Private school Surrey/S London for mild SEN?

(23 Posts)
BoSelectaBigBiff Mon 14-Mar-16 10:54:16

Hi, not sure this is quite the right topic to post this in, but thought I'd at least start here.

DS2 (7yo, year 3) has mild SEN. He is not statemented, but is on school action plus (or whatever it's called now) and has been since nursery, currently receiving pretty minimal support, to be honest.

He has a genetic condition that results in partial deafness (but copes OK with hearing aids); mild physical disabilities (can walk, run, join in PE etc, but as an e.g. will always be last by a looooong way in any race); and also some S&L delay - was severe at reception age, but now reasonably mild.

He is very intelligent - ed psych did a NVR test on him years ago which showed him to be in top 20%. Currently "over achieving" in maths, and "borderline over achieving" in English/writing. No behavioural problems.

DS1 is going to start at Trinity in September. I will talk to them at a later stage about DS2, but I'm not at all sure at the moment that it would be right for him.

Can anyone think of any private schools that might be suitable/have exceptional good pastoral care etc in the S London/Surrey area? (Commutable from Croydon). Thank you!

mary21 Mon 14-Mar-16 11:50:01

I was going to suggest Halliford but Croydon is probably to far. What about the Cedars

DrE678 Mon 14-Mar-16 11:55:02

My DS gets great support at Willington in Wimbledon, wonderful pastoral care and learning support. The support he needed was fairly low level and ended a few years ago so I couldn't advise about whether they would be good for your son's specific issues but it is a truly wonderful school.

merlottime Mon 14-Mar-16 12:23:07

Royal Russell? Less full on than Trinity, but acquaintances who send their children there seen pleased with the support they get.

BoSelectaBigBiff Mon 14-Mar-16 12:32:11

Thank you everyone - a few I hadn't heard of there, so that's great to have a few more to look at.

BoSelectaBigBiff Mon 14-Mar-16 12:34:10

Does anyone out there know anything about Ewell Castle School or Dunottar?

DrE678 Mon 14-Mar-16 14:42:03

My DN went to Ewell Castle and my DSis was really not impressed. They didn't rate the pastoral care and felt they weren't getting much support. They moved him before senior school and were much happier.

DrE678 Mon 14-Mar-16 14:45:21

I don't know much about Dunottat, just that it was about to close about two years ago and was saved last minute. It went coeducational but I have heard it is still struggling for numbers. That is hearsay though so worth asking how healthy the numbers are.

DTteacher101 Mon 14-Mar-16 23:08:35

You should try Dunottar it's in Reigate redhill Surrey it's a great place for mixed ability with strong sen support and provision. Nurturing environment as small.
Ewell castle is also good as small and caring and near Cheam. Both commutable from Croydon.

DTteacher101 Mon 14-Mar-16 23:13:53

Dunottar is lovely I took my JJ there to look around and he loved the grounds but it was too far a commute for us really as took almost 2 hours for us but worth a visit.

BoSelectaBigBiff Tue 15-Mar-16 06:33:30

Thanks everyone for all your input - much appreciated. Think I shall get some open days booked in at as many places as possible, and then go from there.

DTteacher101 Tue 15-Mar-16 06:54:45

Boselecta you should speak to the Sen department as that's what I did there's a lovely woman there who spoke to us at great length and explained all the provisions that they could make as they were used to making arrangements and supporting students. I was impressed with her she's the Senco I believe. Good luck I hope you find what you're looking for.

merlottime Tue 15-Mar-16 06:56:40

The sports provision for boys at Dunottar is limited, which put us off (boys are being bussed to Caterham), but it sounds like that might actually suit your circumstances.

Ladymuck Tue 15-Mar-16 17:14:00

Royal Russell used to do well with a children with a range of SEN and certainly has a number of siblings of Trinity boys. Whitgift also has a significant SEN department which parents seem to praise (though W will obviously have a large cohort of sporty boys, and I think is better suited for a boy who definitely has an area in which he can excel).

Dunottar is a trek from Trinity so it would depend on where you live. It is now owned by United Learning who also back Guildford and Surbiton High schools and are involved with Caterham (hence the arrangement re boys sport). It is not the school it was a few years ago, and worth looking at in that light.

There is St David's in West Wickham which goes to 16 I think.

Don't dismiss Trinity though.

BoSelectaBigBiff Tue 15-Mar-16 18:52:33

Thanks everyone.

I'm certainly not going to dismiss Trinity, and will talk to them once DS1 has settled in a bit. But I feel I need some alternatives, just in case.

Whitgift I think would be a bit too much for DS2, but i might have a chat to them too (assuming we are not blacklisted after turning down a place for DS1!)

Royal Russell would certainly be handy in that it's near Trinity, so it's encouraging to hear from a few different posters that SEN provision is reasonable.

We actually live in the south of the borough, probably about halfway between Reigate and Shirley. So assuming DS1 was making his own way to and from school, then somewhere like Dunottar might be do-able, if a bit frantic from time to time. Ditto Ewell Castle.

AnotherCider Tue 15-Mar-16 18:56:56

Have you considered Belmont? Although it might be a bit too far, but others commute quite a way.

There is a specialist dyslexia unit on the grounds (Moon Hall - independently run) and when the children are capable of going mainstream they move over to the main school.

merlottime Tue 15-Mar-16 20:26:58

The Moon Hall school at the Belmont site is for primary/prep age range. My DS goes to Moon Hall College, their secondary dept, which is just south of Reigate. It is a dyslexia specialist school, but some children have other associated learning difficulties. You may find though that this is not academic enough for you; my one concern with it is that they are not ambitious enough for their high achievers. A new head is starting in September so I would hope that this spurs things on. It is a wonderful school, but we opted for it as my DS's needs were too great for him to thrive in a mainstream setting (even RR). There is a school minibus from Purley and Coulsdon.

BoSelectaBigBiff Tue 15-Mar-16 22:01:34

Thanks anothercider and merlottime. I'll have a look at Moon Hall (it is secondary schools I'm researching - sorry, should have made that clear in my OP) - but not sure from your description that it would be quite right for DS2 though. But all useful information :-)

AnotherCider Wed 16-Mar-16 08:40:59

What i meant was that Belmont itself, due to having many children moving from Moon Hall to Belmont, is very good with mild SEN.

I know a number of children with dyslexia and other SEN in the main school, who will only need a formal statement /diagnosis when its time for common entrance exams in order to be able to use laptops, get extra time etc for the actual exam. The don't need it for school itself because the school will continue trying different teaching methods until they find something that works for the child.

Expatmomma Mon 28-Mar-16 23:36:15

Would you consider weekly boarding or can he catch a train on the Waterloo line to Alton?
If so I would recommend you look at More House in Frensham.

My son is there and in a class of 10. He receives SLA and OT as part of his timetable. All the boys go to learning support at the sake time so no normal lessons are missed.

In sport lessons they also set the boys and also on sports day where they can choose the 3 events they prefer. Many have motor skills issues and this ensures that are with boys of a similar ability.

Lots of the boys are bright but need the extra support the school provides to thrive.

foragogogo Wed 22-Jun-16 12:15:04

Hi BoSelectaBigBiff, sorry to resurrect your old thread from March, I just read it and was struck by the similarities in our situations so was wondering what you were currently thinking for your ds2? (early days I know). My ds1 is also starting at Trinity in September and I also have a ds2 in year 3 who is described as "a bit of a daydreamer" and is mildly ASD, I suspect. We are also in the S Croydon/Surrey area. What a coincedence!

Anyway, ds1 was offered places at Trinity, Whitgift and Caterham for 11+. He is a pretty easy going all rounder type, will give anything a go, likes all sports, very sociable and confident. Hence he would have been fine at any of these schools I think, or indeed at pretty much any school. He was very easy to place as no specific needs or worries thus far. Ds2 is much more of an individual and a bit more prone to anxiety. I would ideally like them both to go to the same school, or at least have a chance at it. This was part of our decision on Trinity over Whitgift - ds1 would thrive at either I think but I couldn't see ds2 at Whitgift (as it stands at the moment) - he tends to feel the pressure/doesn't like competitiveness/bragging in others and is still very erratic in exams wheras ds1 sees it more as a competition and tends to rise to the occasion (although is older/more mature so probably shouldn't really compare at this point).

BoSelectaBigBiff Wed 22-Jun-16 22:10:47

Hi foragogogo, no worries smile. Bizarre - we'll probably discover we live down the road from each other!

I still have no idea what to do for DS2.

We chose Trinity over Whitgift for DS1 primarily because we thought he'd fit in better there (and he preferred it too).

For DS2, so far I've looked around Dunottar, which seems very nurturing and I think might suit him - it's just a shame it's in Reigate (but not completely unworkable).

The other school on my (very) short list to see is Royal Russell.

And of course I am planning on meeting with Trinity to discuss DS2, but not until DS1 has been there for a little while.

I'm finding it really difficult, tbh, to find somewhere that might be right for him, and am just keeping everything crossed that it'll all be OK in the end. But then again, maybe I'm worrying too much.

foragogogo Thu 23-Jun-16 09:57:11

haha no doubt!

I think you're right - it's a bit too early for them. When I think back ds1 was pretty hopeless at this point and you'd never have thought he'd pass any exams! I guess we need to wait and see. A few of ds1 friends are going to Dunnotar in September so I will keep an eye there as well.

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