Best senior school for DS with dyslexia(21 Posts)
Hi there, would appreciate anyone elses opinions on schools out there which do a decent job of handling dyslexia. Don't really want a dyslexia specific school, but do any mainstream schools have a good reputation for helping boys with additional learning needs fulfil their potential and feel good about themselves? I'm resigned to fee-paying senior school, and he could board (seems disconcertingly keen...), would prefer a co-ed school as no sisters, but could be persuaded otherwise!
I think my DS's state comp does a good job, but is oversubscribed. Why does it do well? Because it has an amazing SENCo. BTW I have heard good things about Eton too.
Depending on where you live Thames Christian College in Battersea would be worth considering. An independent co-ed school with only about 120 children it is a registered CRESTed school. Also cheaper than your average independent school.
Go for a school that has Dyslexia Action tutors.
I have heard, admittedly second hand, that Shiplake is has good support for SEN. Might be worth investigating further?
St. Christopher in Letchworth has good SEN support and is Co-ed with both day and boarding.
One option is Bruern Abbey. It only goes to 13 but brings on boys astonishing fast as it is very small and the Head can then recommend the best senior school for the boys needs. Most go on to well-known mainstream schools.
St Christophers is selective - from their website: Those that join the School at other stages need to be of 'average ability and above'.
It really is very hard to find an independent school that will take a struggling child
Millfield? It has a wide range of abilities. I believe a number start at the prep school at 11 and then transfer to the senior school 2 years later. It is known for sport but it also has excellent drama and music departments. It is a large school 1200 but classes can be as small as 5/6!
If your DS is really struggling would you consider a specialist school for a few years and then back into mainstream?
I think Bloxham have a specialist dyslexia unit. I believe you have to pay extra for the full dyslexia course.
This is from their parents handbook
"7 The School runs a specialist Dyslexia Course for up to six pupils a year in the Third, Fourth
and Fifth Forms. This takes the place of modern foreign languages on their timetables and
concentrates on improving their reading speed and accuracy, their spelling and their study
skills. The course is taught by Mr Alexander. For admission to the Course we would expect
the pupil to have a combined WISC or BAS intelligence score of at least 120. An additional
termly fee is charged for this course."
Chaz - Bloxham looks brilliant from your description. But I can't find that info on the website anywhere. Is it on the website? Or how did you find out about it's dyslexic support?
I have friends who have a son with dyslexia who is very happy at Milton Abbey. It went co-ed in January.
From the website
The Learning Support Department at Milton Abbey School is renowned for the support it provides for pupils with a range of specific learning difficulties and was rated as Outstanding in the schools most recent ISI inspection. We operate a holistic policy and offer a calm, welcoming and positive environment to all pupils.
Support is tailored to the individual pupil dependent upon their level of need, some pupils may require more help than others, where some need a minimal amount of help, and Milton Abbey can cater for a broad range of capabilities.
In addition to the specialist teaching offered by its Learning Support Department, Milton Abbey promotes a whole-school approach to teaching and supporting any pupils with Dyslexia, or who simply arrive at the school with gaps in their knowledge. All staff at Milton Abbey are skilled in the techniques that will help pupils to learn most effectively, whatever their learning difficulty. Our Gifted and Talented Register includes pupils who have a particular talent or skill, and they too receive appropriate help to ensure that they learn to the highest level possible.
Milton Abbey School has recently received both an updated CreSTeD accreditation and WS (Withdrawal System) status.
We looked at Bloxham a few years ago and we were told that the WISC 120 was not set in stone and that there was some flexibility. Hugh Alexander who ran the unit seemed excellent. The unit revolves totally round him as an individual and there was talk of retirement. So would be a useful question to ask.. fees for unit www.bloxhamschool.com/cmsAdmin/uploads/fees_list_for_academic_year_2010_11june15th.pdf
I was speaking to a friend whose DS was going to Milton Abbey for all the reasons stated above, but is not now due to a spate of bullying. I am presuming that my friend investigated it fully as their son had been down for MA for years and they are now looking at other schools. So it might be worth asking the views of current MA pupils.
Indigo I saw them on the CReSTeD list and then went digging on their website.
I found the above quote in the parents handbook under learning support.
DS1's has mild dyslexia (he's 7) which he is receiving support for in his current prep. I am hopeful that we have started addressing it early enough that it will be in the range that most if not all senior schools can support but I am doing some "just in case" research too.
I haven't found a problem with getting independents to take DS - but whilst he might be dyslexic he isn't of below average ability - a common misconception of our poor bloody dyslexic kids! I mean his reading / writing age is well below his chonological age but his speaking/listening level is much higher and his non-verbal reasoning scores are very high. Like Chaz we are hoping he might be in a better position to cope by secondary, but doesn't feel like we will be at this point!
sugar - that's what's confused me about all the admissions info. When they mean 'of average ability or above' - I assumed they meant based on an English and maths paper. Do they really test them using non-verbal reasoning scores? If DD does well on a NV test, but can't read or write, will an independent school take her?
To me it's irrelevant what her 'ability' is. If she can't read or write, I fear that a school that takes kids of 'average ability and above' won't be the right school for her......
My friend's son is in the dyslexia programme at Bloxham. He needs a lot of support but seems to be doing very well there and very much likes Mr Alexander.
Other senior schools that I have heard good things about for dyslexia provision are:
Kingham Hill makes a big thing of many types of SEN but I have heard the odd negative thing about the way disruptive behaviour is dealt with (kids chucked out of lessons and left out there etc)
What i've found indigo is that they're after a child who has a brain - ie capable of good independent thought and then they're fairly confident they can teach them and DS has been selected at a fairly selective prep in full knowledge of his limitations, don't know how it will be at senior school time if more progress hasn't been made! some decent independents that run from 3-18 might be a place to look, because some make a commitment to keep them at the cross-over into senior school. Worth a shot?
My son is at Moon Hall College, in Leigh Surrey Brilliant school!
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