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 Post subject: English
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:58 pm
Posts: 208
Our son has been assessed using the GL cognitive ability tests, but nothing for English essay writing/comprehension, which he has a specific weakness in due to ASD.

Are there any good tools that would help us to assess his level of ability with a view to applying to the right level of independent school, from most-selective downwards?

His mean CAT score is 130, which predicts A's and A*'s at GCSE as the most likely outcome, but the verbal reasoning was only 115, which predicts either B or A for English.

I however believe his specific English difficulties are more serious than these scores would suggest.


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 Post subject: Re: English
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:56 am 
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Location: United Kingdom
Maybe the best thing you should do is provide him an English Tutor. It's a either by home or it may be through online . There are many online sites today offering this kind of tutorials.

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 Post subject: Re: English
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:13 pm
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The verbal reasoning score is usually a good indicator for English and most independent schools use verbal reasoning as an alternative to assess English levels. Have you tried getting him some english books to practice with? The bond books? CGP books? Does he like doing comprehension exercises or does he rush through? This is quite common with boys. Lack of patience as opposed to lack of ability.


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 Post subject: Re: English
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:40 pm
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lefol wrote:
The verbal reasoning score is usually a good indicator for English and most independent schools use verbal reasoning as an alternative to assess English levels.


My daughter scored almost 100% for her verbal reasoning papers at 11+ but found writing essays/stories very hard as she is very concise and logical. In her mock GCSE English exam earlier this year she thought she had written a long and waffling answer, but was praised for being concise and to the point and order an A*! It's taken her five years to get to that 'length' of writing!


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 Post subject: Re: English
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:07 am
Posts: 100
Location: London
I would be tempted to speak/write to schools explaining potential strengths and weaknesses and see how they react. The most selective schools will want kids firing on all cylinders and so wont be interested in a child with quite polarised skills unless they are absolutely brilliant in maths or English and potential superstar alumni.

Others will, as defined, be less selective and also more comfortable with kids who are poor in either English or maths, and/or with ASD. Especially if say, your son is likely to be a strong Russell Group, potential Oxbridge, candidate once he can focus on the subjects he finds easier.

They will however need to be reassured that he has sufficient potential to be able to handle the written work required in various subjects through to GCSE.

You might say that you suspect that there are issues, and that if offered a place you would plan to have a full ed psych report done (cost £700 - so get the place first) so that you can discuss with the school any support work that might be done either before or after starting the school. This effectively puts any lop sided results in context, and also tells the school that you are a concerned and involved parent. The response should tell you quite a lot about the school. If you are paying school fees anyway, it will be worth investing a bit extra on say laptops, touch-typing courses, or even focussed tutoring, to ensure that known problems with text handling don't bleed into other subjects and bring down results. The ed psych report will only last three years so will need to be renewed before GCSE, but can, if appropriate, get your DS 25% extra time in exams (which made a huge difference for our child - who knew stuff but was not getting it down) but as importantly helps a child, and teachers, understand the underlying issues and strengths. In our case the conclusion was that our child was performing really well and must have been working really hard. So much better that the regular reports demanding attention to detail and pointing out a persistent "carelessness" and poor spelling.


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