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Holmewood School North London

(12 Posts)
LA66 Tue 22-Feb-11 10:26:53

Our ds has dyslexia and dyspraxia and we are looking for options for him from next Sept. for Year 3. I have read the great comments on Failey House, and we are considering it. However, as we live in North London, we heard about Holmewood School, apparently linked to the North London International School. Has anybody got any experience or heard about it? We would very much appreciate any information on it. Thank you!

isgrassgreener Sun 27-Feb-11 22:38:05

I can't say I know Holmeswood School, although North London International School is quite close to me. Pehaps it's quite new?
My DS went to Fairley House from North London for two years, there is a minibus service that takes them door to door, it is rather a long journey but they get used to it and lots of the children at the school go by minibus.
Hope this is of some help.

LA66 Tue 01-Mar-11 15:35:32

Thank you, this is helpful!
Yes, Holmewood is quite new, which makes it hard to decide. We are going to visit both and see. May I ask, did you pay for Fairley House yourselves or did you get support from the council? We have only just found out that our son needs to go to a specialist school and are a bit shocked by the fees. I have read on this site about the difficulties of getting local authorities to offer support and I was wondering whether it makes sense at all to engage in this fight.
Thanks again.

trasa Tue 01-Mar-11 19:16:11

hello lla66
i hope you get on well looking for a place for your boy,xx
i have just posted another message on mine,i would really be gratefull for your advice on it please? xx

isgrassgreener Tue 01-Mar-11 22:18:48

We paid for it ourselves which was a hugh financial commitment. There were a few statemented children at the school, but it is getting harder and harder to get statements and getting them for dyslexic has always been difficult, especially if you live in an area with lots of SEN need.
Most of the children who had statements at Fairley House had really good legal representation to get them there, which costs quite a lot as well.
Good Luck

LA66 Wed 02-Mar-11 15:01:36

Thanks- this confirms my suspicion. We are going to see the school tomorrow.

pooparts Tue 15-Mar-11 12:14:53

I would be interested to hear what you think about Holmewood and Fairley once you have visited both.

LA66 Mon 21-Mar-11 14:52:53

They are VERY different. Fairley is well established and focussing on dyslexia/dyspraxia, Holmewood has just started last September, take a wide spectrum of disabilities including autism etc. so I think it really depends on the child's needs.
As we signed in the book at reception to register on arrival, we noticed on the top of the page somebody had written down "This school is unfair do not send your children here". Hard to tell what to make of that, we pointed that out to the lady at reception but she did not seem to care. I was also put off by the fact that their OT arrangements are supplied by Hopscothch, which, in our experience is quite unprofessional and unreliable. Perhaps given the small number of children it is good for those who need more intensive support, but for those on the milder end of the spectrum I would say Fairley is a more suitable place.

lazymumofteenagesons Wed 23-Mar-11 12:57:29

Do anything you possibly can to send him to Fairley House they have at least 30 years of experience in this field. There are large numbers of North London children being bussed in. As soon as he is able to go back into mainstream they will tell you. They mostly attend for about 2/3 years.

not sure where my son would be without the grounding they gave him and the increase in confidence and self esteem. Up to age 7/8 I would not have thought he would get any GCSEs, he was not accessing the curriculum at all. he is now aged 16 in line for As and Bs. He spent yr 3,4 and 5 at Fairley House.

LA66 Sun 27-Mar-11 20:56:26

Thank you, we will. He spent 2 days at Fairley house last week for his assessment and came out very happy saying that he really would like to go there. We were a bit anxiuos thinking about what happens next, but it's great to hear about your experience, it is quite reassuring. Two or three years of financial hardship ahead, but that's part of the game of choosing to become parents!

sentalk Fri 13-May-11 13:37:17

I came across this thread and felt compelled to respond - I'm head of school at Holmewood. I agree with the post above: Fairley House is a great school. The suggestion that Holmewood meets the needs of children with more complex SEN difficulties is correct. We specialise in children who have a co-morbid diagnosis including complex SpLD, high-functioning autism, and Asperger's.
On the specific points raised... Firstly, the visitors' book was scribbled on by a young lad with Asperger's. Due to the nature of his condition, the following day he was telling staff in great detail about the wonderful things he has achieved here. Unfortunately the day in question was a day where he was struggling with his self-worth and anxieties. That is the nature of Asperger's, and part of daily life at our school. Secondly, I can only comment on Holmewood's partnership with Hopscotch. In our experience the partnership has strengthened the integrated approach that we deliver. It provides the school with a unique sensory integration provision for our students. All our families are thrilled with the input, training and support that our OT provides both during term-time and in the holidays. Please feel free to contact us at any time for more information about our school; we would be happy to tell you more about what we do.

Dondona Sun 05-Jun-11 19:42:14

Hi. My son attends Holmewood school and all I can say is that the school and the staff within the school are fantastic.
My son has not had a proper education since year 4 in primary school. He was placed in lots of different settings that unfortunately was not suitable for him. My son started Holmewood in September of 2010, and it is the first time in years that I have felt supported, and that my son has been understood. All the staff are very understanding and the head mistress is a breath of fresh air. She is very supportive and although my son at times can be very challenging, they have never given up on him. It us a new school and I am so happy that I found this school for my son, and am thankful to the staff for there help and support.

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