by Hanna Vock
Advising parents of gifted or possibly gifted children as to which primary school is most suitable is a meaningful and important task for kindergartens.
Because whether a primary school is really good for their own possibly gifted child, parents can only really judge a few weeks or months after enrolment.
If several primary schools come into question, the parents would of course like to assess it before registering.
Therefore, it can be very helpful for parents if the kindergarten staff can give advice – after all, they have contact with the primary school(s) for many years. They also receive feedback from parents on a regular basis.
In the following I have listed the criteria that seem important to me.
The number of asterisks indicates the weighting that I personally consider to be useful:
* means: I don’t think it’s a priority **** means: appears to me to be particularly important.
Way to school
** Can the child also meet its school friends independently outside school hours?
* Can he or she soon make the way to school on his or her own?
* Is the way to school beautiful (in the child’s eyes)?
School building, schoolyard, OGS rooms (afternoon care)
** Are they appealing, inspiring?
*** Does the OGS have enough space inside and outside, are the OGS rooms appealing?
School management, teachers, OGS personnel
**** Are they pedagogically / communicatively competent?
**** Do they appear friendly, energetic, humorous?
**** Are they interested in the topic, flexible and creative?
*** Are there additional (integration) staff or additional assistants?
*** Is the atmosphere predominantly cheerful and friendly towards each other, at least respectful?
** Is the language of instruction well mastered by most children?
*** How big are the classes?
*** How many pupils receive a recommendation for grammar school?
Concept of the school / the OGS
** Is the concept clearly recognizable? Can the parents agree?
*** Are there any ideas and experiences to promote particularly well-developed children individually and appropriately? What do they look like?
*** Does the OGS have its own concept, is it convincing?
*** Are there interesting working groups?
** Is there enough information in advance?
*** What is the quality?
With all these points the question arises, which possibilities the parents have, in order to collect the necessary information for it in advance.
Possible sources of information are:
– Your own observation / your own atmospheric impression. Staying in the schoolyard several times for 10 minutes during breaks can be meaningful.
– Conversations with the school management and with teachers. If the child is gifted or probably gifted, parents should contact the school management before registering. Good questions can be whether there have been experiences at school with gifted pupils, with early enrolment, with skipping classes.
– Information and meaning of other parents and children, whereby it should be considered that there perhaps other criteria than the own criteria are the basis. Parents of weaker pupils, for example, may value the patience of the school, the willingness to repeat many times – qualities that may be counterproductive for gifted children.
– The school’s website. Does it contain concrete, verifiable data?
Date of publication in German: February 2019
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint.