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September 17 2014 07:35 PM





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school change
#1 Print Post
Posted on May 07 2007 09:27 PM

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My husband and I are having a debate about whether our son is in the right school . We have got him a tutor once a week and she is surprised at how good he is ( possibly because |I warned her that he has dys dat and de other) . Any way school says he is "holding his own in class" (whatever that means ) . But his homework points out how c**p he is at writing spelling and maths. He is just terrible . You can see that it seems as though he is looking through cracks in a frosted up window. He can just make out bits of clarity . He doesn't get the language of maths . He doesn't get number bonds up to ten. He can't cope with 9+2 but when you point out that 9+1= 10 yes good boy ..he eventually gets it . He gets there with some pushing in the right direction . And then just as despair hits me he gets the answer and explains his method which is really clever lateral thinking when a eaiser way was missed .
well, his school is very academic and his teacher (this year ) is great but there is a private school for learning difficulties 10 minutes drive away . They don't do well academically.
How long do I give it before I consider change and should we leave him aiming high with the other kids and achieving averagely ( which is fine ).
I can't tell if I am focussing too strongly on his difficulties or whether I am actually right and he is not doing as well as they think . If I go to the private school they probably will want him as they would like the school fees!! Oh well. Stop fussing . It is the contacts and opportunities not the grades that determine success.
Edited by dawn on May 07 2007 09:28 PM
#2 Print Post
Posted on May 08 2007 10:03 AM

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Hi Dawn,
bear in mind that the school for children with learning difficulties will never do as well academically overall as there may be many children there for whom even with a great deal of help they will not achieve very highly. This doesn't mean the teachers aren't good at enabling a child to reach their full potential. I would also ask them what specifically they have in place for dyscalculia and also look at the range of achievement- as long as there are a few children achieving highly this means they enable all to reach their potential- it is not always the average that is of interest in an environment like this because of the underlying ability of the children entering the school.....
One question I would ask is whether that school has an overall aim to transfer children back into mainstream education at any point or if they just assume once they have them they keep them. It is a bit like my experience with osteopaths (I had a bad back for many years) - the one's who were good could always be identified because at the first consultation they would give a finite timescale for treatment, whereas the rubbish ones would just endlessly say 'come back next week' as my bank balance steadily diminished.....
An advantage of not trying to compete in an academic school is that there may be less pressure- I know Miles is holding his own but then so was Oscar and it didn't stop him having very battered self esteem and (I believe) was detrimental to his social standing in the class. He was very frustrated with his lack of understanding because the mechanisms weren't in place to accomodate any learning difficulty and I think this also made him both sadder and angrier than he would otherwise have been, because he is otherwise so articulate and talented so there was this horrible mismatch between his sense of his abilities and the ghastly fog he found himself in at school.
Also I have always thought that infants and junior are the places to learn social skills and basic academic skills- i went to a really standard junior school and then to a grammer along with children from the local (very academic) private prep school. What was very noticable was that the difference between state and private was evened out by the end of the first TERM- so i have always thought that pushing kids at a young age was pointless (and this is bourne out by most research). So i suppose on balance I am saying the spec ed school would be good if it is a good one
Hope this helps!!
ps our family motto is 'worse things happen at sea'- and as my great great grandfather captained a ship which sank drowning his first wife and 2 children I think this is quite a good one to put one's troubles into perspective......
#3 Print Post
Posted on May 11 2007 10:25 PM

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Saw the special school in an old house in beautiful grounds and an outdoor pool (in MANCHESTER -thank God for global warming) . They have a fluidity between the classes for maths and english soif you are 10 but you can't do the 12 hour clock you join the class that is doing that and it doesn't matter the age but the ability counts. The are specialist in dyslexia and dyspraxia and have extra classes for working memory. Only 15 in a class and only 2 in the final year are going on to independent schools or passed the 11 plus. Some kids feel that they want to go back to their original school after a period of time. Some of the buildings were so ramshackle. The kids looked happy.
My husband thinks it is ideal. I am miserable. Our school is a faith school and the school is so much part of the community and we will be stepping away from it totally , to go to a school that is aiming to achieve everyone's potential but the ambitions seem to be different to mine.I don't see a bright future there .But I don't know if he will feel a failure eventually in the present school.
The SAT assessments have been done last week and this week and so I plan to await the outcome and maybe start year 3 (juniors) If Miles goes into a spiral of decline in confidence at thatpoint I will consider the other school . I can't open my mouth and talk about this just now as I am so unhappy at the thought of what I could be about to do by changing his whole education and social group.His teacher is convinced he is doing well and now his concentration is better then his maths will improve as he is now following instructions. I couldn't see that the special school does different support to ours- there is just more of it.
I'll pull myself together tomorrow after the bl**dy homework and the next birthday party .
Edited by dawn on May 11 2007 10:28 PM
#4 Print Post
Posted on May 17 2007 09:25 AM

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Hi Dawn,
agree sometimes it may just be more of the same (much like any private school). Would also note though that Oscar only really started struggling at year 3- the pace at which they introduce new concepts really steps up and there is far less time for play or free time so he got increasingly exhausted by the constant pressure. So Yr 3 would be a good test to see how well Miles is likely to cope if he stays in his current school...
#5 Print Post
Posted on May 17 2007 08:33 PM
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Hi Dawn

I don't know if this will help or not but I think you are b****y great for analysing your son's educatation so carefully. I would monitor his self esteem and happiness levels for awhile. The special school seems to have facilities for dyslexia and dyspraxia but not dyscalculia.

Whatever happens, you sound like you're really keeping an eye on him, which can only work out for the best.
(Katie) Wink

Be different, it suits you

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