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Opinions on scholarships application, yes or no?

(15 Posts)
marne2 Wed 10-Dec-14 12:14:28

Ok, I'm having a major panic. Dd is in year 6, working at level 6 in English and maths, been told she's G&T. Dd1 also has Asperger's syndrome, dyspraxia and a few minor mobility issues, she has never had any extra support at school, not statemented and enjoys school. We decided against the feeder school as its a huge school and doesn't have a great reputation with children on the spectrum, we have chosen another state school out of catchment which is much smaller and works closely with a sn school that specialises in ASD, my only problem is that this school doesn't have a good academic reputation, GCSE results this year were poor compared to other schools in the area. We do feel the school is very friendly and the size of it would make things much easier for dd who tends to get lost easily and can be forgetful.

We were quite pleased with our choice but a few of my family members think I have made the wrong choice and think I should put her forward for a scholarship at a near by girls school ( Catholic ). I don't really agree with them but a tiny part of me is questioning wether I should put her forward for a scholarship in hoe they say 'no, she's not bright enough' and then my choice will be made much easier and my family will stop nagging me.

They are still taking applications for scholarship, exams are the end of Jan. would she stand any chance? Should I just tell my family that I have made my choice and stick too it.

Would a child with Aspergers be better or worse off in a private school anyway?

meditrina Wed 10-Dec-14 12:17:33

It depends entirely in the school. Some can be excellent, others dreadful.

Have you been to look around the other school?

Toughasoldboots Wed 10-Dec-14 12:18:39

I did this with dd2, she got a scholarship and is in a lovely, nurturing private school. She got a huge amount off the fees.

My other two are in state schools, I am firmly of the opinion that private is best for dd2.

I would give it a go, don't listen to what your family want though, do what you think is best for your child.

I didn't build it up and explained carefully that DS might not get it, that only one or two do.

If she is up for it, it could be a good move.

Toughasoldboots Wed 10-Dec-14 12:23:14

I should have made it clear that dd has Aspergers too.

We went through two local state schools where she was bullied before moving to the private system.

I would do whatever I have to, yes, it's not fair, but her disability isn't fair either.

Anyway, hopefully, it won't deteriorate in to a state/private debate.

Do you like this school? I agree that all schools are different and like some state schools, there are many private schools that I wouldn't touch.

I am grateful for the pastoral care that DS gets, she started in sept.

9Bluedolphins Wed 10-Dec-14 12:24:26

The chances are that the private catholic school will be much less aware and keen on the SEN front. They may be unhappy about having a SEN child, especially if they are paying a scholarship which they have awarded before realising. They may make you pay more to cover SEN costs. Obviously, I'm just guessing, but I'd check it out if I were you. I know of a girl who is very bright and has quite bad dyspraxia. She is at a state school and requires a huge amount of extra support. I find it hard to believe that she would get that in a private school. Apparently her dyspraxia wasn't even noticed at primary, but it becomes much harder to work around it (without support) at secondary level. I'd go with the state school, which knows what it's doing on SEN. You can use the money you would need to pay at private (even with a scholarship) for extra tutoring if you're worried about academics.

Toughasoldboots Wed 10-Dec-14 12:31:50

Dd's school was fully aware of her condition before awarding the scholarship.

notgivenupyet Wed 10-Dec-14 12:43:24

Ds2 has Aspergers working at 5a 6c level in maths and English. No statement or special help given at school. Passed his 11+ but we hated the local Grammar who are not interested in SEN. Chose a lovely out of town comprehensive with fantastic attitude to ASD and SEN and then had a major panic that it is just going to under challenge him academically. Visited a private independent school and loved it, there are much smaller class sizes and its just so warm and friendly and the pastoral care seems excellent. They have other children with Aspergers and we have just registered him for the Exams. I am so nervous that I have done the wrong thing, as DS loved the school and there is a good chance he won't get offered scholarship or bursary and we can't fund without. I know I have been no help at all but I just wanted to say, I understand the dilemma and would be interested to know what you decide.

Toughasoldboots Wed 10-Dec-14 12:53:46

Same here givenup- are you in kent?
Dd got in to top five grammar, it wasn't right for her.

Fingers crossed for you both, the schools would be lucky to have your dcs there.

notgivenupyet Wed 10-Dec-14 13:05:01

No I'm not in Kent, that's a lovely thing to say **tough, thanks!

My concern is that other children will have been in prep school practicing for years for these exams and other children with tutors and DS has 4weeks and me and we have been doing some past papers to gain familiarity. The maths has been no problem for him but English last night he had to write a story with 'Fire' as a title and he wrote the best story I have seen him produce, it was really excellent however it didn't really mention the fire much confused. Does either if your children do this? Get a bit fixed on something and go off on a tangent? Because my sorry is he'd get zero points for an excellent price of work, with good grammar and punctuation because it didn't meet there marking criteria.

Oh and to the OP go and visit the private school, if you are like me you will just get a gut feel as to whether it will work, look at staffs response to scenarios like my dc is very disorganised what strategies do you have to help? Or dc get lost? These are relevant to my ds, but obviously use the ones relevant to you.

9Bluedolphins Wed 10-Dec-14 13:13:39

notgive - it it's a private school they can use whatever marking criteria they like. If he is very good at written English they can discount his not mentioning Fire or whatever if they want to! You could maybe also look into what rights he has as a disabled person - eg whether the school should be more flexible over his exam.

marne2 Wed 10-Dec-14 13:35:26

We do like the school we have chosen and dd likes it too, she doesn't seem to bothered about leaving her friends behind ( she has one friend who is going with her ), everything is good about the school apart from their exam results and ofstead reports.

We haven't looked around the private school, I know a mum of a boy that went to the prep there ( it's a mixed school up to year 6 and then it's all girl ), there are a lot of other private schools in the area but this is one of the best.

Dd has a lot of friends at her school but they are all boys, she does struggle with girls ( she's not girly and you might describe her as a geek ) which makes me think that sending her to a all girl school would be crazy. I also worry about the fact she does not really take part in anything out of school, she's not sporty, doesn't play any musical instruments or take part in drama or dance, won't most of the girls at private school be into all these things? ( sorry I havn't got a clue ).

If she's hitting level 6's is she likely to be offered a place? A part of me thinks we should just let her sit the the exams, not prepare her with any extra tutoring and just see how she gets on?

9Bluedolphins Wed 10-Dec-14 14:53:39

Not many people are hitting level 6s - so surely she should at least get a place, but less predictable that she will get a scholarship offer? I'd do some exam familiarisation, and revise some key topics if you have time. Make it clear to her that most girls don't get offered a scholarship, it's a long shot, and she's just going to give it a go and see what happens. Then if she's offered a viable scholarship, go round the school again, and discuss her Asperger's etc with the Head or Deputy Head, with some idea in going in of what kind of support she's likely to need. Their reaction should give you some idea of how welcoming they will be.
Alternatively, you could discuss it with them before she takes the exam. I'm cynical I know, but if you do that she may be less likely to be offered a scholarship.

9Bluedolphins Wed 10-Dec-14 14:54:39

NB - she's unlikely to be the only geek there.

marne2 Wed 10-Dec-14 16:54:29

It seems she would have to sit maths, English and science ( academic excellence scholarship ), her school have done hardly any science with her so I have no idea what level should would be working at sad so if they have to take the science into consideration I don't think she will be offered a place. I'm still unsure what to do. There are 2 possible schools, one is still taking applicants for exams in Jan, I'm not sure about the other, the other one is also a mixed boy/girl school and is very local to us.

LIZS Wed 10-Dec-14 16:58:25

You can normally get specimen papers. I doubt science would be high level, probably more logic and NVR than actual knowledge. How many progress from an attached junior/prep school ? How many places does that leave for external candidates ?

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