My daughter is very unhappy at her secondary school
Just some background - she has dyslexia, is very bright (2 level 5s and a 6 in maths at the end of year 6) and plays the violin to a high standard (last piece she learnt was on the grade 7 syllabus a couple of years ago) plays in an orchestra on Saturday and a chamber group mid-week, and sort of plays the flute (lessons but no practice!)
She has difficulties with breaking down words into sounds, storing and finding words and spelling. She also suffers with sensory overload.
We decided against grammar school, because they all required her to learn 2 foreign languages, the homework demands were greater, and she doesn't respond well to being pushed - she does much better left to work at her own pace, as she works hard and always tries her hardest.
We spent a long time considering secondary schools for her and chose a local girls' school as it seemed calm when we looked around, it has dyslexia friendly status, and she would be able to get home quickly, thus giving her more time for music and homework.
However, it has really not worked out for her. She comes home in tears several nights a week, says she does not want to go to school, and is totally exhausted when she gets home so that music practice and homework are incredibly hard work - she has had to abandon her latest violin piece as she doesn;t have the energy to work on it
The classroom is a very noisy place, which she cannot cope with. Most lessons are not set, which I thought would work well for her , but seems to have resulted in most lessons being disrupted.. I have since heard other parents say it is a noisy place, and I have also heard that the head girl in yr 11 is not planning to stay in the newly opened sixth form because she cannot cope with the noise and 'liveliness' of the place any longer. I went to the school concert last week and was appalled at the behaviour and noise of the students and many of the parents. The individual work on phonics she is supposed to receive has not really happened as the specialist assistant is on long term sick leave and the SENCO is on maternity leave ( there is a part time replacement whom I have seen). Her spelling and handwriting have got worse as she doesn't have any brain power left over from coping to put into difficult things like spelling.
The school have tried to be supportive, but my daughter works hard at school and refuses to cry or show how hard she is finding it - so they think she is doing fine and I suspect think I am a fussy mum. In many ways I am - I know my daughter, and I see how worn out she is from just trying to cope every day.
The question is - what do I do about it? I need to go and talk to someone there ( head of year, probably) but I think they will just say she is doing fine, and won't see the lack of energy for her music as a problem, even though it is upsetting her.
I could look at other schools - maybe ones which set for more subjects. I could take her out for a couple of terms and work towards the 12+ ( with no guarantee she will pass, and we still have the original problems associated with grammar schools). I could take her out for a time, tackle the phonics myself ( I was a special needs teacher, although not with any specialism in dyslexia) and see how we go.
I hope this makes sense, and I would be grateful for any comments you could make. I know she has only been there a term, but I don't think the school will get any quieter and so she will always have to use a lot of energy just to cope with it.