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Choosing secondary the right school with SEN support

3 replies

H4ppyowl · 05/03/2020 17:32

I am new to mumsnet and I need some advice. I was hoping you experienced parents with pre-teens/ teens could help.
Our DS is currently in year 6 and has been offered secondary school places at Highgate Wood and Maria Fidelis FCJ.

Our DS has additional support needs which include Dyslexia, ADHD and it has been suggested that she may possibly have dyspraxia. She is super confident, quirky and excels in sports as well as performing arts. She does have some challenges when it comes to the academic side of things and finds it a bit difficult with spelling and some aspects of maths. We would like to know from your experience which school would best meet her needs. A good SEN department is imperative. Both schools have their pros and cons. Highgate wood is large school and fear our DS May get lost in the crowd and this fail to receive the adequate support needed. Maria Fidelis is a lot smaller however, and the SENCO seems to be really pleasant and on the ball but the doesn’t necessarily equate to good SEN as we have seen this before and looks can be deceiving.

Any advise would be welcome.

Thanks in advance!Smile

OP posts:
FudgeBrownie2019 · 05/03/2020 18:56

I don't know either school but we chose a smaller High School when we looked for DS1, who has Autism. It hasn't been perfect; I doubt any school is, but it's been as good as it possibly can be. The smaller school meant more time, more support and more understanding who he is, his needs and how they could support him. It means they know us, too, which makes an enormous difference with High School.

Go and visit both schools with your DD. Be honest about who she is, her strengths and her struggles, ask them honestly how they'd support her and ensure she didn't fall by the wayside, get a feeling for both pastoral teams and make your choice there.

DinosApple · 05/03/2020 19:44

My daughter has a similar DX.

I don't know those schools, but I visited our top two choices, one small, one big. Big one has a SEN department, small one had a SENCO. That SENCO left last September. Ofsted for both were good, but a few years out of date.

In the end I went with the big school, big SEN dept. There also seem to be more opportunities for non academic subjects like drama, sport and art. DD starts in September, so we'll see how it goes.

H4ppyowl · 10/03/2020 11:16

Thank you all for your help. We are still trying to figure things out. DS prefers the larger school and we feel smaller school will be better for her because as you mentioned, there will be possibly more time for her there. Even though she is more creatively inclined, we still want her to succeed academically and be challenged and we feel the bigger school can provide that as it does better academically. We will figure it out but we haven’t got long! Confused

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