In any class there is a range of abilities that requires differentiation in various different ways. Most often, during my experience anyway, during the majority of independent learning activities the more able children are left to get on, which they usually do admirably, while the teacher and teaching assistant (where one is available) support the children that can’t work independently, either due to learning needs or behaviour needs. Special educational needs (at the one end) has a lot of focus and therefore there are lots of intervention groups aimed at supporting these children: wave 3 maths, literacy support, phonics and spellings, memory skills, handwriting support.
However, a part of special educational needs (the other end) is the gifted and talented children, and I wish I had more time to dedicate to moving these children on too and making sure they are pushed to their limit more often rather than just being able to ace everything all of the time.
So, what ideas do I have to do this? Well, we are setting up a G&T maths groups where once a week they work with the TA to do some problem solving challenges. I also make sure that I have independent extension challenges available and easily accessible if children finish their work early. I am also toying with the idea of how to get the children to push themselves further by asking them to teach certain parts of the lesson. I may try this out on Tuesday during our topic lesson (and will feed back how it goes). As a school we are also looking at setting up some workshops with other schools but this is not yet fully in progress.
But with one child I am at a loss. She completes everything to a brilliant standard, perfectly presented and 99.9% accurate 99.9% of the time. You name it, she seems to be able to do it. And I just don’t know how to push her out of her comfort zone. I want to be able to do this more often, at least once a day, as I really worry that one day there will come a time when it isn’t so easy any more and her world will fall to pieces because she’s never experienced failure. So how do I push her to the limit?