Many children go off the boil during ages 11 – 14 year old. Their progression from early years learning through primary school teaching resources may have been encouraging but the move up creates some concerning issues. Some struggle with the enlarged environment of the secondary school, others are ill prepared for the transition in maths and English during primary school. Surprisingly many gifted and talented children can also suffer.
All three categories have remedial opportunities but many children still slip by the wayside as we attempt to adopt a panacea. The main difficulty for our teacher resources is how to isolate the various classifications such that they each gain the ideal support they need in the busy classroom – when targets are at stake. This may seem incongruous with gifted and talented children; after all they are bright and can surely almost learn on their own. But not so. They equally need a challenging and stimulating environment to excel. Take this away and like most children they quickly go off the boil. This waste of talent is a huge frustration to the child, teacher and parents. More especially it squanders a talent that in later years could become involved in an area of excellence that benefits the UK or even the world.
Whereas gifted children in Far Eastern countries are nurtured, we are not alone in this problem in the West. Schools in the USA are having equal angst wrestling with a fit that works in the classroom. All is not well as Steve Chapman reports in his article “American Education, Curbing Excellence.”