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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:47 pm
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Location: South Bucks
Hi Aethel

My summer-born son is dyslexic and dyspraxic and sat the old Bucks test which consisted of two verbal reasoning papers (all about spelling and speed!). Because his self-esteem was so low and he wavered between wanting to pass and being 'scared' to pass we did not do any preparation at all for the 11+. He scored 116 if I remember rightly and we decided not to appeal because he wasn't confident about going to a Grammar School. He hadn't had any extra time in the exam because the school messed up applying for it. An EP report had shown very high ability (95th centile).

He was very positive about going to the local upper school which is generally highly regarded. Things started out ok but soon went steeply downhill. He got absolutely no support whatsoever (because as far as the school was concerned he was accessing the curriculum well enough and they had much bigger SEN problems). He ended up sat with children who literally didn't know A from Z and became incredibly frustrated. He was also the subject of lots of 'low-grade' bullying (common with dyspraxic children).

He decided he wanted to go for the 12+. We didn't apply for extra time because that would have delayed his taking the test. I did, however, prepare him. I am a dyslexia tutor as it happens but as is often the case, before that point he was reluctant to do 'extra study' with me. And he passed! Luckily there was a place for him at the local grammar and I cant begin to tell you how much happier he was there and how much more support he received (though he wasn't always willing to accept it!).

Through that experience and that of several of my pupils I'm convinced that bright, academically-minded dyslexic children are much better served by being in a grammar school than an upper, just as much if not more than their non-dyslexic peers.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:52 pm 
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Thank you: that is really helpful experience!

My worry with the local non-selective school is that she will be left to pootle along getting moderate scores and not encouraged, because "okay" will be accepted, and she is unlikely to cause them any trouble due to her personality type. She's the sort who daydreams/produces less work when distracted, rather than being boisterous/disruptive.

I am hoping that we can see how she does over the next few months, and will try the bite-size approach to see how she does. I suspect its likely to be pacing that is the biggest issue as we are in a CEM area (Berks/Bucks). Even if she gets a little extra time it may not be enough for her to get through the numner of questions required.
I have been very impressed with two of the SENCO staff I have spoken to on open days, and less impressed by other schools who seem not to acknowledge SEN exist....

I think the imprtant thing is we've not yet ruled out "having a go". Time will tell.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:28 am
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I think mentally she'd do very well at the right grammar but I need her to be happy and have good self-esteem and that's more important to me than "any grammar at any cost".

We shall see!![/quote]

I think that's the key. Also, if you are looking at single sex; this isn't for everyone. Given my time over, and I had a decent non-selective school, I would have gone for that rather than single sex selective. Having said that, I have another dc at single sex who is thriving. Down to the individual. But definitely you shouldn't get locked onto "any grammar at any cost". My personal main criteria would be how willing the SENCO is to talk about your dd's issues and what arrangements are in place. If they don't seem keen at this stage, I would worry about how interested they will be further down the line.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:40 pm 
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Thanks!

We are going to see how things go over the next few months and gently practice things here and there.
I don't want her feeling pressurised, and I will discuss with her how she feels nearer the time. I think at Easter we'll have a better idea of if we shall go for it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:55 pm 
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New year.... and we've decided to have a try and see what happens.
Our school SENCO are getting her an ed psych review this term so we will have (hopefully) an up to date report should this be needed in an extra time application (it's worth a try). The main thing is establishing if the school interventions so far are helping, (I do think they are, but we need this formally documented) and encouraging an actual definitive label to make sure it's taken into accoount for her.

I also need to chat with school about whether they think she's "grammar potential", as I understand if they don't it will make it hard to get either extra time, or support on appeal.
Trouble is she had no formal school extra intervention until y4 so her eg KS1 results don't necessarily show what she's capable of. And our school is non-Bucks and I am not convinced they are enthusiastic regarding 11 plus generally.

Any advice on how best to talk with school: should I discuss with headteacher?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
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Location: london
I'm afraid I have no advice to give but wish you the best of luck. The whole KS1 results being considered thing is so hard for those without sharp elbowed parents/at under performing schools/with 'disguised SEN all the best
.

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mad?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:36 pm 
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Sigh. "Review meeting" with ed psych today... who hasn't actually met DD2 and her class teacher was too busy to attend. She is writing a report but I found it difficult to know if what I said was received properly. About half way through she said that it was "unlikely" DD2 was actually dyslexic in her opinion .... based on a single reading score from the previous basic assessment where she hit "average" on the reading section (she memorises entire words as she can't decode them by syllable properly. But has a good memory so uses that to compensate.) aargh. I'll have to see what her report is like, but it seems such a can of worms to work out what constitutes a "specific learning difficulty" or not. I just know that her mental agility and nonverbal problem solving is up THERE and her ability to spell and write in sentences is down THERE and the gap is huge.

Something's causing that gap!! And all the various "fixes" tried by school haven't closed it, and it affects her self esteem. I am sure she has some form of dyslexia. Why is this such hard work?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:41 pm
Posts: 94
Hi Aethel,

Sorry to hear it's such a tough job getting to the bottom of your Dd's needs. I don't understand how the EP is writing a report if she hasn't met and assessed your daughter? Are you sure she's writing a report, or is she just writing up the notes from her consultation with you?

When the school finally agreed to have the EP involved for my Dd I met with her first for a discussion of the issues, and I then received a write up of this consultation. Only after this did the EP then meet and assess my daughter, and after that we received the proper report with all the recommendations about her needs and how these should be met, (not that the school are following the recommendations, but that's another story!!!)

Was the EP suggesting any helpful next steps for your Dd?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:52 am 
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Thanks semb. You're quite right, what arrived was a write up of her "paper review"
And was not any form Of new assessment.
There is an "action plan" the school have produced in which DD2 is listed as having "?SPLD" and has interventions by them, but no formal diagnosis.
The EP said they might reassess her but couldn't promise.
On the up side, our SENcO is great, and we spoke with the head who was lovely and v supportive and said she does think DD2 is grammar material and would support our application (phew!)

We've now booked her in for a private dyslexia assessment as I want just one piece of paper that definitively states whether they think she is or isn't dyslexic/SPLD. It was fairly clear from the EP' language that (although she was polite about it) that she considers DD2 relatively low-priority for further assessment as she has a management plan and is not disruptive/ultralow-performing. I appreciate they have a big workload and have to prioritise.

We'll just keep plugging away. I've also chatted with the local secondary
SENCOs briefly, and we have reasonable options for both grammar and non-grammar , so that's a positive thing. Just wish it wasn't so complex!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:41 pm
Posts: 94
I feel for you, it is a battle. But it's good that the school have a plan and are doing something for your Dd. I know what you mean about just wanting a bit of paper that states something more definitive. I say this as someone who has the definitive bits of paper, but even though the school got their attached EP to do the assessment and write the report - they aren't actually following the recommendations. Unfortunately Dd's teacher this year doesn't seem to understand the issues as her needs are not very common. I don't know why it has to be so hard, firstly to get needs recognised, and then to follow the recommendations. Looks straightforward when written down like that, but then there's the reality...

Great that you have good secondary options whichever type of school :)

And good luck for your other Dd's allocation tomorrow!


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