HELP !! Surrey Secondary Independent Schools - Dyslexia Friendly(26 Posts)
Does anyone have any recommendations for boys or co-ed day secondary schools that are supportive towards dyslexia and that have great sports facilities?
My son is in year 5 at an independent prep school in Surrey and his dyslexia was picked up just over a year ago - so pretty late and we are playing catch up. He's not performing well at school and his CATs scores were low due to no allowances for his slow processing speed...
From his ed psychologist evaluation - he's got a very high verbal and visual intelligence but very low processing speed and working memory and has the potential to do well subject to overcoming these challenges and finding a way that works for him.
We'd be interested in schools like St Johns', Leatherhead or Reeds in Cobham (we are attracted to these because of the sports facilities as our son is a great all round sportsman). Our current school is strongly advising against them and has seemingly written him off based on current performance. The only suggestions we have been given are boarding options or day schools an hour or more away which don't work logistically. Desperately don't want him to board!
Do all schools really only select children on the basis of exam performance and CAT scores? Both of which are possibly not a true reflection of potential in this instance?
I believe Reeds are really trying to improve their academic standing, so that they are not just known as a school with good sports facilities. I don't know though whether this means that it is out of the question for your DS, after all dyslexia is a specific learning disability and not lack of intelligence. In your shoes I would want to be sure that they have appropriate learning support in place, and that the outcomes for people with Dyslexia are good. As they are a very popular school though the hardest bit is making it through the entrance procedure, where they may have so many candidates that they can pick from the most high flying applicants. If your DS is a very high sporting standard (county or above) in any of their major sports it may help.
Alternatively there are two specialist dyslexia schools in Surrey - Moon Hall (Reigate) and More House (Frensham). Both are probably more suited to DCs with more severe SpLD where they really benefit from specialist tuition. My DS goes to one of these. The compromise we have had to make is that he does his sport outside of school - for example there is no Astro pitch, and although they do play competitive sport, the class sizes are so small they need to put several year groups together to form a team.
Not sure where in Surrey you are but I have heard good reports of Hallifird (which is only just over the Thames in Shepperton)
Thanks for your suggestions we are around the Woking / Guildford area. Both of us work and have a DD in a school in the Guildford area so logistics are complex! She might move for 6th form if we find the right coed school.
Ewell Castle is definitely worth a look and it is now coed. It's a trek from Guildford though.
Agree with NetballHoop... visit Ewell Castle and ask them if they still have a Dyslexia specialist part of their dedicated SEN staff. I know Aberdour Prep has swimming pool but not sure of anything else.
I would look at possibly moving him to Moon Hall/Beaumont in Holmbury St Mary (they ran a coach from Guildford). I know lots of people whose sons went there for between 1-3 years, and they gave good advice and direction on senior schools, as well as being very good at helping with the dyslexia.
One of DD's London prep school friends left at the end of Year 5 to go to Moon Hall and is very happy there. He is a sporty boy and is really enjoying himself.
I'm afraid the brutal reality is that Reeds and St Johns are so oversubscribed they don't need to accept pupils who will be a bit more "hard work". Listen to the prep school advice, they will know your DS in the school context better than you. Having said that and taking account of your location Box Hill may be the best fit. It prides itself on helping kids with special learning requirements and the sport/activity options are endless.
Reeds and St John's have become over-subscribed as a knock on effect of the competition for places at SW London schools. The fall-back schools of five years ago such as Ibstock and Emanuel are no longer fall-back schools, and therefore prep schools are advising parents of the middle/lower groups to look further afield to those two schools and also Notre Dame at Cobham for girls.
Understand the brutal reality but not sure that places like Box Hill can compete on the sporting front. We've been there and it's just not for us - it is no way near comparable to reeds or St. John's in any respect.
I'd agree, but unfortunately the sporty options are also academic and/or boarding. I entirely agree with Cleo, my DS cohort at St Johns includes many from London
You could also consider Cranleigh. Known very sporty boys go there, but check out learning support.
The schools you apply to will also ask for the edpsyc report (so they would see the high IQ score), and may also allocate extra time for the entrance exam, so it should level the playing field a bit, and if he's really sporty that will be another string in his bow, as he will be the right fit for those schools.
If you feel passionate about Reed's & Leatherhead you would want your current head's support as they are writing the school reference. Would they consider re-doing the CAT testing taking into account the educational psychologist's report i.e. give him extra time? That might help convince them.
Which day schools did they recommend?
What about King Edwards Whitley, seaford, royal school haslemere or More House Frensham With lots of out of school clubs
All boarding options - Worth, Seaford, Shiplake and Millfield
Could you go back to the school and ask for recommendations with the proviso that you don't want boarding school recommendations, must have good sports facilities and must be within so and so distance?
Okay I might also consider: Duke of Kent, maybe St George's?
Duke of Kent gets good reviews in these parts, but leaves you to find a 6th form obviously. Don't know anything about St Geoges.
I am going to go a bit left wing here. You say the ed psych report says he is actually quite bright. What about talking to Hampton. It is a very academic school but does have a good learning support department. It is worth contacting them now and have a full and frank chat with learning support. They are a very sporty school.
No personal experience but I was under the illusion St Georges weren't brilliant with special needs. I am happy to be corrected.
Really your options are a Dyslexia specific school which are pricey unless LEA funded and as numbers are small competative sport may not be good. Outside clubs can cover this. Less academic schools which may or may not have good learning support. Or a highly academic school that will provide good access arangments so you DS isn't discriminated against in the entrance exam.
Don't forget by 13 he will be very able to use public transport which opens your search area up including south London.
Brighton College is VERY good with SEN, best department in the country in the opinion of my friends. I'm a student there and I would absolutely recommend it to you if your DD doesn't mind boarding.
As well as great SEN our sport is best in Sussex and Hampshire and we regularly play St John's and Reeds and win. Girls sport is especially strong and they often play on the London circuits.
However it comes down to whether you want boarding or not. There is a bus that goes on a Monday morning from outside Feltonfleet (just up the A3 from Guildford) that takes Surrey weekly boarders like myself back to school so we get a full weekend at home.
Any more questions, feel free to ask
I have a dyslexic DS going into Y7 and - bright, sporty and good at art. We were referred to same schools as you by DS prep school head.
He steered us away from Epsom, St. John's and Reeds - all of which he said would have suited him years ago but now more academic and not right for our DS who is bright but will need support.
We have discounted Ewell Castle and Box Hill - sport not strong enough. Liked King Edwards Witley but discounted as they play football not rugby. (Didn't get to look into learning support in detail so can't comment on that). Our shortlist is Halliford (great sport and fabulous art and music) and Seaford College and Shiplake College. I know boarding out for you, but Seaford run buses from parts of Surrey - I know they go from Milford and Witley so depending on where you are it could also be a good day option for you. It really impressed us - sport, art, DT were impressive. And the Learning support is central to the school ethos and they get some v good results. We are considering boarding there depending on what DS decides.
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