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Not fighting but learning

the six-year-olds clambering over each other on a bench at Bedgrove infants school in Aylesbury are not fighting but learning to work as a team. Their task is to get themselves into alphabetical order without touching the ground, writes Helen Ward.

"The task involves having to negotiate and manoeuvre by helping each other," said Caroline Wreglesworth, Bedgrove's gifted and talented co-ordinator. It is one of the 45-minute team-building lessons that all Year 2 children have on alternate weeks.

"We had some children on the gifted and talented register who are good at leadership, but we didn't do much for them," said Mrs Wreglesworth. "Then a father who worked at a management college suggested team-building activities. Now it's taught to all children.

"What started as something for a few gifted children now benefits everyone."

Other initiatives for gifted children at the 440-pupil school include setting children for literacy and numeracy, dividing pupils into class one (the most able), class two, and two mixed-ability classes with different tasks and targeted support.

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