Year 8 Are there any schools which assess gifted children?(4 Posts)
My son is in year 8 (State secondary school, Hampshire), has high learning potential and is musically gifted yet I fear that over the next few years he will ultimately not achieve anywhere near to what he is capable or worse still, he will fail. Why? He has Aspergers Syndrome yet his school has no interest in recognising any needs attached or in meeting his needs by nurturing his learning potential and musical ability.
I'm tired of going to annual parents meetings just to hear the same feedback I have heard from previous years.......yes he is above average......yes his handwriting is an issue......yes he cannot organise himself at school........yes he is a lovely child........
My response is the same and so is the schools....action plan for the next year. The result....action plan is not effectively communicated and never amounts to any improvements or progression. Does the school care? no because at the moment he is still above average in all lessons yet I can see he is unengaged and not motivated whatsoever at school.
I am lost as to what I should do. Is there anyone else in the same situation?
Not exactly the same situation and not sure my experience will help you with yours because my short answer is go private - research, aim for a scholarship, remortgage the house etc., but if at all possible do it. The small class sizes and after school homework club is what he needs. You could do the same sort of research to try and find a better state secondary (after all they are not all the same) - but I don't think you'll get the small class sizes and for Aspergers this makes so much difference.
DD 1 was bright and flew through primary ending up with 2 5s and a 4 (this was before you could take level 6). Everything went pear shaped for her at secondary though and to cut a long story short in year 8 we went via the private assessment route (NVLD later changed to Aspergers) & finally private school route (I took 6 months unpaid leave to sort this out but actually the bods at the Good Schools Guide were great and the couple of hundred pounds we paid them was worth it's weight in gold as they came up with schools I'd never heard of & it was one of these she went to). If she had stayed in state I have no doubt she would have ended up in a PRU. Unfortunately the late diagnosis, years of bullying, getting in with the wrong crowd and a lack of understanding from school and the damage was already done and she is one of those level 5 children, referred to recently in the papers, that never reached her potential.
Fast forward a number of years and DD2 also bright but quite spectrumy (as indeed am I) and we're going down the assessment route now & considering private now too.
I suppose my main advice would be trust your gut and don't kid yourself it will get better. State schools, in general, are great at supporting the majority. If you have special needs and a statement you may be ok, if you are very bright and self motivated with good executive functioning skills you will probably be fine too. But twice exceptional and I think, well I think your buggered really! Just my point of view of course ...
Whatever you decide best wishes for you & DS
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