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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 16127
It seems very hard to get any time concessions for the 11+; it is not just your area.

Every other exam - KS2, GCSE, A level and degree takes note of these reports ...


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:55 pm
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The point in my posting is to counter the assumptions made about SEN children and grammar schools. Yes, the pressure will be on at a GS, as it will be on all pupils. And yes, your daughter will have to work harder than children who don't share her difficulties. But that is where you know her best. Some very able children don't do well at GS because they frankly can't really be bothered. It is about the right environment for her.

You local upper/comprehensive school might be very good but if she does go there be prepared to fight for support and for them to academically challenge your daughter appropriately.


Well said, Drummer.

So much to say as this is similar to my experiences.

1. Is a grammar school the right place for your daughter? You say she is very bright, with a thirst for knowledge. That sounds like a girl who you know would enjoy the stimulation of a grammar school. You say the tests show that she is of average ability - am I getting that right? That needs to be looked at. Either she really is of average ability, in which case she will probably not be happy in a grammar school, or, she is as smart as you and the teacher thinks she is and the tests are not yet showing her potential. How old was she when they were taken? Any good ed psych will tell you they are a snapshot of performance on the day, and that for one reason or another she might score quite a bit higher or lower on another day. In my experience, three times over, testing junior school children isn't going to give you a definite answer that stays fixed and unchanged over the following years. I believe the scores settle in the mid teens.
If you were to end up going to appeal, you would first have to show why you think your child is suited to grammar school, and it is a useful exercise to go through. To succeed you will need evidence and the support of the school. Evidence could include high marks relative to her class, high reading age, high scores in verbal and non-verbal ed psych assessment.
If you conclude that your daughter has the potential to thrive at a grammar school, don't let anyone tell you that her SEN means that she isn't suitable. All universities - including the most competitive in the country - are used to accommodating bright students who need adjustments for their SEN. Just to stress this: chimpanzees have far faster processing speed than we plodding humans do, but they are not suited to grammar school education. On the other hand, I know a newly qualified accountant, first time passes in all exams, with a 2.1 PPE from Oxford, with adjustments there and at school for her slow processing speed SEN.
2. Not all grammar schools are the same: Some welcome and nurture students with SEN, others don't. Do you have a choice of grammar schools to aim for? Do they have different SEN cultures? Uphill battles to have appropriate adjustments in place for your child are stressful for the parent and it is unavoidable that the child senses - rightly or wrongly - that they are thought of by the school as a nuisance and unsuited.
3. If handwriting is difficult, she should already be using a computer as her normal way of working in as many subjects as possible. A special laptop should be provided for public exams.
4. "Normal way of working" is a Catch 22 phrase: without the school having the resources and inclination to support your child, they will not have the evidence to ask for adjustments for the 11+, GCSEs, A Levels. Plan ahead, and make sure they are building up the evidence required.
5. That phrase "mild dyslexia" is horribly misleading, and the experts squabble among themselves about how to define the problem. The Ed Psych tests usually look at 4 areas: verbal ability, perceptual or non-verbal ability, working memory, and processing speed. Children who are going to feel comfortable in a grammar school will probably score highly in the first two areas. Children without SEN will in general have scores that are similar in all four areas. Many with SEN will have significant weakness in one or both of the last two. Weakness can mean that there's a big gap between the verbal and non verbal scores and the processing and memory scores, or that the processing and memory scores are low. Look at the JCQ guidelines about adjustments in public exams to see what scores are required for permission for extra time.
6. Without adjustments it seems sensible to prepare for appeal. It is a difficult and potentially upsetting transition for kids with SEN.
7. Besides the cost, there are other reasons why you should not test too frequently. It can undermine the validity of the results, but a good ed psych can advise you about whether it is possible to use alternative papers. More importantly, it keeps you and your child thinking about her disabilities, whereas in my experience in the long run what needs to happen is that your child enjoys her abilities and keeps up her self confidence and love of learning.
8. Rest breaks: if you can't arrange extra time, you may still be able to sort out rest breaks. If you succeed, you need to work out exactly how they will be used for them to be of benefit: my shy daughter felt she was imposing on her invigilator by extending the session. A big problem with SEN and the CEM test is that they cannot practice the format in advance.

Very best of luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:21 am
Posts: 298
Wow, thank you for your very helpful replies. Maybe I didn't explain her test scores very well. The'average' is from.an inclusion support worker who the school ask to come and assess my DD. Her spelling is 'average' along with a few if the other tests they carried out from a short observation. The ed psych completed many tests and she did very well in those verbal ones. She concluded shè was very bright (IQ of 121). Her reading age is as high as it can be measured. Maths isnt her strong point but she loves every other subject and spends hours reading history and other books. We do have a number of schools we can look at. The ones we have visited I have asked the relevant questions and will visit again once we have results.
It looks like they are again looking at my forms as I emailed them. Hopefully this time they will read the forms. Thank you all for your advice


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