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Ds predicted to 'fail' all of his GCSE's :/ what can be done ??

(42 Posts)
TheOriginalNutty Mon 13-Mar-17 17:44:47

Ds is 14 and has never liked school and has always struggled. At Primary school he always had a IEP or IBP because he would swing between being ok and struggling. Imo his primary school never did as much as they could have done.

When it came to secondary school, I chose not to send him to our local one (that his sisters went to) as although it is a good school imo it was way to focused the bright kids and not much else. Ds would have sunk quickly there. Instead I chose a school with similar results but a more family feel.

Ds took the whole of Yr 7 to settle. He hated it, had no friends and struggled to be organised. I had him assessed for Dyspraxia, and was told he wasn't Dyspraxic but needed help with organisation etc. His school were happy to help with that and have also always given him extra English and Maths tuition.

Fast forward to now. Ds is in Yr 9 and I have just had his Yr 9 Interim report sheet and it is awful. His projected English grade is 2/1 (E,F,G) and his projected Maths grade is 1w, I dont even know what the W means. All of his other grade predictions are similar.

I always knew that this was going to be a problem, but I don't think I expected it to be this big a problem. He still gets extra English and Maths help each week, but clearly it isn't working.
His teachers have said several times, that they know he knows the work and the answers and everything else, but that he just can't seem to get it from his head to paper, or he does but it has so little content in it that it drops his marks right down.

He has picked Psychology, R.E and Food tech as his options and I just can't see that he is going to cope with those, especially not the first 2.

I have emailed school to ask for a meeting, but I am not sure what I want or should expect them to do, or what else I should do. There is no way I can afford a tutor for him.

I feel like I have failed him now.

Pestilentialone Mon 13-Mar-17 17:49:29

Has any one tried him with a scribe?

donajimena Mon 13-Mar-17 17:52:42

What is a scribe? I know what one is but how do you get one?
I'm in a similar situation OP

roundaboutthetown Mon 13-Mar-17 17:56:01

Who assessed your ds for dyspraxia? Was it a full assessment by developmental paediatrician, occupational therapist and educational psychologist?

TheOriginalNutty Mon 13-Mar-17 17:56:02

A scribe has never been mentioned. His handwriting is awful, and he has a poor pencil grip, which and an OT said it was too late to do anything about it.

It's heartbreaking isn't it dona.

wowbutter Mon 13-Mar-17 17:56:25

Can he not swop to access type courses? Or is that only for post sixteen when they have already failed?

wowbutter Mon 13-Mar-17 17:57:01

You asked school for an assesment for Sen, my local one is called the inclusive education service.

TheOriginalNutty Mon 13-Mar-17 17:58:16

Roundabout - He was just assessed by an OT. That was in Yr 7. One of his teachers last year though said that in her opinion he is Dyspraxic.

TheOriginalNutty Mon 13-Mar-17 18:00:23

In primary school he was assessed for Autism, but came out with a ODD diagnosis. I agree he isn't Autistic but he also doesn't have ODD imo.

TheOriginalNutty Mon 13-Mar-17 18:01:10

Wowbutter. I haven't asked them no, can I do that ?? Can they refuse ?

StarDanced Mon 13-Mar-17 18:01:17

If he is understanding the work in class his problem may be to do with exam technique. It might be worth finding out which examboards his subjects will be in and look at finding past papers and markschemes. That way you can practice how to answer questions and work out what will get him the marks. You don't need a tutor, past paper practice is the best way to revise. This often is easier to do for maths and science papers as the markschemes are less subjective. The good news is that your ds is in year 9 so there is time to improve the grades. Also worth contacting the senco at the school to see if he might be allowed extra time.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Mon 13-Mar-17 18:01:53

The school can assess whether he qualifies for "special measures" when taking his GCSEs. He may have the option of a scribe ( person who will write out his exam answers as he dictates them) a reader or he can use a computer to type in exams if his handwriting is illegible.

If he is working hard and receiving extra tuition at school, you may have to accept that he's not particularly academic. That doesn't mean he can't flourish in other areas and there are plenty of technical or hands on courses he can pursue after GCSEs.

He can also of course retake the English or Maths GCSE when in sixth form or college.

StarDanced Mon 13-Mar-17 18:03:09

Computers can also be provided for some students for exams and coursework. I would advise getting an assessment when you meet with the school.

SignOnTheWindow Mon 13-Mar-17 18:06:33

It's certainly not too late for a scribe at GCSE and it could make all the difference.

Here's a link to the JCQ guidelines:
www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/access-arrangements-and-special-consideration/regulations-and-guidance

roundaboutthetown Mon 13-Mar-17 18:07:53

An occupational therapist cannot diagnose dyspraxia. It is normally diagnosed by a developmental paediatrician, usually working with a psychologist and physio or occupational therapist. Frankly, I think you were fobbed off by a useless OT. If I were you, I would push incredibly strongly for at least an educational psychologist to assess him - he clearly has some specific difficulties to be doing so badly in school for so long. A proper assessment would help establish where the problems lie: memory, attention, perception, verbal or performance IQ, motor co-ordination etc, etc.

LouisevilleLlama Mon 13-Mar-17 18:08:04

I don't think all is lost, I'm dyspraxic and my handwriting is terrible and organisation, timings etc, throughout my schooling for exams I was given a mixture of added time/ using a computer/ a teacher reading my paper with me and rewriting it. Is he generally in the top classes or bottom? I was generally in the top but my mid year 10 report had me getting D's I ended up with B's. There's generally always a way to get help with the school hopefully your DS needs can be properly assessed to find what will work best for him

roundaboutthetown Mon 13-Mar-17 18:09:15

Forgot to mention processing speed. You need to be armed with helpful, informed advice so you can, eg, fight for more time in exams.

alltouchedout Mon 13-Mar-17 18:09:18

Why haven't school asked for an Ed Psych assessment?

TheOriginalNutty Mon 13-Mar-17 18:29:58

Thank you all for the replies.

Tbh I am not sure why school haven't asked for an assessment but I will be asking them too. I asked for one in primary school and they just said 'well what do you want him assessed for ?' . I don't know, I'm not the expert.

He did get extra time in exams in Yr 8. Ds said he didn't need it as he ended up sat there with nothing to do, but I think that is because he feels he has done enough and answered everything ok.

He does homework at school at an after school club once a week and in break times so that if he needs extra help he can get it there and then.

Imo he has a processing disorder and dyspraxia. I would like him assessed for APD and Dyspraxia again, properly.

His difficulties are ....

Processing instructions (give him more than one and he will only remember the first).
Fine motor skills - He still can't tie shoelaces, still struggles with buttons, writing etc.
Staying focused in class
Very poor organisational skills

TheOriginalNutty Mon 13-Mar-17 18:34:34

Thank's for the link Signonthewindow smile

He is in the bottom set for everything Louise.

Wolfiefan Mon 13-Mar-17 18:35:21

You might be better posting on SEN boards. Not trying to "label" him but you may find posters with more experience.
School should be assessing him for a scribe and extra time.
They should be telling you how they plan to help him eg add more detail to answers.
Are those grades predicted or what he's working at now? (So could do quite a bit better in Y11!)

LIZS Mon 13-Mar-17 18:35:53

If school won't refer him try your gp. He needs something in place for gcse assessments and exams. If he had extra time last year it may be that the senco is appropriately qualified to administer tests to meet the criteria of JCQ (the body who monitor external exam arrangements) but that would n't address the underlying problem.

LIZS Mon 13-Mar-17 18:38:54

Also have a look at the Dyspraxia Foundation website and fb page. There is a list of typical traits at different developmental stages and tips to address some of them. Even if his problem isn't dyspraxia there is much in common with other SpLD.

TheOriginalNutty Mon 13-Mar-17 18:45:48

Ok thank you all, this is all really helpful.

I've just been reading the schools SEND stuff and from what I can see, they are already doing some of the stuff that they'd do if he was officially needing support, especially under the Cognition and Learning section.

It was the G.P that referred him to the OT that said he wasn't Dyspraxic.

TheOriginalNutty Mon 13-Mar-17 18:47:32

Wolfie - As far as I can tell, those are his predicted GCSE grades.

He scores for 'attitude to learning' in each subject are 'good' or 'excellent'. Except for in Maths, which is below average.

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