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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:19 pm 
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DD is due to take the grammar exam next year, so early days. He is end of August born, so not even 9 yet.

Our problem is that although he is really bright (top 10% according to his teacher), he is very immature, has zero common sense, cannot concentrate to save his life and if he's bored he fiddles and messes around. Feedback we get with everyone who comes into contact with him is that you can't fail to like him and that he's charming, happy, great sense of humour, smart, and when he is on form he is fab but of course, none of this matters diddly unless he can apply it in the classroom/exams and ultimately in the real world. That said, he has asked for me to set him work every day of the holidays (maths papers, comprehension, grammar work - weird, I know!) We have considered getting him assessed as I think he shows some ADD signs, but don't want to label him. I'm conscious that if he were assessed, this would go on school records - I would be happier if it could be done in confidence, but hey ho.

DH isn't sure he would thrive in the academic environment of a grammar school and it would be kinder all around if he went to the local comp, which would save us the grief of a grammar school contacting us frequently saying that he is messing around. DD is at Ribston and up to her friends at the local comp gets heaps more homework and there seem to be much higher expectations of her and I assume all grammars are the same.

In view of the above, does anyone have any experience with this? Perhaps being in a more academic environment where high standards are expected is what he needs, or would he just spiral downwards? All thoughts welcome. I'm posting this elsewhere to get as wide a response as possible. Cheers.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:24 am 
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Dear StressedMoi,

I don't have much experience, hopefully others will give you better advice, if you DS is getting bored maybe the high academic standard of the grammar school will be good for him to keep him stimulated. Have you spoken to him? Where would he like to go?

Re the ADD, my sister suspected her 4 yr old had autism as he wasn't speaking at all, and she didnt want him to be labelled either. We pulled a few strings and a friend of a friend knew a consultant paeditrician who assessed him and diagnosed him with a speech delay not autism. If you have a friend or family member who is a GP they can give you some idea if he had ADD or not.

Hope this helps and good luck on your 11 plus journey


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:24 am 
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Last edited by platypus on Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:26 am 
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He sounds a lot like my DS (now 13) although mine is definitely more lazy and didn't ask for work.

I think that a lot of boys are like this and it is basically immaturity. We have occasionally had suggestions that he is ADD, but generally it has been accepted that he is extremely bright but rather silly. He has no problems with teachers who engage him, but some teachers will complain endlessly about him (but these are often the lessons in which he is bored). I have been up there far more than I would like, but it is slowly getting a bit better. And the fact that he is so bright means that even when being silly and not working hard, he is still keeping up. And hopefully the common sense will kick in before he has to take exams.

So I would go for it - in the comprehensive it might well be worse as he will be less academically challenged, and there may be worse behaviour/role models for him to emulate.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:52 am 
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MamaBear wrote:
Dear StressedMoi,

I don't have much experience, hopefully others will give you better advice, if you DS is getting bored maybe the high academic standard of the grammar school will be good for him to keep him stimulated. Have you spoken to him? Where would he like to go?

Re the ADD, my sister suspected her 4 yr old had autism as he wasn't speaking at all, and she didnt want him to be labelled either. We pulled a few strings and a friend of a friend knew a consultant paeditrician who assessed him and diagnosed him with a speech delay not autism. If you have a friend or family member who is a GP they can give you some idea if he had ADD or not.

Hope this helps and good luck on your 11 plus journey


Thanks for your replies. I'm tending to think that a more stimulating environment would suit him as when I asked him, he said that lessons were quite boring. We spoke to our GP who joked that most men when assessed would appear to be on the autistic spectrum somewhere, but did say that for our peace of mind, an assessment wouldn't hurt. I think we could pay for a private assessment, but a) not sure we could afford it and b) not sure whether it would be our choice on whether the result remains confidential or not. If not, we may as well go down the more usual route. Glad you nephew wasn't autistic in the end - must have been a huge relief.

Thanks too Platypus. There is no doubt in my mind that him being so young has hindered him very much - not least of which being that he has gotten away with things in class and babied a bit which I don't think has helped. After all, had he waited another 3 days to be born, he would now just be going into year 4, although I think academically it would have been a disaster. He has become lazy and allowed to get away with not doing work when he doesn't want to do it. It's something we are really clamping down on here, but he's a pain in the neck if he doesn't want to do things and no amount of priviledge removal or similar has any effect. Which is what has led us to wondering if in fact he has a slight special need. He definately needs to be in an environment where he is not allowed to just "get away with it" and this is where grammar school would I think benefit him, especially as you say, it has given your DS more confidence which I think he needs because he is currently just being told off for messing around. At the end of it we all just want our kids to be happy and this is the most important thing and my worry has been that if grammar school just stresses him and he becomes unhappy, perhaps a "regular" school would be better. Like yourself, we aren't natural pushers either; probably be easier if we were!

Cheers


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:28 am 
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Sounds like the silly behaviour stems from being bored senseless at school. Would they be prepared to offer him more challenging work ?

DS1 was in this situation in year 3. We moved him to an 'academic' independent and he flew. He's now very happy at Pate's.

If lessons are easy and dull (and sorry, but this happens a lot in small village schools where three year groups are being taught in the same room), bright kids' minds wander. What size is your school ?

You're definitely doing the right thing supplying extra work, but rather than going down the Attention Deficit Disorder route, had you thought about privately consulting a specialist in educational psychology or a child psychiatrist ?

Reassure your husband he won't be allowed to 'mess around' – the chances of this happening are greater if he goes to a Comp with low expectations. Perhaps you could gently explain the difference between the schools to your DS in order to get him to focus/aspire. And, while I think that starting early is very counterproductive, maybe just doing one VR test to get him interested.

From what you say I think he'll be fine once he begins to focus on the 11+, and will be perfect GS material.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Thanks Pater for your helpful comments.

He is now in an indie school and there are 14 others in his class. I'm not sure how much he has been stretched, but his new teacher in September is pretty strict (although he likes her) which we know because she taught dd. I'm hoping she can make good headway with him and I can't see her taking any nonsense, which is what I think he needs. She tends towards maths and science, which are his favourite subjects, so she may make some real progress with him.

I'm also hoping that he is just very immature and that he will soon start growing up (mind you, we've hoped that for all of his life!). Really good idea ref a psychiatrist or educational psychologist; I hadn't though of that. I'll chat it over with dh.

Bless him, he asked to do one of his sister's papers and got 78% which really boosted his confidence. He does enjoy exams and a bit of pressure which is pretty good.

It's always good to see peoples' thoughts "written down" as it helps galvanise things in my mind. I am determined now that he will try for grammar if he chooses to so thanks again.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:37 pm 
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He has become lazy and allowed to get away with not doing work when he doesn't want to do it. It's something we are really clamping down on here, but he's a pain in the neck if he doesn't want to do things and no amount of priviledge removal or similar has any effect. Which is what has led us to wondering if in fact he has a slight special need. He definately needs to be in an environment where he is not allowed to just "get away with it" and this is where grammar school would I think benefit him, especially as you say, it has given your DS more confidence which I think he needs because he is currently just being told off for messing around. At the end of it we all just want our kids to be happy and this is the most important thing and my worry has been that if grammar school just stresses him and he becomes unhappy, perhaps a "regular" school would be better. Like yourself, we aren't natural pushers either; probably be easier if we were!

Cheers[/quote]

The bits in blue could easily be my DS at home especially when younger - but somehow he has got on with it at school - hope he settles into Yr7 OK. I am not one for pushing/ nagging my 2 at home though I will aways help if they ask for help- I guess because I did not get it or need it but had a degree of motivation for myself. DS says he wants do do well and is going to work hard at all his subjects - will just have to see if it works out.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:17 pm 
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Thinking about my DS2 (who's not as 'academic' as DS1, and whose attention used to wander) he became much more focussed when he saw DS1 go through the 11+ process (as I assume your son will have done with his sister). I think that in Year 5 they start to become become aware of the importance of the 11+ and that can act as a real boost to their concentration. In DS2's case sport helped quite a bit (if he applied as much effort to academic work as he does to the playing of football and the memorising of soccer facts he'd be Master of Balliol by now).

Have you discussed your concerns with the head teacher ? At our school the head was (and remains) quite brilliant, and as soon as we flagged our concerns he had a chat with DS2 that had a remarkable effect. Because the head is so respected by the kids (deservedly so) a few words from him carried more weight than we could convey in weeks of nagging. He seriously upped his game after that and surpassed our expectations at exam time.

Just a thought...


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:27 pm 
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Sure your ds will do fine at senior school DC. Being pushy is definitely not the way forward with my ds either. We've explained in the past that if he wants things badly enough he will have to make them happen. Sorry I meant to say, we explained to "ourselves" that if he wants ..........!!! Motivation is certainly something that my dd has to "work towards".

Thanks too Pater. I had been wondering about speaking to the head. I'm sure she will be easy to get on side as she is probably sick of seeing him in her office (pinching a girl's bottom, sticking up for a girl and getting caught calling the "offender" names, messing about in lines, messing about in class, messing about in the playground, messing about in swimming, hockey, netball ........ you get the idea!!). The Head is very approachable so this approach may well be effective.

So funny what you say about your ds memorising facts; this is so like my son. Glad your ds has been able to sort things out for himself. Given that ds is competitive, I think that when the time comes, there is no way he won't give it his darndest to get into GS because his sister has. What he would be like if he gets there is another matter of course. I've been encouraged on here though to think he may be fine were he to get a GS place.

Thanks again.


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