I have a real dilemna and any feedback and advice would be really welcome.
I have 5 children 4 of whom are all at the same independent secondary school. My youngest DS is hoping (in fact is desperate) to go there too in Sept 2010. They pretest them for entrance in year 6- he didnt pass. We took him out of his junior school and sent him to a feeder prep to give him the best chance of getting in when he resat the pretest in year7. THey offered him a place following the resit (he still fell short but not significantly and they felt with lots of encouragement etc etc he would be fine) and he was thrilled but it was ,of course dependent on a satisfactory result in the common entrance paper which he will take in the summer. He was diagnosed as moderately dyslexic in year 5. He is a typical dyslexic in that he cannot organise himself efficiently and his school work is always a struggle for him. It never occurs to him to sit down and do some work, I always have to suggest it. He is not lazy at all and is very good in lessons although perhaps not the most vocal of students but nonetheless, he contributes significantly. His report is glowing in terms of his character and the amount of effort he puts in but he is just unable to show any of his attributes when it comes to exams. He managed a 59% in one of the English CE mocks taken in Dec but the rest of his results are hovering around 30-35% which needs to be 50% by the summer. The school are understandably nervous about taking him. HHe is however an extremely able athlete who loves rugby,tennis,golf and gymnastics. He is also a real outdoor boy and would benefit enormously from all the extra curricular activities on offer e.g Combined Cadet Force, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme not to mention all the competitive sport which this school takes part in. As you can see it is just the academics which are the potential issue. I know it sounds ridiculous to say"just " the academics but we feel so strongly that this school can offer him so much. The other issue of great concern to us is that he LOVES the school . With 4 siblings already there, he is a familiar sight watching the sport on a Saturday and knows many of the staff too. I should mention that it is also my OH's old school so a lot of family attachment. They will only want to do what they feel is right for my son but we have been around in circles so many times that we are beginning to wonder what IS the right decision. We do not have an alternative plan or school. There is the local secondary school which has a very good reputation but he will be going in at Year 9 and will know nobody. Add this stress to the disappointment of his not being at the school he wants to be at and I'm not sure that he will be a very happy boy. There is a special school near us which is for dyslexic kids but it is single sex which we are aginst and we are not that keen on going down this route having already visited this school 2 years ago. Other than that all the local independent schools seem to be fiercely selective and we do not (nor can we afford)want him to go to boarding school.
Sorry for the droning on but this is so hard. We know that he will struggle with his gcse's whichever school he goes to but we feel that we would rather see him struggle in a school where he is happy to be, but of course all students at this school take 10 gcse's so we are considering asking them if they can offer him a clipped curriculum of maybe 6/7 gcses which would be more manageable. We have a meeting with the Headmaster soon to discuss the whole scenario .
Has anybody had a similar experience with their children? I would love to hear what anybody else would do in our situation .