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Can dyslexic DCs cope in Grammar schools?

(3 Posts)
mrsbaffled Tue 20-Nov-12 13:43:03

DS is in yr 4 and has "Specific learning difficulties in spelling, writing and fine motor control". He is extremely bright and certainly has the IQ to get into a grammar school. My worries are that:
a) will he even pass the 11+ to get in? and
b) will he copes when he gets there?
He is very good at Maths, science and reading. I feel he needs stretching in subject content, but will the school see past his SpLD?

I know it's a fair way off yet, but it's looming!
Thanks x

Copthallresident Tue 20-Nov-12 15:24:23

I have had two Dyslexic DDs go through what people call on here "superselective" indies (in top 10 in country), both diagnosed moderate / severe, and although we were less than impressed with the support they got, they did get support, and obviously extra time in GCSEs / A level. About 10% of their pupils have SpLDs which makes sense because that is the proportion of the population who have SpLDs regardless of ability. I would say your first worry is whether the Grammar has support for SpLDs and how good it is. What I would most certainly say is that a school which will aim to build your son's confidence should be your priority, they have enough to cope with without being at a school that doesn't appreciate their strengths as well as weaknesses.

Whether your son will pass 11+ depends what it is looking for. One thing about diagnosis is that you get the percentile they are at for VR/ NVR, some 11+ exams test for that only, so you would know the percentile he should score in and what he needs to score in to get in. For our local state grammar it was the 97th, my DD scored consistently in excess of that and got a place. Feedback on the entrance exam from their school was that there were plenty of mistakes typical of dyslexics, missed, misunderstood questions, silly mistakes but also their ability was evident. If the 11+ in your area focuses on attainment then you would need to understand whether your son, and with what support, can achieve that level of attainment.

I certainly do not regret the choice of school for DD1, she is very bright, gets bored easily, and whilst there were problems with spelling and making silly mistakes etc she coped fine. DD2 was in a bitchy year and being dyslexic made her a target and her confidence suffered. Both by the way have a string of A*/A at GCSE.

I would also say now is the time to start focusing on getting his basic skills up to speed. We were very lucky with a Special needs teacher at primary who took them out in Year 2 and took them back to basics and brought their reading writing, spelling and reading up to average. It was very hard work though, back to the basics of phonics, how they form letters, practising forming letters etc. and repetition, repetition, repetition. If you can't afford a specialist tutor then you can do it yourself (which was basically what we did guided by the SN teacher and a workscheme) . I have pretty much been keeping up a similar level of support ever since, I'm still helping with organisation, proofreading etc. (which is the blind leading the blind since I am dyslexic too!!)

mrsbaffled Tue 20-Nov-12 17:31:50

Thank you . He gets 1-1 support at school (but only 10 mins a day) by way of Word Wasp (spelling) and I am doing as much as I can at home to help with homework, times tables, basics etc etc. I am prepared to 'tutor' myself because I know I can do it (straight A parents here LOL!), so don't see the need to pay someone else to do it.

He was 96th+ centile in some areas, so clearly bright. He is improving a lot in spelling, but I still feel we are far off average.

We are north bucks, so I don't think that is super selective??

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