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To wonder if DS is in the right school academically, but be concerned that a move to a more academically driven/focused school, would result in exclusion.

(12 Posts)
jonesthegirl Tue 16-Feb-16 15:03:42

DS year 8 is academically bright though has a number of autistic disabilties Aspergers, Dyslexia ADHD which are recognised by his EHC plan. However, Despite being very bright DS does often display a tendancy for bad and very immature behaviour at school this has followed on from primary school !.

This was the reason we decided not to put DS in for his 11+ exam because in the words of his primary headteacher 'if DS passes and gets in to grammar school, his behaviour would result in permanent exclusion by the second term'.

Therefore we looked around at the other state options and decided on one that we belived was the right one. We hoped the school chosen would enable him to achieve academically. However, an equally important issue was that they would take a more caring approach rather than punitive approach to his behaviour.

This caring approach to his 'meltdowns' or shouting out in class is good and is consistent with the recommendations of his EHC plan. This is all 'good'. I also was led to believe the school were pushing him academically to his potential, indeed only last week i posted on another thread praising the school on this. However, I recieved a phone call from his form teacher on Thursday telling me the school is struggling setting him work which challenge him academically!.

I appreciate the school being a modern, does not have many high achievers within its cohort. However i am concerned when his form teacher informs me that he is 2-3 years academically ahead in Maths/Science. (I was only hoping for a grade 5/6 in Maths in the new GCSEs ) .
I have an appointment with the SENCO next week, seeking to solve these issues.

I am though worried though that if they are struggling to challenge him in year 8 how can they possible challenge him in years 10/11.

This is not easy, because if none of the issues highlighted upthread existed he would undoubtably be in a more academically focused school.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Tue 16-Feb-16 15:19:48

Did you look at the grammar school and see what pastoral care would be put in place if your DS had taken and passed the 11+?

Do you know whether his ability is in all subjects or focused on the STEM subjects?

When is he more likely to become distressed and behave inappropriately? Is it restricted to certain lessons, or is it in response to a situation he finds difficult whatever the lesson?

Because he has an EHCP, the guidance in that should be followed in whatever setting he has, so in theory, his needs should be able to be met in either school. In practice though, this may not be the case.

I think you need to be asking the current school how they propose to meet his academic needs whilst continuing to work with him pastorally. Is it possible, for example, for him to have additional maths and science teaching at a more advanced level, either in his current school or elsewhere, if he has support to get him there and back.

theycallmemellojello Tue 16-Feb-16 15:29:10

Is he motivated enough to read and do stuff outside of school? If he is self-motivated, then teaching himself about science or learning programming might be enough to stretch him? Or get a maths tutor to go through more advanced stuff with him? Or he could learn a language outside school? Or he could just read a ton of books? For a bright student the main thing is getting great results and also developing the intellect, but the latter doesn't have to be done in the classroom. It might actually be good for him to be top of the class without having to work too hard, while expending his intellectual energy on his own projects. If he finds the school setting stressful, then harder work in class might not bring out the best of him?

manicinsomniac Tue 16-Feb-16 16:00:09

I think the primary head was out of order to put you off applying for the grammar. His EHCP would have been applicable there just as much as in a modern.

Now that he is at the modern though, I don't understand why they can't differentiate his work upwards as needed. So he's 2/3 years ahead? Why can't they give him material from the GCSE syllabus then?

soapboxqueen Tue 16-Feb-16 16:50:19

This is difficult because in reality, for many children on the spectrum, the coping mechanisms put in place need to be dynamic and holistic. Tbh in my experience that can be difficult to achieve unless everyone is on board, enthusiastic and knowledgeable no matter what is put in a statement or ehcp. That needs to be from the headteacher downwards. In theory, anyone should be able to follow a statement and support the child but it takes effort from everyone. It is very easy to look like you are following the plan when you aren't and then claim that a child cannot be accommodated. I suspect this is what the primary school meant when they said that the grammar school wouldn't put up with it. If their focus is academics then they won't want to use up resources, time and effort on one child and they'll get rid.

I'm in the same boat with my ds. He's only 6. I'm setting up my own school because there is nowhere for him.

jonesthegirl Tue 16-Feb-16 16:59:51

Foxy. The boys grammar schools in my area which consist of two 'Super selectives' and one normal grammar. The Super selectives are considered 'hot houses' and are not very forgiving both in terms of their discipline or differences!. The standard grammar is better , but it would rather take pupils who have narrowly missed entry to the other two.

DS is very strong in Maths/Science , his verbal English and use of words is excellent also he his good at comprehension. He can struggle spelling some words and this is evidence of his Dyslexia.

They . We tried using home tutors with him in year 6, but he refused to even sit down and do any work at all.

Manic. The primary school head was expressing an opinion based on fact and probability . DSs three sisters all passed the 11+ from that school, so perhaps because he had known my 'family' for a while he could give advice to me.

I agree i would like the school to offer him some GCSE type work. The school have said this is difficult to do because 1. It would not be far on year 10 pupils if he was to join in their classes. 2. they have said that it would be difficult to allocate a teacher or TA soley to DS .

soapboxqueen Tue 16-Feb-16 17:14:11

If his current school have acknowledged that they are struggling and that he isn't able to attend the classes he should, is there are chance you could get the ehcp ammended to secure more funding for a Ta?

theycallmemellojello Tue 16-Feb-16 17:21:47

Hm - but if he won't work with tutors, will he do the extra out of school work that would be required if he was set more challenging work in school? Not trying to be negative here, I don't have experience with problems of this kind. But from an outsider's perspective, if he is set to do well in his current school, even if he is doing well because he finds the work easy, then it might not be worth disrupting a good thing. Realistically, a good set of GCSEs and A Levels have got to be the priority if he's smart. It could be that he develops more of an appetite for out of school intellectual projects (coding strikes me as something he might enjoy) as he gets older. IMO it's actually pretty good for smart kids to have time on their hands to pursue their own interests - but of course if you think boredom in school might worsen his meltdowns that's a different matter.

Mistigri Tue 16-Feb-16 18:21:12

I agree with the pp, have a look at extending his horizons outside school, doing something like coding - there are lots of in-line resources available for students of your son's age who want to learn to code. Learning doesn't have to take place exclusively in school.

missymayhemsmum Tue 16-Feb-16 21:21:39

Are there children there who come out with a good set of GCSEs? Is your son on track to be amongst them? If your confident that the school has the capacity to turn him out with good exam results I'd leave him there and focus on occupying his busy mind with other things that interest him, or ask them if they can suggest extension work. It's actually impressive that they have identified that he is not performing to his ability in the current group, rather than just leaving him to get on with it.

Parietal Tue 16-Feb-16 22:23:22

if your son is happy at the school and is getting support and is going to get good GCSEs, then don't worry about pushing him. A smart child can push ahead later when he wants to (e.g. at university / A level).

things like CodeClub could be great if that is available in your area.

jonesthegirl Wed 17-Feb-16 12:03:51

The school i choose for DS used to have a reputation of being 'appalling' .However the school has made great strides and it bears no relation to its previous incarnation of 5 years ago.

The reason i choose it for DS was because when i visited the school, it appeared to be the one most able to 'accept'/ or have experience dealing with DSs type of issues .

The problem though is DS is progressing academically much quicker than i thought he would. !

The school also only has '9%' high attainers, though results are improving at 56% GCSE...

Parietal. Thanks for the suggestion Coding is something i think he will enjoy doing .

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