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London private school for non academic mildly dyslexic boy(38 Posts)
Does such a thing exist where teaching standards are high? Although (according to Ed Psych anyway) my son's intelligence is above average, he performs below average in all the standardised tests and is dyslexic. He is v small for his age and v slim and although a happy boy is not hugely confident and so can be pushed around by the less kind children. He needs a small class size and a nurturing environment to achieve his potential. Preferably within reach of West London or somewhere along the overground in North London. He is in Year 4 at the moment so would love to move him somewhere that avoids the 11+ and preferably 13+ too (13+ seems most likely to just be putting off the problem). Does anyone know of anywhere which would work? My research so far is coming up with a big fat zero.
By "avoiding the 11+ and 13+" are you looking for a senior school that doesn't have an entrance exam or are you looking to move him to a through school which would guarantee entry to senior school?
I'm not aware of any mainstream senior school accessible from West London that doesn't have an entrance exam, albeit the standard required for an offer varies hugely. The easier to get into options in West London are St Benedicts, St James School for boys, Radnor House and Kew House.
We are looking at Thames Christian College (year 7 & up). My DS is academic but very shy and needs a caring environment. The teaching seems excellent and the pastoral care superb but the location and building is not great. I might look past this but l'm not sure. It's in Battersea. What about the new Eaton Sq Senior School - he could join the prep?
I could have written this, your son's profile seems very similar to mine. We're in East London. Having significantly researched, I'm beginning to realize that this holy grail of school is rare. I've come up with St Christopher's (Hitchin) and King Alfred school.
Thanks for the replies - really appreciated. It just seems crazy that it is so hard to find an indie school for a non academic child - not everyone can meet the national average. It is the class sizes which are important I think as he needs support. I think I would rather a school where he could join the prep now so he doesn't have to do the 11+ at all. I will look into all the options above so thanks v much for those. Are they likely to expect national average at least though?
Thames Christian College is good - they deal well with mild dyslexia and underconfident kids. My eldest sounds a lot like your son OP. He wanted a co-ed school, we wanted somewhere he wouldnt get lost. We also applied to Northbridge House in Hampstead, King Alfreds, Kew House and Emanuel. The King Alfreds assessment day was the one my son enjoyed most - lots of different activities, writing a story, etc - but so many kids (140) for so few places (they offered 8). North Bridge house had an assessment day (exams and group interview on a Saturday in batches) - they were sweet in that the boy who showed us round sent my son a good luck message before the assessments and he got a letter from his interviewer after the assessment day.
He's going to Kew House in September - great inspiring head, real focus on pastoral care, all kids reviewed by SEN team when they start to ensure no one falls between the cracks, 50/50 boys and girls in year of 88 (4 classes), kids of mixed abilities (they do written assessments and do a 5 minute presentation on anything they like and interview with 2 other kids and a member of staff which counts as much as exams) and lovely modern colourful building (with air conditioning). I'd definitely recommend checking it out. Can get there on the overground to Richmond.
Sorry - apart from Emanuel (which takes from 10, but madly oversubscribed) - all the ones I mentioned are 11+.
My friend with a mildly dyslexic son, who was behind national average, has started him at Portland Place in year 5. The class is tiny (5 people I think) as they've only just started having year 5 and year 6 there, but she's really happy with the attention he's getting and he is thriving. May be worth looking at.
How about the international schools such as ACS in Hillingdon
They are certainly flexible
Portland Place can do well with kids who don't "fit" elsewhere, including but by no means exclusively, some very bright kids whose SEN required parents to have a fresh think.
Interesting, thanks everyone! I am going to look into all of those. It's great to here there are options at least. Was starting to panic!
Thanks horse. Do know what FH is like? My understanding is that it is a break from mainstream for a couple of years but what happens next?
The thing that is most interesting is that it seems to me that those that struggle are perhaps more in need of the smaller class sizes that private schools provide but yet private schools seems less willing to provide for them
Would you consider weekly boarding? If so how about a move at the beginning of Year 6 to More House School in Farnham. They are highly regarded for their teaching of dyslexic boys. Very non pressurised environment with a ton of support.
A very popular school so worth visiting soon and looking for early entry as the higher years (8 and upwards) tend to be full for boarding.
They run a coach each Farnham station and many boarders catch this back to London on a Friday and return to school Monday morning.
A friend of mine sent a similarly profiled boy to the Domini, then Thames Christian and he is now doing very well at a v academic north London school. They were very happy
Also, in south London , Finton house has a very big commitment to SEN support , although is. Italy mainstream. Goes to 11 I think
There really aren't many through schools of any sort. Only one I can think of is harrodian and I have no idea what their SEN support is like. They do have a fairly wide academic span though.
And I don't harrodian would be my first choice for a shy or little boy
Radnor House would be ideal. I know a few DC with similar "profiles" who are there. He can join now, before 11+
If you get him into North Bridge House before year 7 he can automatically transfer to either of the senior schools AND they are genuinely mixed ability with good results
John Lyon School in Harrow?
Another vote for Portland Place who were brilliant with my DC.
One of my DS's friends left his current school to go to Fairley House as he is very strongly dyslexic - I understand from his parents its a very traditional education with lots of focus on reading and writing, but less on arts, science, music etc. They are very keen to get him back into a more liberal arts education school soon.
Radnor House, St James's Ashford spring to mind.
The Hall Wimbledon
The latter 4 are more special needsor dyslexia
Have a look at www.canburyschool.co.uk near Kingston.
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