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Reasonable Academic Expectations for Entrance Exam 7+?

(7 Posts)
artichaut27 Wed 09-Jan-19 10:21:54

My DS is applying for entrance exam for a small Private school in the South West of England.

It is a selective academic school but nothing compared to London schools. There will be approx 35 kids applying for 22 spots max.

They are a bit vague about their expectations. The letter says the test is 'age appropriate'. At the open evening, they told me that they choose children who are at least average but preferably above average.

The exam is informal lasting 4 hours, testing Maths, Reading, Comprehension. They also have to write a story, which seems to be pivotal to the exam.

My DS is at good level for maths and he's Free Reader.

The problem is that DS is Dyspraxic and writing a story is a real chore for him. I've tried to help him over the break, but it's like asking a cat to cross a river! He's stories are pretty weak and below average.

I'm really worried that this will cause him to fail the exam. They know he's dyspraxic, but they don't seem to really want to make exceptions for him.

Anyone has a link/guidance to what is reasonably expected of a 7 year old when producing a story?

OP’s posts: |
williteverend99 Wed 09-Jan-19 12:53:38

If they know your DS is dyspraxic but do not want to make reasonable adjustments, perhaps it is not the right school for him.

Do the schools they feed make adjustments for chidren with dyspraxia? Again, if not you may wish to choose another educational path.

artichaut27 Wed 09-Jan-19 13:14:00

Thanks for your reply. Your point makes complete sense.

The thing is that where we live the secondary schools are not really good. The choice of private schools is limited, and the school we're applying for has great facilities. This year is the easiest year to get in. This is why we're trying to get him now, before the rush of 11+.

I'm worried that further on in his secondary education he won't have access to the things that would allow him in thrive in what he's good at: i.e. creative problem solving, building, designing etc.

We've not been lucky with his dyspraxia with state school either so far. He's in a lovely school, but I know that because of lack of time and resources, he doesn't get as much intervention he's supposed to get.

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milkytea1 Wed 09-Jan-19 14:05:33

Agree that if they don't believe in dyspraxia it may be the wrong school for him. In the NW London madness they'd be expected to write a story with a beginning middle and end, that makes sense, with full stops/capitals etc, maybe one or two uses of speech marks and spelling reasonable. For example words like could, called, because, can't should be spelled right - if he goes for a really hard word and doesn't spell it right that's ok.

artichaut27 Wed 09-Jan-19 14:38:14

Thanks Milkytea1 that's very useful.

It's not that they don't believe in dyspraxia. They understand his profile of learning pretty well. My DS needs to be able to function there as he is, with the level of expectations they have. I have the feeling that once he's there though they will help him thrive. They have dyslexic students who have done well there. It's a good school but it's academically focused.

If my DS1 cannot cope there, he will have a space waiting for him in his current primary which is undersubscribed.

The choices are limited around here and we have to improvise with what we've got.

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Michaelahpurple Wed 09-Jan-19 15:25:46

Having done London 7 and 8+ I think very few little boys at 7+ can write decent stories - if you had to choose a weak area, that is the one to do for. Make sure he does some maths and reasoning practice to do as well as possible in those areas - don't let story writing eat all your prep time

artichaut27 Wed 09-Jan-19 16:09:42

Michaelahpurple Thanks a lot. That is a very interesting insight and it makes sense.

Girls are stronger at verbal skills at that age. Teachers always seem to say the penny drops a bit later for boys when it comes to writing.

Although there will be tons of exceptions as always. I'll have to hope all the local exceptions won't show up on exam day smile

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