Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

If your child is in Y5 or Y6 and likely to go to a mainstream secondary...

(26 Posts)
PolterGoose Fri 14-Oct-16 09:59:22

I want to talk about transition smile

If your child is in Y5:
-start looking at secondary schools now
-arrange a visit halfway through the school year when they're not focused on settling new kids or exams
-speak honestly about your child's needs and gauge responses
-apply for an EHCP if you think they'll need it
-if it's been a while since your child had an OT, EP, physio, SALT etc assessment or review request one now
-start preparing your own profile of your child's needs and strengths

If your child is in Y6, most of the above, plus:
-if you are reasonably sure which school your child will go to (for us there's only 1 school in town) go and meet the SENCo now and start looking at transition and support
-when choosing a school don't be seduced by good/outstanding Ofsted ratings and glossy brochures. Likewise don't be put off by bad reputation, lower results or poor facilities.
-as soon as your child has a place email the SENCo the profile of your child and ask for a meeting
-don't leave sorting out what support is needed until your child is already there
-don't trust the primary school to pass on all the relevant information
-start thinking about practical things which might help, eg how will your child manage writing down homework, will they cope in the canteen, what if there's a room/teacher change?

Melawati Fri 14-Oct-16 12:18:08

Excellent list polter!
Also, if you can, get some 'insider knowledge' from someone with a DC one or two years ahead of yours at the school.
Not all schools have the same systems/ways of doing things and getting to know the idiosyncrasies of how your DC's school works helps identify potential areas of difficulty in advance.

PolterGoose Fri 14-Oct-16 12:41:46

Thanks Mela

Yes, knowing how things work helps a lot.

And, if the SENCo can't find time to meet with you before your child starts they're either crap or too busy, neither bode well.

TheTyrannyOfMAGENTA Fri 14-Oct-16 12:47:50

Thanks polter!

We emailed the schools to meet with the Senco and the ones that didn't even reply or said see you at open evening went down in my estimation. Luckily the school of the Senco that did reply was the one my dc liked best!

Also, do you mind if I ask you a question via pm so as not to hijack this thread?

Melawati Fri 14-Oct-16 12:53:12

And, if the SENCo can't find time to meet with you before your child starts they're either crap or too busy, neither bode well.

Oh yes, and realising that would have saved a whole lot of angstgrin

bialystockandbloom Fri 14-Oct-16 12:54:18

Thank you for starting this polter smile

My ds is in y5 so this is really really helpful (if terrifying!).

FrayedHem Fri 14-Oct-16 18:06:34

DS1 is Yr6. I've found when asking about PE & RE being potentially difficult subjects for DS1 that the responses have been quite revealing. One school talked about the national curriculum requirements but how they could help with English, Maths and Science, the other explained how they'd helped pupils' before by doing xyz.

We're actually applying for a space in an ASD base in a different area of our LA (though same county) which is opening next year. It really isn't mentioned anywhere on the LA website and it was the Specialist Teacher who told us about it. So always worth asking around if there are any enhanced provisions to consider a look.

Hermanfromguesswho Fri 14-Oct-16 18:41:07

I wish I'd seen this last year when DS was in year 5! He's in year 6 now and I'm so panicked about high school!
Will definitely use some of your tips now though

PolterGoose Fri 14-Oct-16 19:37:36

It's not too late Herman, it was about this time in Y6 I first met the secondary SENCo. It's more with hindsight it would have been better to start thinking sooner, and even more so if you have a lot of schools to choose from.

Hermanfromguesswho Fri 14-Oct-16 20:10:45

I've screen shotted your post grin
I've spoken a lot to the primary senco about transition for DS but didn't think to contact the high school senco myself. Will definitely be doing that now.
We've already been to visit schools and are going for the slightly less well rated by ofsted one which seems to have better pastoral care! Fingers crossed it will be a good fit!

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Fri 14-Oct-16 23:02:58

Yes to all the above. Make appointments with SENCOs. One SENCO got back to me straight away, was waiting for me at reception when I arrived, took a great deal of interest in DD's reports and answered all my questions to my satisfaction. The other lost my emails, messed me about with dates, kept me waiting for 45 mins and flicked through my reports whilst brushing me off with "yes, she'll be fine here". Told me all I needed to know.

LyndaNotLinda Fri 14-Oct-16 23:08:24

Such a good list Polter - thank you!

I wish I had followed this advice when I moved DS from infant to junior school sad

Well onwards - DS is now in year 5 and I'm going to look at a school on Tuesday

ZuleikaDobson Sat 15-Oct-16 01:03:42

Also, if your child has a statement, be aware that they should have started the transition process by now to meet the deadline of 15th February for completing an EHCP. Also that the LA is required by law to carry out a full needs assessment unless you specifically agree that the advice already in existence is adequate.

Ineedmorepatience Sat 15-Oct-16 15:33:48


youarenotkiddingme Sat 15-Oct-16 17:46:40

Great idea for a thread polter

I wish I'd known that before DS started secondary and wish now it failed I'd had the guts to address it before agreeing to managed move.

I would like to shout out to all parents follow polters list and don't be afraid to speakly frankle and openly. A good school will respond to you and agree how they will meet your child's needs.

cheminotte Sat 15-Oct-16 21:26:24

Thanks Polter . Ds1 is in year 5, awaiting a diagnosis. Should I request an DHCP before we get it? He has settled really well into year 5 so maybe I'm being complacent. Is it best to go to open evenings or make separate appointments? Should I take ds1 with me at this stage?

PolterGoose Sat 15-Oct-16 22:07:14

For Y5 I would start with open evenings and arrange visits for you and for you both mid-year when it's less busy.

Top tip for open evenings - don't go to the head's talk in the hall, go wandering while it's quiet, you'll have time to speak to teachers without the crowds.

TwoLeftSocks Sat 15-Oct-16 22:28:40

Thank you, good list.

We've just applied for DS. Talking with Yr7 parents has helped massively, and also with his fantastic Yr6 teacher (she's just great, I want to keep her forever!). Am already writing key things to pass on and will bounce that off her for all the classroom things she helps him with.

gigglingHyena Mon 17-Oct-16 11:26:32

Thanks, it's always useful to hear form those who are a couple of years ahead. I'm dreading the transition although DD is now in year 8 so at least I have a bit of experience to draw on.

Have now managed to meet with the sencos at both our most likely options, but I really need to sit down with DH and right down our pros and con's for each before we forget. There were so many bits we talked about.

TwoLeftSocks Tue 18-Oct-16 19:52:28

I think the bit that swung me was the communication between us and the teachers. They seem, from speaking with other parents, to have that cracked.

user1466418222 Wed 19-Oct-16 09:57:46

Hello everyone.
Can anyone give me an honest review on stony dean school in amersham - dd has been offered a place there.It will help me at least an opinion of a mum wich knows how is there.Thank you.

PolterGoose Wed 19-Oct-16 10:12:09

user it would be better to start a new thread with a relevant title so you attract posters who already know the school. You'll be taken more seriously if you get rid of your temporary nickname too, your welcome email should tell you how to do that. It's hard to distinguish beteeen all the 'user123456789's and a lot are trolls.

lougle Wed 19-Oct-16 11:32:29

DD2 is year 5. She'll go from a school of 100 to a school of 1200. She didn't cope with a school size of 400 so I'm fairly dreading it sad.

Ohmuther Wed 19-Oct-16 14:23:02

Following - many thanks for all the info.

PolterGoose Tue 08-Nov-16 17:02:18


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