Independent Schools/SE London/dyslexia/clue
My in laws have said they will pay for my DD to go to an independent school. She is currently in year 5 and is dyslexic. She is not doing very well at school despite our best efforts with tutors and giving her lots of support.
I am completely clueless about private education and really could do with some expert help.
So far I have thought about St Dunstans but I am concerned she is not academic enough to get in.
Farringtons.... I know very little about this.
Bromley High is definitely out of the question.
And well that is about it.
She is a sweetheart very popular and an excellent runner. She is funny, bright and a real joy to be with.
I want her to do as well as she can and to be happy.
Thanks for any help you can give me.
Does she have specialist dyslexic tuition? When was she diagnosed, and could the person who made the diagnosis give you any suggestions?
She does work with a specialist dyslexia tutor but she doesn't know about independent schools.
You need to ask any prospective school to be honest about its SEN support and likewise you with them about what she needs. Some will cater for mild dyslexics, especially if they have other talents , others simply don't have the resources or interest. You could start by using www.isc.co.uk/find-a-school . Have you considered a prep school with a year 8 transfer or a junior school feeding a senior at 11 for which she may not have to resit an entrance exam?
Hi no I haven't but I will look into it and thanks very much for the link. I will investigate x
I would definitely research Farringtons a bit more - I understand it is relatively non selective academically and she could start in the juniors now if they have places and go through to the senior school. I understand they do support SEN but to what extent I'm not sure. We are looking at it for our two boys at junior level and really like the feel of the school and the teachers that we met.
I am not sure about moving her yet because I am a bit wary of upsetting her. She struggles because of the dyslexia but I think she has such good friendships it gives her a lot of support. I will investigate Farringtons further.
Research it all very carefully.
She will still have dyslexia in the independent school. She will still struggle.
Small classes won't solve that. Nor will nice facilities etc.
So think about how exactly you expect an independent school to be better for her - and then talk to schools.
One thing you don't want to happen is for her to be bottom of the class. So you need a school which takes in lots of pupils with dyslexia and other SEN.
Castles thanks I agree I don't think this is a magic bullet but I think ahe might just get lost in the state sector. She has had no support from the school at all and I worry this will be the case in Secondaey schools. They won't even acknowledge her dyslexia... In her report they wrote she had made progress 'despite her difficulties."
But I agree with you and thanks for your reply.
I am not SE London but I do have a Dyslexic and Dyspraxic DD who went to a very selective independent school elsewhere in London. I would not necessarily rule out schools like the Highs (GDST?) if your DD is bright, and you will know that from the Dyslexia assessment. They are interested in ability and potential, and all four schools she tried for gave her extra time in entrance exams. I satisfied myself the schools understood SpLDs and supported their pupils. To be honest the support was not as great as best practise at schools like Latymer and Hampton, where they have drop in centres etc. but she certainly wasn't bottom and with hard work and coping strategies and a lot of support at the home end she ended up achieving what someone of her ability should achieve at school. Obviously you know your DD, trust your instinct about what feels right but don't discount selective schools altogether just because she is Dyslexic.
I would contact The British Dyslexia Association they gave a friend excellent advice when she was moving DS's school. Indies often don't make a big thing about their SEN provision in fear of being labelled a SEN school but are exceptional. The BDA will have that info.
Poison thank you that has given me a lot ton think about. She came out as having above average intelligence in the dyslexia test. I need to look at a few more. Thank you for your reply.
Agggg I will do that thanks so much x
Farringtons is probably one to consider and maybe Babington House which is all girls I believe? Not sure what their support is like though. All others around tend to be selective schools.
Hardest thanks very much for your message I will add Babbington to the list x
Babington house is selective also and have acedemic entrance tests.
Lola ok I will consider that thanks x
Why is Bromley High out of the question? I know quite a few girls with dyslexia who are well supported there.
Bishops Challoner has a good reputation for assisting dyslexic children.
I do know someone who is dyslexic and went to Farringtons, (after the Holy Trinity fiasco) although left after A levels 5 or 6 years ago, so not all that recent. I would not have said the school supported her terribly well.
OP - I am in the same area of London (though probably not the same LA) and after considering a move for my (now y4) DD last year we are likely remaining in the state sector. We applied to two local selective junior schools and neither was willing to take her - one didn't even want to look at her dyslexia assessment. So despite the assurances given above by others, it would seem that we are in an area where with a few exceptions there is very little interest by private schools in supporting children with dyslexia. I notice that in these threads there is usually someone who well meaningly suggests x school because they 'know' someone whose dyslexic child goes there. There are very few comments from parents and I have yet to see one from a parent whose child actually goes to one of these SE London schools.
Honestly, unless your daughter is very unhappy at school or falling seriously behind expected progress I would be inclined to put your energy and money into supporting her where she is. If you haven't already done so, I would write to the head and SENCO expressing your concerns and asking for a local authority assessment if she hasn't already had one. Knowing what I know now, I would also be tempted to contact the relevant bit of children's services directly if the school are being obstructive or slow - my daughter's school didn't push the assessment and so we ended up waiting for six months. From their point of view, surely it gives them the opportunity to put measures in place to help her do better in the the y6 SATS assessments - and also means she should get extra time if that is helpful.
I also started going to secondary school open days this year - and made a beeline for the SN/learning support area to talk to the staff and get a feel for the school. What LIZS and Castles says is very helpful I think - I have come to the conclusion that actually it's much better for DD to be in a mixed ability environment. Not sure whether your school options are Lewisham or Bromley borough but if the latter you may find that one of the state girls schools might serve her better.
Please feel free to PM me if you want more specifics on the schools we considered.
Bromley High seems to have a bad reputation from the people I have spoken to and when I looked round I didn't like the atmosphere.
Colfes has a good reputation for being very caring and less of an academic hothouse than St Dunstans. That said the local state primaries ( which are in a federation) around me in SE London all have a terrific reputation amongst teachers for supporting kids with SN - and the parents are all v supportive and inclusive too, rather than complaining that it takes time/resources away from their DC. DM me if you want the name!
If a move was ever a possibility for you, I also have a friend who sings about how great a Quaker school has been for her dyslexic and dyspraxic DD.
Well an update to this is that her teacher is now leaving to be replaced by a mixture of THREE different teachers.
She has been moved else where within the academy.... THREE.
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