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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 12:55 pm 
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Hi everyone

We’ve decided to put our child forward for selection review and I’d be grateful for some advice/feedback on thoughts I have about presenting our case.

Background
11+ result is 118
Verbal reasoning 121
Mathematical 117
Non-verbal reasoning 114

My child has autism (ASD, diagnosed June 2018), Dyspraxia (diagnosed Dec 2019) and ADHD (diagnosed May 2020). We did have the benefit of special arrangements for the test: extra time, movement breaks, separate room (to reduce distractions).

Our headteacher says she’ll support our case. She hasn’t yet written her report and on asking her this morning about likely score for my son she was a bit vague saying “think it’ll be 1:2 but will need to check” and her comment will be along the lines of “he thrives when challenged”. From conversations with his Y4&5 teachers they have felt that a grammar would suit him. He consistently works above age-related expectations in most areas (English, maths, science, geography, history, music, not PE, art, RE, PSHE). As it’s a state school we don’t have the benefit for further formal tests (except for maths: multiplication marathon & bond training).

Questions
1) As part of the ASD assessment a WISC-V cognitive assessment was carried out in May 2018. My son’s full scale IQ was 95th percentile. I plan to write a bullet point on this and attach the report. My questions are:
a) 2018 is 2 ½ years ago – is this still relevant?
b) Is it worth commenting further? I ask as his visual spatial percentile was 55 so is it possible this could be affected by his dyspraxia (on assessment of his motor skills he was in 10th percentile) as a description in the report states this assesses visual-motor integration (amongst other things).
Also, the report highlights that he was distracted during one of the 2 subtests for processing speed (30th percentile) and it was felt this likely impacted the result. Again, this index measures attention and hand-eye coordination, both areas where my son struggles.
Therefore 95th percentile even with these considerations – although this may be unnecessarily hammering it home. Interestingly, he scored 99th percentile in verbal comprehension and yet his 11+ verbal score is 121 (not especially high) – is this worth highlighting ie it appears he didn’t perform in the test to his full potential?

2) We are grateful that special arrangements were agreed, however I’m concerned that there are certain aspects of his ADHD and dyspraxia that are too difficult to accommodate for and this may have impacted his score. Due to his ADHD my son tends to make careless errors in his work (more so than a typical child) and does not pay attention to details (eg I’ve noticed when doing a practice question he would repeatedly read ‘with’ instead of ‘without’ even when rechecking the question). Additionally, I wonder whether his dyspraxia disadvantages his ability with some NVR questions such as cube nets (which he found disproportionately hard), eg during practice he seemed to have difficulty with mirror image questions even on re-doing questions he really struggled to see them. Is this worth putting in, especially considering this is hard to evidence (although I guess I could ask his current teacher/?last year’s teacher to comment)?

3) I’m wondering about adding a point about the performance of the school (although feel loyal to the school and would be sad to highlight this) given the Bucks 11+ assesses English and Maths, as well as VR & NVR. My son started school in Sept 2013. The last 3 OFSTED reports are:
a. March 2012 ‘good’,
b. Dec 2015 ‘inadequate’ (notably’ teaching of maths is poor’). The school then became part of an academy trust and they officially reopened as a new school in Jan 2017
c. Oct 2019 ‘requires improvement’ (it does say in this report that ‘the curriculum is stronger in maths’, although doesn’t suggest that it is good.)
Since 2015 the teaching has been either ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’.

Sorry, bit epic but wanted to present all aspects. Very grateful for any input. Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 9:33 pm 
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Welcome to the forum! :)

JAPJabbers wrote:
1) As part of the ASD assessment a WISC-V cognitive assessment was carried out in May 2018. My son’s full scale IQ was 95th percentile. I plan to write a bullet point on this and attach the report. My questions are:
a) 2018 is 2 ½ years ago – is this still relevant?
As far as I know, there is no specific requirement with regard to reviews, so presumably it would be at the discretion of review panel members.
Worth noting, though, that because of the background to your case an Educational Pyschologist will be advising your review panel, and the EP will probably know that there were cut-off dates for EP reports submitted to the Special Access Panel. (For 2021 entry I think EP reports had to be dated 1st July 2019 onwards.)
A review is not the same as a Special Access request, of course, but I suppose it's just possible the EP might draw the review panel's attention to the date of the report.
My personal view would be that it's still of interest. After all, on the review form the headteacher is required to list achievement in the core subjects all the way back to Y2.

Quote:
b) Is it worth commenting further?
I'm doubtful.

Quote:
Interestingly, he scored 99th percentile in verbal comprehension and yet his 11+ verbal score is 121 (not especially high) – is this worth highlighting ie it appears he didn’t perform in the test to his full potential?
It's certainly worth highlighting the very high FSIQ and VCI, but you can't compare a WISC percentile with a transfer test score. If you do, you're not comparing like with like. WISC is a nationally standardised test. The Bucks transfer test is standardised for the Bucks cohort.

Quote:
2) We are grateful that special arrangements were agreed .....
I like the diplomatic approach! :)
Quote:
..... however I’m concerned that there are certain aspects of his ADHD and dyspraxia that are too difficult to accommodate for and this may have impacted his score. Due to his ADHD my son tends to make careless errors in his work (more so than a typical child) and does not pay attention to details (eg I’ve noticed when doing a practice question he would repeatedly read ‘with’ instead of ‘without’ even when rechecking the question). Additionally, I wonder whether his dyspraxia disadvantages his ability with some NVR questions such as cube nets (which he found disproportionately hard), eg during practice he seemed to have difficulty with mirror image questions even on re-doing questions he really struggled to see them. Is this worth putting in, especially considering this is hard to evidence (although I guess I could ask his current teacher/?last year’s teacher to comment)?
A comment from the school is likely to carry more weight that anything you write!

Quote:
3) I’m wondering about adding a point about the performance of the school
I wouldn't. What will be of much more interest is how realistic the school's recommendations were. Were there a limited number of '1' recommendations? Did they all qualify? The review panel will have this information. Unfortunately it isn't routinely given to parents, except at an appeal.

The focus of your case should be on high academic ability. If you finish up writing more about ASD, Dyspraxia and ADHD than about academic ability, I suggest that is likely to be the wrong approach.
You already have the FSIQ and VCI to highlight. Let's see exactly what the headteacher puts on the review form (most of which is about academic evidence).

Please let me know if I can be of any further help.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 9:57 pm 
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Is this a Bucks school? If so, what was the HT recommendation?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:08 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
Is this a Bucks school? If so, what was the HT recommendation?

      JAPJabbers wrote:
      she was a bit vague saying “think it’ll be 1:2 but will need to check”

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 12:02 am 
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Etienne wrote:
on the review form the headteacher is required to list achievement in the core subjects all the way back to Y2.
That's interesting to know.

Etienne wrote:
Quote:
..... however I’m concerned that there are certain aspects of his ADHD and dyspraxia that are too difficult to accommodate for and this may have impacted his score...
A comment from the school is likely to carry more weight that anything you write!
Got the impression this would be the case from reading around the forum so have spoken with his teacher today. She has noticed this in class, although she highlighted HT writes the report. I think I'll email HT, bringing together yours and his teacher's comments as so far I've only had school gate conversations. Starting to feel like a 'pushy' parent (completely not my style!)

Etienne wrote:
Quote:
3) I’m wondering about adding a point about the performance of the school
I wouldn't.
Ok. Thanks.

Etienne wrote:
What will be of much more interest is how realistic the school's recommendations were. Were there a limited number of '1' recommendations? Did they all qualify? The review panel will have this information. Unfortunately it isn't routinely given to parents, except at an appeal.
Ours is a very mixed school. We usually only have a few achieve 121+ and 2 or 3 appeal each year. I think all but 1 appeal has been successful over the last 2-3 years.

Etienne wrote:
The focus of your case should be on high academic ability. If you finish up writing more about ASD, Dyspraxia and ADHD than about academic ability, I suggest that is likely to be the wrong approach.
You already have the FSIQ and VCI to highlight. Let's see exactly what the headteacher puts on the review form (most of which is about academic evidence).
OK, very useful. Thanks again. Reports from the last 2 years have been above age-related (in academic areas) but we don't get any information about greater depth (or is that the same thing?). We also had a completely different report in year 3 (lower) but that year he had time out for his autism assessment, eye appointments and surgery on a squint. This year's teacher mentioned he was only age-related in maths & reading in his latest tests :( . Has made me wonder if he's been particularly disrupted by covid due to his ASD (he's also struggling to go into school: he's high functioning so barely any support at school, which I'm also trying to review). I know everyone has been disrupted and struggled with changes during this time so hadn't even thought about this as a factor and felt it wouldn't be a good route to go down. Maybe I'm now grasping at straws. Maybe, he's not where I thought he was academically. My goodness this is a rollercoaster!

As you say..."Let's see exactly what the headteacher puts on the review form"
Many thanks again.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 12:07 am 
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Meant to start reply with...
Thanks Etienne. That is incredibly helpful. It sound as though the review is based mainly on the school report.
(Too late, I'm off to bed!)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 6:57 pm 
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Etienne wrote:
Guest55 wrote:
Is this a Bucks school? If so, what was the HT recommendation?

      JAPJabbers wrote:
      she was a bit vague saying “think it’ll be 1:2 but will need to check”


It was the tense of 'it'll' that made me wonder ... I'd expect the HT tohave said 'it was'


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 9:15 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
It was the tense of 'it'll' that made me wonder ... I'd expect the HT tohave said 'it was'
I too paused when I saw the tense, but I imagine she had in mind "When I look it up, I think it will turn out to have been ...." :)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 4:26 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
It was the tense of 'it'll' that made me wonder ... I'd expect the HT to have said 'it was'
Yes, my misunderstanding Guest55. Have since learned that the recommendation scores are sent in before results day.

I have another quick question:
Is it useful to know whether the child has been given/predicted EXS or GDS for each area (reading, writing, maths) for Y2/3-6? I note others have this information & being aware means we can provide explanations if there are any issues.

A draft from HT reports includes
"I strongly believe that *** is well suited to a grammar school."
"consistently works at greater depth across the curriculum."
"has performed at above age-related expectations throughout his time at primary school"
I'm now a little concerned in case this doesn't hold weight if his assessments don't corroborate these comments.

Many thanks again

By the way - I'm very impressed with the information on this website & the incredible volunteers who support it. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 5:08 pm 
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Quote:
Have since learned that the recommendation scores are sent in before results day.
Yes, but not from non-partner out of county schools. This is why Guest55 wondered if it might not be a Bucks school.

JAPJabbers wrote:
Is it useful to know whether the child has been given/predicted EXS or GDS for each area (reading, writing, maths) for Y2/3-6?
Yes. This is the progress chart near the beginning of the headteacher's review form.

Quote:
A draft from HT reports includes
"I strongly believe that *** is well suited to a grammar school."
"consistently works at greater depth across the curriculum."
"has performed at above age-related expectations throughout his time at primary school"
Very nice comments!

Quote:
I'm now a little concerned in case this doesn't hold weight if his assessments don't corroborate these comments.
Yes, I think any panel would notice if there's a mismatch between the comments and the progress chart.

Quote:
Many thanks again
By the way - I'm very impressed with the information on this website & the incredible volunteers who support it. Thank you.
You're very kind. :D
Ask as many questions as you like!

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