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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:09 pm 
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Hi, I was hoping some of you folks might be able to help / offer guidance.

My first DD met the qualifying score for all the grammars in Glos and is at HSFG. Her younger sister will take the test in September 2019 so we've started tutoring but the tutor has raised concerns regarding her reading ability (she's very good at Maths, being very close to the top of the chart on the standardised tests).

We've tried loads of things to help (including an online reading program which has helped a bit) but wonder if there is anything else we can do to support her. The online reading program allowed us to change the font size and background colour which we found helped and it also spotted that her eye tracking* was slow.

The school have always said she is meeting expectations, but they have allowed her extra time in her reading / verbal comprehension tests and although she has seen the senco I don't think she's on a plan.

I'm wondering if it's worth getting her assessed to see if there are any reasonable adjustments that can help her with the 11+ but at the same time I'm concerned that if she was to get too much of an advantage she might get to grammar but then struggle.

If I did go for a private assessment do you have any recommendations and do you know any idea of costs?


*this was done by measuring her reaction time when the text was static compared to when it scrolled across the screen. After some regular eye exercises the scrolling reaction times came down to very similar to the static times.

She also had a lazy eye and a patch when she was little, but that came off just before the start of reception.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:40 am 
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Hi, as you are in Gloucestershire you might find the Dyscovery Centre in South Wales useful. http://dyscovery.southwales.ac.uk/clinic/
My son was diagnosed with dyspraxia there sometime ago and the reports and advice for accommodations have been really helpful both for us as a family to understand Dyspraxia and also to help him achieve at school. I think an assessment and reports were about £600 but it was very thorough and worthwhile. We have recently had a post 16 assessment which has advised of entitlement to disability allowances at university which is particularly helpful.
My son is also much more able at maths...top set and did well in maths challenges and science....I don’t know about SEN support at at other grammars but Crypt has been excellent for my son up to GCSE and could be a good option now it’s co- ed. It was particularly useful for him to use a laptop for homework and exams. I’m not so sure about dyslexia but it is worth speaking to SEN departments in various schools and seeing what there approach is. St Peter ‘s is a good option too.


Last edited by DC17C on Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:27 am
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The school is never going to pursue and assessment as she isn't 'bad' enough, so if you do decide to do something, it will have to be private.

I would seriously consider whether grammar is going to be the right route for her, as I suspect (others may come along and say I am wrong) that their SENCO departments are just not as experienced at dealing with things, and they don't come up so often.

One thing that is worth finding out, is where the parameters of the problem are, so
is it reading speed?
reading comprehension?
understanding of vocabulary?
Seeing and understanding langauage patterns?
Understanding of grammar?
writing (this may not be in the 11+, but is obviously highly relevant for school) - writing speed? getting thoughts down on paper?

What about if things are done verbally, so if you read out loud to her does her comprehension improve?
etc.

You may be able to get some of that from school or the tutor, but you may need an assessment, to help you unpick it.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:09 pm
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Thank you both for your replies.

We will consider what to do in due course and update this thread when we know what we will do.

I think my first course of action is to find out why she has been given extra time in the tests at school and to find out what their view is. I know they are in a tricky situation, they can't admit they think she needs an assessment if they haven't the money to get one as they would leave themselves vulnerable and I understand their limited resources have to be used where they get the biggest value (and a student that can get average scores therefore won't be a priority.)

Thanks, legofan


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:39 pm 
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steppemum wrote:
I would seriously consider whether grammar is going to be the right route for her, as I suspect (others may come along and say I am wrong) that their SENCO departments are just not as experienced at dealing with things, and they don't come up so often.

As a former GS SENCo may I say that you would be surprised at how experienced GS are. They will have fewer SEN students but their requirements may well be more complex.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:29 pm
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steppemum wrote:
I would seriously consider whether grammar is going to be the right route for her, as I suspect (others may come along and say I am wrong) that their SENCO departments are just not as experienced at dealing with things, and they don't come up so often.

There is often an assumption that Grammars 'don't have SEN children'. As Guest55 correctly says, they certainly do. It's just that their average intellectual ability will be higher than that at a non-selective school, and the range of SEN's encountered will be more limited. For instance, at a Grammar, High-functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder / Aspergers will be more common than at a non-selective.

DC17C mentioned the Dyscovery Centre at Pontypridd, run by the University of South Wales. I had a look round in June when DD2 had suddenly decided to go to university and it certainly looked good - the Dyspraxia testing room looked impossible to successfully complete. They do assessments for the whole range of developmental disorders (dyslexia/dyspraxia & ASD) and from my experience of fees for such services are pretty reasonable. It's also exceedingly handy for the Treforest station if you want to get there by train.

As part of her degree, DD2 will be doing a work placement there starting next week, but I'm not sure what she'll actually be doing. The people doing the assessments are of course fully qualified.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:34 pm
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NancyB wrote:
steppemum wrote:
I would seriously consider whether grammar is going to be the right route for her, as I suspect (others may come along and say I am wrong) that their SENCO departments are just not as experienced at dealing with things, and they don't come up so often.

There is often an assumption that Grammars 'don't have SEN children'. As Guest55 correctly says, they certainly do. It's just that their average intellectual ability will be higher than that at a non-selective school, and the range of SEN's encountered will be more limited. For instance, at a Grammar, High-functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder / Aspergers will be more common than at a non-selective.

DC17C mentioned the Dyscovery Centre at Pontypridd, run by the University of South Wales. I had a look round in June when DD2 had suddenly decided to go to university and it certainly looked good - the Dyspraxia testing room looked impossible to successfully complete. They do assessments for the whole range of developmental disorders (dyslexia/dyspraxia & ASD) and from my experience of fees for such services are pretty reasonable. It's also exceedingly handy for the Treforest station if you want to get there by train.

As part of her degree, DD2 will be doing a work placement there starting next week, but I'm not sure what she'll actually be doing. The people doing the assessments are of course fully qualified.

I have been really impressed by what they do at the Dyscovery Centre and have been involved in a parent project to develop resources which was fun to do. I’m currently studying a post grad level in the faculty now and have been very impressed with teaching and resources at University of South Wales Newport Campus too. I noticed the information about interships at Trefforest...they look really useful.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:47 pm 
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I have a dyslexic daughter at SHS and I have to say they have been fabulous. DD has a slow processing speed and problem with working memory. She gets extra time (reassessed by the school in y10 for GCSE) and teachers will happily give her copies of the notes if she is unable to make them quick enough or make notes and listen at the same time. They seem to be experienced in SEN and have several strategies in place, none of which have ever made my daughter feel uncomfortable or singled out.


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