need play not pressure. I was horrified and left with my tail between my legs...they scared me away. Anyway, I was embarassed beyond belief and I guess the next few years I sat idly by watching the decline of my beautiful girl. She became untidy with her work, demoralised, uninterested in the classroom and angry with her school life. She was BORED. The following year (year 4) she started to exhibit behavioral problems, like disruptive calling out in group time and general mucking up. When confronted with it she told me that whenever she put her hand up she was ignored so she called out anyway. She was messy in her books because she always finished the tasks quickly and was then given gap filler repetition instead of stimulating extension work. Suffice to say that by the end of year 4 her grades had dropped from an A student to an average student with poor manners who would not take on responsibility. We decided that enough was enough & approached the school executive, whose immediate response to me was "all children are gifted" . I am not disputing that I said, I just feel that my daughter is not being allowed to reach her academic potential. I was answered patronisingly with "and what would you like her extending in?" I finally got some agreement that she would be extended in maths but that never happened. Incidentally, my daughter had achieved 99% in the basic skills test the previous year and several distinctions in the NSW universities tests without any extra coaching.
I was still being put down. My son meanwhile had just started kindergarten & they agreed to test his IQ. The tests came back and confirmed that he was highly intelligent at 5 years old with a reading age of 9 and a comprehension age of 8. The school still maintained that gifted children didn't necessarily need harder work, just more activities at home. That was it, I wanted out. The school down the road was advertising a gifted and talented program so I went in to see the principal. He was wonderful and welcomed me with open arms, it seemed that his school could cater for my children, thank goodness. I made the decision last December to transfer them over despite the worry of upsetting them and taking them away from their friends.
Well, good news......it has changed their lives, especially my 10 year old who is now in grade 5. She was identified as gifted within the first week and put into three gifted programs and given as much extension work as was necessary. She is a different kid who comes home from school exhuberent for the first time in her school life. Her self esteem is very high and the fact is that she is being able for the first time to realise her potential and she is being recognised for it. Gifted kids often need adult recognition of their abilites to feel normal, and thank goodness this is happening. She is happier than she has ever been in her school life and now looks forward to each day. She has not looked back & her school work is neat and presentable which is also a first.
My advice is DON'T WAIT...find a new environment, one which will cater to your children's needs. Incidentally their new school is a public school, it is just being run by a fantastic man who really does GET IT!!!
Hope this helps because I procrastinated for years. I made the right decision and you can too...don't let the executive belittle you, you know your child, so follow your instincts and make a change...what have you got to lose? Your child will adapt to the change, more than likely in a very possitive way which will give you amazing relief from the burdon that you have been carrying.
Gifted kids often need advocates as they cannot speak with authority on the issues that they experience. The needs of the gifted are important and the school life of your gifted child will make or break them.
Thanks !!


Date: 8-March-2007 @ 11:21 pm
Rating: 4
Views: 10628
Status: Approved
Author: JaneS

Re: Find A New School.....


Could you spare a minute to tell us which school your child is in now? we are moving to Melbourne and my child is also quite advanced in accademic areas. we'd appreciate if you show some light on our school searching. thanks.
Date: 18-June-2007 @ 8:45 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4741
Status: Approved
Author: hellenayi

Re: Find A New School.....


My son is in the moderately gifted range with an of IQ 145 I don't think his school is really maximizing his potential. What school were you refering to, is it in Melbourne?
Date: 11-July-2007 @ 7:41 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4781
Status: Approved
Author: osmasz

Re: Find A New School.....


I have a gifted son of 8 who is bored and frustrated and trying to refuse school. We live in north west of melbourne; the school is perfectly pleasant state school with many good features but just not right for him. We would be prepared to move to just about anywhere to get the right school; does anyone have any recommendations or is it protocol not to mention schools by name on this site?
I have been looking at camelot rise and can't believe it is the only primary state school which meets this need.
Any comments or suggestions welcomed. Thanks
Date: 8-September-2007 @ 9:45 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4807
Status: Approved
Author: saffronjane

Re: Find A New School.....

Not sure what the convention is on naming schools, but if you've no ideological objections to a Catholic school, my daughter's school in Thorbury has a headmaster with an active interest in gifted issues, and a history of facilitating acceleration. They've a part-time gifted services coordinator, and the school is actively trying to educate staff in the area. It's not perfect, but it's pretty good, and the best to be had northside, as far as I could find out.
Date: 12-November-2007 @ 2:09 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4809
Status: Approved
Author: Kathleen

Re: Find A New School.....

RE: FIND A NEW SCHOOL
My son is gifted and we have had three years of frustration with the school and this is Haileybury one of the biggest schools in Australia which did not cater for my sons needs nor did it recognize him as a gifted child. The teacher in year one told me that “there is no such child as a gifted child” and she lied to me and also tried to bribe me so that I will not speak about gifted children. He was bullied and the school did nothing about this. Having no other options I have started homeschooling him until I find a school that will cater for him. If anyone has any suggestions could you please let me know? I am at a breaking point. Your help will be appreciated. Thanks
Date: 7-February-2008 @ 4:31 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4709
Status: Approved
Author: Edna27

Re: Find A New School.....

It seems that most school around Australia have the same attitude towards Gifted children and I think it is pretty disgusting, especially since they will bend over backwards to help children with learning difficulties.I know this as I have had one child in this area. It is very frustrating and I know exactly how you mist be feeling.It was wrong of your teacher to tell you that there are no gifted children.... this site is full of them!!! I am sorry to hear that your son was bullied, but you did the right thing to remove your son from the situation.
I can't give you any advice about good schools as my daughter has been schooled through distance education all her school life (4 years). I am sure there are some people on this site who will be able to recommend some good schools.
I also have had a hard time trying to convince the school that my daughter needed more challenging work. I finally had a breakthrough when the guidance officer assessed her last year. She told me she was gifted range and accelerated her.She is currently in yr 6 and has just turned 9. She was an early entry student.
Hope you can find a good school for your son so he can get the education he deserves.
Cheers
Angela


Date: 7-February-2008 @ 9:59 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4683
Status: Approved
Author: Angela_07

Re: Find A New School.....

Hi Angela

Thanks for your reply. I will keep looking for a school even if it means that we have to move. We have to do whats best for our son. Three years of stress is enough. the problem with finding a school is that most of the good schools are closer to the city which means all we can afford is a unit. Everyone keeps talking about how the gifted children are not being catered for but no one seems to be doing anything about this. Thanks again for your reply. I appreciate the fact that you took time to reply. This website has been helpful in relieving my stress. Regards Edna

Date: 16-February-2008 @ 7:12 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4670
Status: Approved
Author: Edna27

Re: Find A New School.....

Hi Edna,

I live in Western Sydney (Guildford) and travel to Strathfield and back every day to take my son to McDonald College. It takes me approximately 30-40 min one way depending on the traffic. However, this way we are able to afford a villa. I hope it works out for you...it's a constant balancing act, eh?
Jasmina

Date: 18-February-2008 @ 10:57 am
Rating: 0
Views: 4774
Status: Approved
Author: Jasmina

Re: Find A New School.....


They did it to me as well. At the end of prep my child was no longer on reading levels but the school insisted on dropping him down levels to keep him with his class.

He was in a composite 1/2 grade and like your daughter could easily have done the grade 2 work.
All children were grouped. He was the only grade 1 in the top group.

As they did nothing about his reading he took greater interest in maths and began reading and writing numbers up to quadtrillion. (I didn't know it could go that far).

He is now in grade 2 in a composite grade 1/2 and is still in the top group. He is becoming smart and obnoxious in class. I no longer let him read what they offer in the class for reading as he is so far above what they offer.

He is a perfectionist that lives in a fantasy world.

He no longer has any friends in grade 2 as he has nothing in common with them.

I am in the process of changing schools to Overnewton College as they have an accelerated program. They however, want him to go into grade 3 as he can already do the work.

I understand you frustrations with the primary school; I have argued with them since my son was in prep. I even suggested for the literacy block he do the work of the next year level but they would not allow it.

They are very quick to drop reading levels to keep him with the rest of the class. My son just refused to read the books siting they books were boring.
He also refused to do the spelling they sent home as it contained words he could already spell.


Date: 17-April-2008 @ 3:23 pm
Rating: 2
Views: 5844
Status: Approved
Author: mummydianne

Re: Find A New School.....

I am so glad I found this site. My son always have alot to say n is an enthusiatic participant however the teachers often don't ask him n he comes home upset. He also plays cello well but is lumped with the rest of the junior school band who is still learning to pluck. He has a few good friends but the rest of the children don't know what to make of him. He tries so hard to fit in that I think he is actually starting to dumb down his abilities. Not sure what to do-looking for a school that caters more to gifted children but not sure how this will affect him socially.
Date: 21-March-2012 @ 12:10 am
Rating: 2
Views: 6026
Status: Approved
Author: Happy

Re: Find A New School.....

I feel i'm at the very beginning of your struggle. I'm worried to move her. Hoping that next year will be better. My youngest is also showing signs of being very similar to her sister so I feel I need to sort this out now.
Date: 7-May-2013 @ 8:44 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4568
Status: Approved
Author: Twolittleloves

Re: Find A New School.....

Parents know their children best! Go with your instincts.
Date: 12-May-2013 @ 12:23 am
Rating: 0
Views: 5204
Status: Approved
Author: little_one_1971

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