To ditch the idea of Grammar as DD isn't good at maths?

(237 Posts)
ICameOnTheJitney Sat 05-Oct-13 12:46:41

despite the fact that she's extremely good at literacy? She's in year 5 and one of the youngest but just flew through a test paper for verbal reasoning in literacy but the maths made her go confused

I COULD get a tutor couldn't I....she's "ok" in maths but finds it a struggle...her grade is as expected for her age....but she'd need a BIG leap in the coming year.

Considering we have excellent state secondarys here shall I just forget Grammar or put her through a year's worth of hothousing?

Willshome Sun 13-Oct-13 17:36:56

"Her grade is as expected for her age." In which case, why are you fretting? She would almost certainly improve in maths with plenty of support from you through homework (no need for tutoring). The question of grammar or not grammar is a political one and of course she would flourish at a non-selective school too, but she is not unfit for a grammar school because her maths is average.

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 13-Oct-13 17:18:44

There are plenty of kids with dyslexia and dyspraxia at my DD1s super selective. Do they get the support that apparently is on offer at posh schools? No. They don't. Do they get the same or better level of support as available at other state schools in the county? Yes they do. Is the level of SEN support at the girls grammar in the neighboring LEA miles better than at DD1s school or DS's comp? Yes it is. Conclusion? You cannot generalise. Some posh schools are good at dealing with SEN issues, some are not. It's exactly the same with grammars and comps and no doubt sec mods too.

One thing I would suggest is to not pay much attention to someone who says (of grammar schools) that 'by definition they are often not very well geared up for dealing with special needs'. That statement shows a shocking lack of understanding of both grammar schools (in general - it may stem from a detailed knowledge of one single grammar school I guess) and special needs. Many kids with SEN conditions have extremely high IQs. There is no definition of what grammar schools are or should be that excludes kids with SEN conditions.

LaQueenForADay Thu 10-Oct-13 17:00:50

Pato yes, I agree with curlew it's very likely that at the grammar school their experience of special needs will most likely just be with pupils on the ASD spectrum - cognitively they are very high fuctioning, but there might be societal issues which they need support with. But I very much doubt any of them have difficulties with maths, iyswim?

PatoBanton Thu 10-Oct-13 11:47:04

Interesting point Curlew as our guide told me it was called the 'ASD unit' 'whatever that means'! So you may well be right.

Thanks again.

olgaga Thu 10-Oct-13 11:43:14

"There's one myth to start with. The suggestion that in fully selective areas there are grammar schools and comprehensives.

But those fully selective areas you refer to are few in number. Trafford, Buckinghamshire, Slough, Torbay, Southend, Kent and Medway. So in the majority of authorities it is not true to say that non-selective schools are secondary moderns.

Increasing demand has led to steady expansion of existing Grammar Schools in these areas. Many of the 164 Grammar Schools have 10 applications for every place.

A further 29 authorities offer a mix of GS/Comp/SM (sometimes now called High Schools, Community Colleges or All-Ability).

Which leaves 138 fully Comp LEAs.

The real myth is that there is no selection in non-selective authorities. In fully Comp areas selection is based on what catchment area you can afford to live in - social selection - rather than the 11 plus. There are excellent, good and bad Comps just as there are excellent Grammars, good Comps/SMods and bad Comps/SMods.

There are parents with academically talented kids who will move to a selective area for the perceived educational opportunities. There are parents who will move to the catchment area of a good Comp or a specialist Arts/Science/Language/Performing Arts/Languages school for the same reason.

The real myth is that there is no selection in "non-selective" areas.

Of the 100 most socially selective schools in the country, 91 were comprehensives, eight were grammars and there was one secondary modern.

curlew Thu 10-Oct-13 10:46:40

One more thing. Talk to the SN people at the super selective before you make any decisions. It is very likely that their expertise will lean towards the autism/asperger's spectrum than towards dyslexia/processing issues.

Ask a lot of very searching questions..............

PatoBanton Thu 10-Oct-13 10:43:08

I'll go and dig out his report!

AFAIR he is (assessed at end of y5)

end of y6 level on reading, average on writing and slightly above on maths.

curlew Thu 10-Oct-13 10:41:44

What NC levels is he working at?

QOD Thu 10-Oct-13 10:41:12

My dd had a tutor for maths thru yr 5. She was doing great, school burnt down, massive trauma, new temporary site, hour travel each way, male teacher, anxiety etc meant she ended up in special maths class in year 4 with children who struggled in every subject.
Tutor, who taught at another primary, assessed her and said she had the ability but was missing chunks of basic maths.
Hour a week, fun sessions, scored 117 out of 140 in grammar test, working alone of course.
She's now year 10, predicted B at GCSE in May and currently getting B's in test papers and course and they think she'll get an A.
So, on the surface, she was in a special needs class in yr 4 and shouldn't be at grammar school. But because you do know your own child, I knew the school and situation she had been put in had failed her.
If none of the issues had happened and she was in sen class for maths, I would have still had her tutored, but she would have failed the test miserably.
She's not had any help since yr 6

PatoBanton Thu 10-Oct-13 10:41:07

he's 10 and a half btw.

I would go for it in terms of working hard this year towards the aim of getting into the grammar. It's great that she's doing so well with literacy which shows how bright she is, so a little extra work on maths this year and she could get in. Then she'd have 7 years of excellent education ahead of her, with like-minded peers.
I wouldn't worry about the travel, I know so many children who travel a long way eg to DCs and other schools, and they soon seem to adapt and grow up so quickly once at secondary.
For me it's the opportunity to be with hard working like-minded peers in a good learning environment that's so appealing.
Don't rule it out for her, but go for it, but at the same time try to keep a sense of perspective about the whole thing.
It's a great life skill to be able to go for things you want whatever the outcome flowers

PatoBanton Thu 10-Oct-13 10:40:36

The school refuses to acknowledge that he might have any difficulties. The senco is lovely but dotty and about as much clout as a wet lettuce leaf, if you can actually find her anywhere.

He's had the 10 minute 'dyslexia test' a couple of years ago and it was just, some elements but not enough. The proper assessment too 2 hours and he was either dyslexic according to that or just immature (he was 7)

The super selective one has a SN unit - very helpful - but of course there is getting in in the first place to contend with.

curlew Thu 10-Oct-13 10:26:10

Pato- does the school acknowledge that your child has special needs at all?

I presume you've talked to the SEN co ordinator at his school- what do they say.

I would be a bit wary of a grammar school for a child with severe processing difficulties- by definition they are often not very well geared up for dealing with special needs, and the learning is often very traditional "chalk and talk" and very fast paced, and it would be easy to be left behind. What year is he in?

PatoBanton Thu 10-Oct-13 10:18:34

Thankyou - I will talk to the new HT here and ask, I don't hold out much hope but it's worth a go.

LaQueenForADay Thu 10-Oct-13 10:10:20

Pato I don't know if it's different for different schools? I would start be talking to your HT, and seeing what the procedure is for their school. Or, you could perhaps approach your LEA directly.

I know it can takes months and months though, so not sure if it would be in time for any appeal? Does your GS take them for the 12+ and 13+? Because that might be an option?

PatoBanton Thu 10-Oct-13 10:00:12

I never knew that Laqueen - thankyou. The thing is the assessment was done as a favour for us because the woman is a family friend, and said she had had a lot of help from my mum with something else so she did not charge us.
Sadly though she didn't give us anything in writing either sad
And she is so, so busy that we didn't like to push for it.

School has never ever suggested that he get assessed by an ed psych, and I wouldn't know how to access that now. Do you know anything about that? And might it help with an appeal if he doesn't pass?

curlew Thu 10-Oct-13 09:59:49

Sorry- crucial typo in my last post. It should read-

"There's one myth to start with. The suggestion that in fully selective areas there are grammar schools and comprehensives.

A lot of people think this. It's not true. In areas where there are only super selectives, the schools everyone else goes to are "near as dammit" comprehensives. But in fully selective areas, this is not the case. There are grammar schools and high schools- what used to be referred to as *secondary moderns*"

LaQueenForADay Thu 10-Oct-13 09:50:25

Pato do you think the school would take more notice if the assessment was performed be the LEA Educational Psychologist, in their official capacity?

Schools tend to take note of this, because if your DS is assessed so highly he will qualify as having special needs, and your school can apply for addtional funding for them. And all schools like any additional funding.

But, I don't think they could use the diagnosis of a dyslexia tutor to put forward to the LEA?

LaQueenForADay Thu 10-Oct-13 09:47:16

That's not a myth to me Curlew.

In fully selective areas, you have grammars, and you have secondary moderns/high schools. I know because I have worked in both.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 10-Oct-13 09:43:36

No indeed: there's just a touch of the disingenuousness-es about it all, sometimes. And needless rudeness about the children who do go to comprehensives.

PatoBanton Thu 10-Oct-13 09:38:20

Curlew is right.

Ds1 has a massive IQ (properly assessed by a dyslexia specialist who has referrals and constantly full books from all the local schools...people come to her during and after school for help with severe dyslexia (ds isn't dyslexic, officially though he has some elements of it - no help forthcoming from school, but we got him assessed).
as part of the assessment (couple of hours) his IQ was measured and came up at above 140.
This astounded me as he has never performed academically at all.

He is according to school, unlikely to pass the 11+.
He doesn't have a problem with intelligence. He does have a processing issue. Our school wasn't interested in helping him with this, so he is, effectively, written off by them.

The alternatives to grammar here, if you do not pass, are just phenomenally crap.

curlew Thu 10-Oct-13 09:37:29

There's one myth to start with. The suggestion that in fully selective areas there are grammar schools and comprehensives.

A lot of people think this. It's not true. In areas where there are only super selectives, the schools everyone else goes to are "near as dammit" comprehensives. But in fully selective areas, this is not the case. There are grammar schools and high schools- what used to be referred to as comprehensives.

LaQueenForADay Thu 10-Oct-13 09:20:59

I don't think anyone is peddling myths are they?

I have worked in our local grammars, and local comps...I have friend's who teach in both. I have friends with children in both.

I know that bullying goes on in both types of schools. I know that some comps get very good GCSE results.

I know that in grammars discipline/behavioural issues and truancy are virtually non existant - I know that even good comps struggle to match that.

I know that comps sometimes have better teachers, because they have to be. Some grammar school teachers just gently coast along, because they can, because their pupils are very clever, highly motivated and essentially teach themselves.

So, what myths are we meant to be peddling hmm

LaQueenForADay Thu 10-Oct-13 09:15:39

Nit no, it wasn't the best analogy. But, there's no denying that all sorts of children have all sorts of different advantages going through their childhood...should we refuse to let them use their advantages just because not all children have the same ones.

Unfortunately, life is very often unfair.

But, I don't think there are hundreds of thousands of children out there, beating their breasts in anguish because they're being denined a grammar school education.

Loads of children would never pass in a month of Mondays...loads of children wouldn't even want to go, even if they did pass (they'd want to stay with their friends)...loads of parents aren't bothered...loads of parents are a bit bothered, but actually when it comes down to it, they decide to opt out.

So, considering how few grammars there are I don't think it's especially damaging to let the children who are interested, with the parents who are interested try out for passing the 11+.

olgaga Thu 10-Oct-13 08:38:20

I don't see anyone here perpetuating "myths".

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