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Guildford - secondary education Yr 7

(39 Posts)
moid Fri 09-Sep-11 14:26:13

The time has come finally that I have to get my head around secondary education for DS1.

DS1 has struggled throughout his school years, he has just been diagnosed as on the autistic spectrum. The school and I are finally talking on the same page and Yr 6 is so far going well. He is emotionally immature and years of tough time at school have blighted his self esteem. He suffers from high degrees of anxiety and strange sensitivities. Smart boy and doing fine but not working to the top of his capabilities. Highly dramatic and outgoing.

Schools in my radar:
1. County school - probably the state school we would get into.
2. Duke of Kent, Ewhurst - saw it last year and was impressed but is it to small?
3. Frensham Heights

Have rejected King Edwards (sat schooling !), Reeds (likes conformist), George Abbott (too big and probably wouldn't get in)

Any thoughts? Any experiences? Before I hit the merry go round of school open days again!

dizzyblonde Fri 09-Sep-11 18:29:59

Have you looked at More House near Frensham. My DS goes there (he is on the austistic spectrum) and has been a different child since he started. He is also emotionally immature and had low self esteem due to bullying and general unhappiness at his primary school.

redglow Fri 09-Sep-11 18:53:12

I used to nanny achild with special needs he went to more house and he came on a in leaps and bounds. This school has a fantastic atmosphere.

moid Sun 11-Sep-11 03:09:47

I have a friends son who goes to More House and who is very pleased with it, not sure that DH or my parents (who would be paying) would really contemplate that. I think they live in a fantasy world about how difficult the change to Year 7 will be. I should really go and look and More House.

I always end up believing that all his issues are down to our parenting! Anyway that is another story.

mummytime Sun 11-Sep-11 09:37:03

I'd look again at GA, has an amazing SENCO. ASD kids I knwo do really well there, and is big enough to enable him to make friends. (Personally I would reject the state school on your list as I don't think they do SEN well enough.)
Otherwise if you can afford it More House, Frensham Heights might well not accept your son, weren't keen on a dyslexic boy I know.

moid Sun 11-Sep-11 10:44:28

Thanks mummytime - will look at George Abbott again.
Do you have experience of More House?

mummytime Mon 12-Sep-11 10:47:52

I know one teacher at More House, and know vaguely a few parents. It seems lovely and caring, but does approach the curriculum quite differently. I would suggest going to look and talk to them. My reservation would be if your son is going to achieve highly at GCSE it might not be the right place. There is also a ASD special school (private) near Godalming, which might be worth looking at, but it depends on your sons abilities etc.

thekidsmom Tue 13-Sep-11 08:51:17

I'm surprised about your thoughts on Frensham Heights mummytime - I know parents who choose there specifically because they are so good with provision for dyslexic children

moid Mon 19-Sep-11 17:41:34

Dilemma continues - spoke to SENCO of George Abbott and Guildford County. The SENCO at County was more flexible, George Abbott seemed to have a set way of doing special needs provision which my son would find it difficult to fit into. More impressed with the County to be honest, why mummytime do they not do SEN well enough??

Silverstreet Mon 19-Sep-11 20:30:43

Have you also thought about St Peter's? Still Guildford area, has a similar intake to Guildford County (180) and is a science and technology school which might appeal. It is catholic, but approx 1/3rd of children are not catholic. You would get in if your SEN statement named the school. I only know the school by reputation as being very good, I don't have direct feedback.

moid Tue 20-Sep-11 07:49:57

No statement and no faith (Catholic or otherwise). Again I have heard there pastoral care is very good.

mummytime Tue 20-Sep-11 07:55:17

My views on Frensham Heights are after talking to the Head, the SENCo and the haed of admissions, who all strongly advised never having met the boy or any knowledge of his abilities that he consider More House (this is when St George's Weybridge for example were very keen on interviewing him etc.).

St Peters is very very difficult to get into now if you are not a Catholic/or from one of your feeder schools. I know a very committed Christian whose house adjoins the grounds, who could't get their child in.

moid Tue 20-Sep-11 09:01:08

Thanks mummytime - not sure about Frensham Heights to be honest. Open day this Saturday but in two minds about going along. Haven't spoken to SENCO etc..

Sent all my bumph off to Duke of Kent but they have not responded yet!! Maybe I have scared them off.

Theas18 Tue 20-Sep-11 11:03:03

Just looked at the prospectus for Moore House (nosy sod I am) and it sounds absolutely lovely for a child with some difficulties and low self esteem- such a caring individualised ethos- wow!

moid Tue 20-Sep-11 14:04:12

Aaagh - More house has a great reputation. But my boy is pretty smart and my mum and dad who would be paying would not countenance a 'special school'. Not really buying into the whole autistic thing - my dad's comment was looking at the criteria "I am probably autistic too". Yes dad!!!

mummytime Tue 20-Sep-11 16:20:34

I'd recommend the Frensham Heights Open days, great fun! I also love the school, just its not as inclusive as some others. (I have probably contributed to at least 2 families sending their kids there.)
Is he bright enough for RGS? Or Salesian? (RGS definitely has past experience of ASD boys.) Reeds or King Edwards Witley? (I loved St George's Weybridge but I know others aren't so keen.)

moid Tue 20-Sep-11 17:06:06

RGS probably but low self esteem so isn't interested. Though am trying to investigate with school, not being very helpful at the moment. Reeds were very unfriendly on the phone at the words autism. Looked at King Edwards, ok, miles away and they were still doing saturday school for senior years. Think now has been abolished.

Haven't looked at St Georges or Salesian (is that the one that is christian scientist?)

Aaagh - girls are so much easier. Mummytime you are a fountain of knowledge - do you still have child at HT?

mummytime Tue 20-Sep-11 23:22:35

Saturday school is abolished, but King Edwards is very convenient on the train, and lots of Guildford kids go there.
Salesian is Catholic over in Farnborough, a friend looked at it and was very impressed.
I have one child at HT.
There is far more choice for girls, but it is still hard. I still wonder if I have made all the right choices.

moid Wed 21-Sep-11 14:33:16

Aren't we lucky to have such good choices on our doorstep, the difference between very good school and very good school.

Think I am sort of mind made up - George Abbott no, County yes
- Duke of Kent yes, Frensham Heights maybe depending on visit

But final decision belongs to DS1

Thanks mummytime - not trying too out you, but do you know who I am?

mummytime Wed 21-Sep-11 23:25:20

Nope, I don't think so. I only know a few kids in that year, and for once don't know the ASD ones.

It is improving, as there are more boys school places opening, and King Edwards getting rid of Saturdays.

But I have been known to feel quite sorry for St John's boys heading home at 6pm etc.

moid Thu 22-Sep-11 14:18:08

Gosh problems in the playground yesterday at school. It is starting again...

Friend reminded me of the hell that is the playground at the County where her son goes. DS1 would no doubt find all the trouble sad

Rang up Duke of Kent, the head is looking at my stuff and will be in touch, but anyway DS1 doesn't want to go there.

moid Thu 22-Sep-11 14:19:18

Looked at More House, GCSE's not particularly good, DS1 too bright for More House.

mummytime Thu 22-Sep-11 14:29:37

You could try for St Peter's and be prepared to appeal (either use the Guru's here or "How to win your school appeal"). Kings is improving, but could be hard for your DS.
Have you considered Prep school for a couple of years? A few go there after HT (mainly Cranmore, but also St Edmunds in Haselmere, I know FeltonFleet would consider it, and Belmont (but might not be right for ASD), or Hoe Bridge or Barfield).
Salesian, St George's, City of London Freeman or Reigate Grammar, St Edwards or if you were really brave the Croydon ones?

BTW quite a few parents secretly send their kids private, not even telling close friends they are sitting the tests until quite a bit later.
Talk to your son and find out what he does and doesn't like about schools. Do make sure he knows that what his friends say about where they are going may not be true.

dizzyblonde Thu 22-Sep-11 22:42:34

My son has just scored A's in his first GCSE modules at More House. They're aren't all thick.

redglow Thu 22-Sep-11 23:38:10

Well done to your son dizzyblonde I have known others do well though too.

They are good at getting the best out pupils but it is not a special school anyway.

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