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Kind prep school

(8 Posts)
alwaysrushing Sat 15-Mar-14 14:34:55

Any advice please.
This weekend I am at the end of my tether. My gorgeous, dyslexic, dyscalculic, kind, sweet ,quirky daughter was this weekend excluded from yet another party. To cheer her up I took her to the park, where horrors, there was another party going on amongst the girls from her class. Again she hadn't been invited. Tears and heartache-from us both.
She is 11 years old and I am now thinking of a trying to move her to a boarding prep school in the south west/midlands. Her current school is high achieving and I think this is not helping.She is looked down on by some children ( and I'm sad to say some teachers too) for her slowness in reading and maths. I feel that if I coud find a kind nuturing school, mainstream but not academically selective with excellent inclusive SEN provision, and where there are other quirky creative happy, not necessarily academic children, maybe my DD might regain some of her crumbling self esteem and joy.
Feel very close to tears...
Any suggestions gratefuuly received

Expatmomma Mon 17-Mar-14 07:02:07

Bredon in Tweksbury maybe?

Good luck

Am going through the same process for the sane reasons.

We are looking at SE England as we are overseas and wanted proximity to major airports.

But loved the look of Bredon and my email contact with them was very encouraging.

meditrina Mon 17-Mar-14 07:07:40

Would any of the Quaker schools be in reach?

alwaysrushing Mon 17-Mar-14 15:31:55

That's so interesting you mention Bredon- My daughter is my youngest of 4-2 older sisters with no probs, and then a son of 16, high functioning Aspergers. I looked at Bredon last year for a September entry for 6th form. The web site is good, but we were truly blown away when we visited-what a lovely warm friendly school.50% SEN approx, but 50% mainstream, fab speech therapy, an amazing farm that the children are completely involved with, and just a really really good feeling to the place. The children were happy and friendly. Some were obviously quirky, but all seemed accepted, and if he gets a place we will take it like a shot. However the reason that I wasn't really thinking in terms of Bredon for my daughter( maybe wrongly?!) was that it did seem predominantly boys!! Do you have a son or daughter? Also not sure when it starts boarding, having not been focussed on my daughters requirements when we visited. We are also overseas so need a school with proper weekend activities going on!

alwaysrushing Mon 17-Mar-14 15:33:19

Thank you Meditrina for Quaker schools thought- will enquire further. there is one called Sibford near Oxford I believe. Has to be boarding though...

Picasso31 Mon 17-Mar-14 18:56:28

I have a dd at Bredon, dyslexic, dyscalculic. Happy to answer any questions you have. It is boy dominated about 4:1 but girls are happy. Takes boarders from 9 I think. Dd is day pupil.

alwaysrushing Tue 18-Mar-14 08:58:07

Would be really interested to hear more about Bredon Picasso31!
Do you feel that your daughters needs are fully catered for? Do you find it a happy caring nuturing school? do you also feel that she is encouraged to achieve to the best of her abilities? Maybe the boy/girl ratio is worth re considering, I dont care as long as she is happy again....

Picasso31 Tue 18-Mar-14 14:11:59

The majority of kids have some sort of sen mostly dyslexic, dyspraxic type, some mild adhd or high functioning AS, quite a few overseas especially Spanish kids too. Being 'different' is 'normal'.
She's made great progress. L3 at end Y6 in reading, writing and maths. Now predicted mostly C's or above at GCSE. Teaching mostly very good and assumes/ accommodates low literacy levels even in top sets. She's worked hard too!
The site is beautiful, lots of outdoorsy opportunities with the farm and woods (less good if your child is not the active kind). But new head is broadening activities - drama and music were very weak but lots of work to improve these with new specialist teachers and clubs etc.
Good range of vocational options not available at most private schools as well as usual GCSEs so can meet most kids needs academically.
Access centre staff provide good 1-2-1 support academically (and socially if needed). Pastoral care is very strong. The teachers genuinely seem to care.

The boy-girl ratio is the one thing DD would change if she could. Sport for girls is limited by the small number of girls - there are 2 teams only Y7-9 and Y10-13 so the younger of the age groups often miss out. The range of sports is good though and teachers are great and anyone can join in regardless of how 'sporty' they are. Boys sport is stronger. She seems to have as many friends that are boys as girls. The small number of girls does mean that normal teenage girl behaviour can escalate and everyone seems to get involved but the school does address any bullying or falling out well and quickly.

New head seems to be making some changes - keen to improve exam results and smarten the uniform up (much to DDs disgust - see new school skirt on website!) Also increasing courses on offer and investing in the facilities.Most kids seem to get there academically but some take a little longer, (move down a year or do GCSE level courses in 6th form) but that's fine.

School has grown rapidly and unexpectedly since closure of Stanbridge Earls. This did cause a few blips at the start of the year with changes in classes and a sudden influx of new teachers and a large group of kids who all knew each other but settled down now. Probably been positive for the school.

Overall I would recommend the school - maybe not for a very 'girly' girl but otherwise they mix well with the boys and get on well. They do need to be able to cope with teenage boys boisterous behaviour. Girls tend to make friends across the year groups to find similar types. Don't know much about the boarding - her friends seem happy boarding and most seem to stay at weekends. It's definitely nurturing but not too protected from real life. Glad we chose it. If your DD needs specialist dyslexia support then the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Most schools we looked at with genuinely strong SEN support were boy dominated as boys are diagnosed more than girls who often disappear quietly into the background.

In-box me if you have any specific questions

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