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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:18 pm
Posts: 147
Location: NW Kent
Bailey wrote:
Hi, I've been lurking here for a while, but I'm hoping that now I will be able to recieve some specific advice about our current situation.

My son, who has Aspergers Syndrome, took the entrance test for Reading School last year. He was not given a place, as his standardised score was 331, and their cut of point is 340. I managed to obtain his raw scores for the individual tests, and his worst score was for Maths. This was a big surprise to us, as maths is by far his strongest subject.

However, on the morning of the tests, there was some confusion, and my son was sent to the main exam room instead of the SEN room, which we had been offered due to his Aspergers. The mistake was rectified, and he was put in the correct room before the test began. I'm quite sure though, that the confusion will have caused him some anxiety, and he will have wanted to take some time to become comfortable in his surroundings before he was able to concentrate.

We would like to go to appeal, but I'm not sure of the best way to present our case to include the above. Any advice or information would be much appreciated.

Many Thanks.


We were in a similar situation last year (but in Kent). My DS has AS and there was a sequence of things either not done or where mistakes were made all surrounding his AS and all VERY helpful at appeal.

To cut a very long story short initially the school did not apply for any extra "help" for the 11+, by that i mean time, separate room, scribe etc. We brought this into his appeal and quoted the DDA. Then at the HT appeal absolutly no mention of his AS was made and then he was turned down on his creative writing - definitely not his strong point because of his AS. The school admitted this at the appeal (there was a lot that went on here that i won't go into but it sort of wasn't the HT fault).

And most helpful was an EP report that we had done privately that highlighted some areas where he would have been disadvantaged. Specifically he showed the EP that when starting a new task he needed time to get going. The first test for the 11+ was VR and this was the one he failed so it all added up. I have found the EP's report to be very worth its money in the year since we have had it done, this is what i had been told before hand and its definitely true. We told the EP what we wanted the report for and he was very clear that if he felt our DS was not suitable that he would say so. However he came firmly down on our side and recommeded a GS environment throughout.

Apart from that the school matched his specialism - maths and ICT.

Again in my opinion, and we went to 2 appeals, children with AS are looked at as special cases at appeal because these children, if on the cleverer side, fit in well in GS and can struggle in exam situations.

My suggestion would be to get a much written evidence of the exam situation as possible. Was Maths the test he did straight after the confusion? Do you have the school to back you up with the high Maths ability? And again if you can afford it get an EP's report done.

Hope that helps a bit, sorry its a bit quick
Fluffy


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:03 pm 
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Bailey, you need to relate what happened, and explain to the panel just how difficult it can be for children with aspergers to cope with any change from their normal routine and to settle. (If you have an official leaflet about aspergers confirming this, copy the relevant paragraph as evidence.)

I assume you had to provide the school with documentary evidence in order to get the special arrangements, and they might well make this available for the appeal - but in case they don't, it would be a wise precaution for you to submit the same evidence again.

You need to make a case that you son's academic ability is very high.
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b11

You need to put forward good reasons for wanting a place at the school.
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... -school#c2

Sorry to say our recent experience of Reading is that appeals seem quite difficult to win. No reason not to try, though, especially if you can put together a strong case.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:15 pm 
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Fluffy and Etienne, thankyou both very much for taking the time to reply, it's most helpful.

Maths was the first test of the day, which is good in a way, because I am able to provide evidence that his maths ability is usually very high. It would have been harder to do for English, as like your son Fluffy, mine does struggle with creative writing.

I am looking into getting an EP report done, although it is hard to know what to look for in a good one that will be able to provide a relevant report. Any advice on the type of test we should be looking for?

Etienne, it's interesting that you have advised we should provide evidence that children with AS can be easily disruped. I hadn't thought of that so it's very useful. I think I'm so used to living with it and dealing with proffessionals that have a good understanding of it that I assumed everyone we came into contact with in an educational aspect would also understand!

Thanks once again.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:28 pm 
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I have though of another question, would you mind giving me your thoughts please Etienne?

The local comp school that my son has been allocated is actually a very good school, but it very much concentrates on literacy and humanities, it actually says so in it's prospectus. This is the complete opposite of what would suit my ds!

I also feel that such a large environment with a huge range of abilities would be detrimantal to him, as he is likely to think that as long as he is in the top sets, he doesn't need to push himself to his full potential. His AS seems to make him want to find a reason for doing everything, and being the best he can be is not as much of an incentive to him as being the top of the class! This is one of the reasons why we think a GS environment would suit him, as the standard will be generally high and he will strive further. There is also the social aspect, and we think he is more likely to be able to form friendships in the GS than he is in our local school.

Would it be frowned upon to point out the detrimental effect the other school could have on him, or would be be best to leave that out and not mention the other school at all?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:43 pm 
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Did his primary do the primary Mathematics Accosication Primary Maths challenge - if so his score in that could help - i know the 2 from my sons school who have Reading places both got through to final. I dont know the "standard" level of maths of the pupils getting offers from Reading as my son is a tad of the scale (last rated at lv8a) but I am pretty sure if yours did do the Primary maths challenge and get 22/25 or greater in the first round that would be good independant proof not just another childs maths teacher saying they are great. What place on waiting list did you get ?

As an aside if you get nowhere - Waingels is maths specialist and could be another option - our son has been doing maths with their yr9 this year and the head of Maths seems really commited to individualised learning


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:51 pm 
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Hi, Bailey
Quote:
I am looking into getting an EP report done, although it is hard to know what to look for in a good one that will be able to provide a relevant report. Any advice on the type of test we should be looking for?
See http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... ication#b3

EPs tend to use either WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) or BAS (British Ability Scales). It doesn't matter which - they both assess the same sort of things. The EP will almost certainly discuss with you beforehand your reasons for seeking a report, so you will have an opportunity to explain that you are hoping for further evidence of high ability, and for evidence of how he could have been affected by AS.

Whether you choose to use the report in practice will require a careful judgement of how supportive it is. You're welcome to come back to us for advice if you wish.

It's possible that at least one member of the panel will have an understanding of AS - but nothing is guaranteed!

Quote:
I also feel that such a large environment with a huge range of abilities would be detrimantal to him, as he is likely to think that as long as he is in the top sets, he doesn't need to push himself to his full potential. His AS seems to make him want to find a reason for doing everything, and being the best he can be is not as much of an incentive to him as being the top of the class! This is one of the reasons why we think a GS environment would suit him, as the standard will be generally high and he will strive further. There is also the social aspect, and we think he is more likely to be able to form friendships in the GS than he is in our local school.
Both points seem to me to be valid in this situation. It's usually a bad idea to be negative about the alternative school, but you're not being negative here so much as pointing out how concerned you are to find the most appropriate school. Be very careful, however, to use this as a lead-in to "Why this school?" Remember that you're not appealing for a grammar school place - you're appealing for a place at Reading School.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:18 pm
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Location: NW Kent
Bailey i think everyone hear will tell you to very much concentrate on why the school you are appealing to is best suited to your child. However we did mentally prepare a few answers just in case we were questioned on the allocated school. We were advised to answer such questions by saying the GS school will provide xyz suited to DS's xyz far better than the allocated school or (politley)we are here to appeal for GS and not to discuss the allocated school

......and what happened to your OP, it disappeared and now its part of my answer....strange!!

Fluffy


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:03 pm 
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Fluffy - I've explained to Bailey that I inadvertently deleted the opening post. :oops:

If we tried to re-post it, it would be out of sequence.

The best way of rectifying this was to put it as a quotation at the beginning of your post.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:23 pm 
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Location: NW Kent
Well thats good because i thought it must have been something i did :D


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:44 pm 
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

His school didn't do the Maths Challenge unfortunately, I'm hoping that recent test results and his maths excercise books will be enough.

That's interesting about Waingels, I didn't know that. We are out of catchment for Waingels though, and were even when we lived a couple of minutes away from there. I'm not sure if they may have changed the boundaries now though.

I really don't have anything at all negative to say about the other school, it has a very good reputation and incidentaly I think it will suit my younger (less academic) :roll: child very well when the time comes. I just really don't think it will suit my oldest! You have given me good advice regarding that though, I will try and keep of the subject of the other school and just have answers prepared incase the panel bring it up.

So, if you could help me once again, what would any of you say the best things about Reading School are for an academic child with AS? My personal feelings are that he will benefit from the general expectation of a high standard of work, as he thrives on that kind of pressure, and that he will be surrounded by people more like him. I'm thinking that he would find it easier to find some firm friends there, as there are likely to be others with AS, or simply just interested in the sort of things that he is interested in. I have been told by others that Reading School has an excellent standard of pastoral care, which I think my son will definately require, but I'd be very interested to have more detail on that, something more specific, rather then just being able to say 'they have good pastoral care'. I'd be interested to know of anything in particular that they could do (especially things that the other school couldn't!) I think he would love the chess clubs, he helped start the one in his own school, and I have seen on their website that they do maths clinics and groups. Does anyone know if they are for children that are particularly interested in maths, or if they are more intended for those who struggle? I'd like to mention something like that during the appeal, but I wouldn't want to misunderstand the purpose of the groups!

I'm well aware I'm asking alot now, I hope you don't mind and understand where I'm coming from! Thankyou!


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