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secondary schools in Durham/Newcastle.Dyslexic DD

(24 Posts)
mrsfrasercrane Wed 17-Oct-12 09:46:15

Hi. Moving into the area from down South. DD1 has dyslexia and under performing at local primary. She has very highIQ, but not really coming through at the moment. She is sporty,socialy minded and oragnised but tends to not speak up in class and she thinks she's not as bright as her friends.
Help! don't know the Durham/Newcastle area at all. Considering independent. Duham High School for Girls? Please tell me what you think. Lokked at Westfield, Newcastle which we liked in many ways but thinking we prefer Durham as an area. Also local comp, Durham Johnston looks amazing for other, younger daughter who loves languages etc

LilyBolero Wed 17-Oct-12 09:59:08

If you are considering independent, look at Durham School, they have a lot of experience with dyslexia, and it is a very sporty school too.

mrsfrasercrane Wed 17-Oct-12 10:03:09

Hi LilyB, thanks for your reply. Durham school is just to 13 I think? Would like to avoid an extra school move.

mrsfrasercrane Wed 17-Oct-12 10:11:15

hi again, can see that Durham School is co ed 3 - 18. My mistake. Not sure how I confused that, think I saw it somewhere as a boys prep school.
Can you tell me any more? As I'm not in the area I have noone to ask.
She is fairly sporty but not in a big way.

LilyBolero Wed 17-Oct-12 11:41:50

Durham School is basically 11-18, with a big intake at 13. There is also a prep (Bow), but starting at 11 and going through to 18 is a very normal route.

Best thing to do is to go and have a look round - they have lots of open days, and if you let them know in advance that your dd has dyslexia, they can talk to you specifically about that.

Sports - they have a huge range, so everyone can find a sport they like!!!

mrsfrasercrane Wed 17-Oct-12 11:56:58

How would you compare it Durham High School for Girls? I mean if you happen to have experience of both?
Any other nuggets?
As we are at the other end of the country, I cannot visit at the moment.

LilyBolero Wed 17-Oct-12 12:33:46

have sent you a PM

Indith Wed 17-Oct-12 12:37:32

Hello! I know nothing but jsut giving you a wave form Durham smile

Also, there is a very active FB group called Mums in Durham so you might get more info asking on there since it is full of local parents though watch out it can be a bit hunni

mrsfrasercrane Wed 17-Oct-12 12:47:10

Hi Indith!
THank you.
Do you know much about Durham Johnston?

Indith Wed 17-Oct-12 13:38:18

Just that it is very good. I have a friend who teaches there smile We are blessed with a lot of very good schools around here though which is great but probably makes it harder to narrow choices down. My children are littlies though so not at secondary stage yet! Ds1 is at a Catholic Primary so we'll most likely be looking towards St Leonards in Durham or St Bedes in Lanchester.

mrsfrasercrane Wed 17-Oct-12 13:47:51

i'm also looking at St Leonards. The recent Ofted is a little mixed. do you know much more about it?

Indith Wed 17-Oct-12 13:53:03

Not really. It is where most of the kids here go and they are all lovely smile. Like I say mine are littlies. Have a look at the MID group if you can, there are plenty of parents of secondary age children there, there was a thread on there not long ago about Leonards.

mummytime Wed 17-Oct-12 13:59:11

My nieces went to Durham Johnstone, one is Dyslexic and got to Oxford from there. So I wouldn't rule it out. I know my sister in Law bought her house to be in catchment for it.

thegreylady Wed 17-Oct-12 18:54:14

Durham Johnston is an excellent school-it was originally a boys' grammar then merged with Durham Girls' Grammar [where I went in the 50's/60's] smile

mrsfrasercrane Wed 17-Oct-12 20:52:14

Thank you, just wonder how Durham Johnston is for dyslexia? anyone know? St Leonards sou

mrsfrasercrane Wed 17-Oct-12 20:53:25

St Leonards sounds caring, I meant.

IAmLouisWalsh Wed 17-Oct-12 21:46:47

Johnston is good but also very big - kids can be quite anonymous there.

Loshad Thu 18-Oct-12 23:38:29

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Ummofumbridge Thu 18-Oct-12 23:45:08

My dd1 went to DHSFG and I can't fault it. Don't know about dyslexia but I would imagine they would be experienced and helpful.
Durham Johnston has a very good name and I know of several people who have moved house to be in the catchment area.

Can you be a little more specific about area?

mrsfrasercrane Fri 19-Oct-12 18:49:32

Thank you. what do you mean 'specific about the area'- geographical? I'm probably just brain dead after work and not sure..
Have to say Loshad, I apreciate your info but as DD has dyslexia and am trying to avoid pressurised enviromenemnt the eliteness of the reults or sports is not are main concern. Good teaching and a caring environemnt where they aren't just focused on th etop performing kids and can get potential out, if you jnow what i mean.
Thanks though everyone

Loshad Fri 19-Oct-12 21:21:39

what about polam then mrs fraser?

lottiegarbanzo Sat 20-Oct-12 21:13:40

Hello Mrs Crane (I always preferred Niles!),

I grew up in Durham and attended DJCS, 20+ years ago. I don't know people with children in the area now but if I might offer you some wildly out of date thoughts, they are these.

Firstly, Durham's a lovely place to grow up. It is small enough to allow teenagers a lot of freedom, yet only a 20 minute train ride from Newcastle. So small though, that everyone leaves to form a life elsewhere, unlike larger cities where people may stay or return.

Like many children at DJCS one of my parents was a university lecturer. Other friends' parents were doctors and teachers. There is a culture of natural academic aptitude and expectation amongst a significant proportion of pupils. In my day ex-grammar-school teachers (probably long gone), operated informal elites with extra-curricular chess and bridge clubs, drama favourites and debating teams that were the only state entrants in their competitions. There were wonderful opportunities with drama, skiing trips, optional classes in Spanish, Russian and a sixth form Japanese exchange. Sport was not priority though and the PE teachers focused on the naturally able pupils in a desperate effort to cobble teams together.

It was almost 2 or 3 schools in one though, with the academic, middle class children forming a critical mass - so no need to dumb down to fit in, as people can find in comps where academic achievement is not the norm. Then there were the 'lower band' children (for first three years we were grouped into upper and lower) and the in between ones. My concern would be about your dd's dyslexia. You must quiz them about how this will be accommodated. Really pleased to read mummytime's comment. In my day I'd have been concerned that she'd have been thrown in with unmotivated, less bright children and dragged down.

Parents I knew of children with learning difficulties chose St Leonard's because of its more inclusive, supportive approach, recognising they'd have been hugely disadvantaged by DJCS's streaming.

Amazed to read Durham School is co-ed! As a boys' school they had a very strong focus on sport. Back then DHSFG didn't seem so academic. Newcastle Central High was the nearest academically strong girls' independent.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 20-Oct-12 21:16:07

Ooh that was long!

Tinuviel Sun 21-Oct-12 03:18:57

From friends in Durham area, have heard that St Leonards is great for pastoral care, very inclusive and supportive etc. Have heard some really awful things about Durham Johnston - pastoral care in particular is not very good.

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