Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

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guestuser987
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Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby guestuser987 » Sun Apr 16, 2023 11:35 am

Hi

We have had a rough start to secondary school this year, with our son struggling with severe anxiety bordering on school refusal. He is academically bright and creative, but not all sporty (in fact, one of his big triggers at his current independent co-ed is all the compulsory rugby etc). His current school has over 1000 kids and is very academically pushy (it seems like all the do is test them!).

We ideally dont want to have to move, and his current school are being supportive, but I am not sure how long that support and flexibility is going to last, or if we are ultimately going to have to consider moving him.

Any recommendations for a smaller, more nurturing school that might fit him, and have more resources in place to help him manage the anxiety?

Thanks
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PH123
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Re: Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby PH123 » Mon Apr 17, 2023 6:49 am

Independent schools I highly recommend are Belmont a school in Holmbury St Mary Surrey or Kingswood House in Epsom.
Another school could be Ewell Castle in Ewell.
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Porchester
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Re: Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby Porchester » Tue Apr 18, 2023 8:03 am

Try London park School, Clapham. It’s currently Northwood Senior but moves to Clapham South in September. It is/will only ever be a small school and the teaching is incredible. Suzie Longstaff from Putney High is the Group Principal.
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waltzer
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Re: Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby waltzer » Tue Apr 18, 2023 12:09 pm

Maybe take a look at Thames Christian School. They seem to do really well by all of their pupils and have recently moved into a new purpose built building. 
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Username976
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Re: Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby Username976 » Wed Apr 19, 2023 9:29 am

Thanks - interesting re LPS - that was not even on our radar. We are based in Parsons Green so need somewhere we can get him to in the mornings etc. His current school is trying to help, but to be still feeling so anxious and needing so many supports after 8months makes me think we may need to take drastic steps and move him somewhere smaller. He does really well in class, but he just needs somewhere to go when he gets overwhelmed and some flexibility (eg not trying to force compulsory rugby after school and on weekends) so he can be in every day. If his current school could do that long term we would probably be fine, but we are getting near the end of year 7 and they are starting to make comments that this level of support is not sustainable…
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https://www.dulwich.org.uk/admissions/
https://www.dulwich.org.uk/ducks
https://www.dulwich.org.uk/admissions/bursaries-free-and-subsidised-places
https://www.cameronvaleschool.com/thechelseanursery
https://tabbieats.com
https://www.astertuition.com
https://www.jesseshouse.co.uk/
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https://www.nightingalemontessori.co.uk/
https://www.lyceefrancais.org.uk/sinformer/portes-ouvertes-2021/
https://www.mathnasium.co.uk/clapham
https://theluxurytravelboutique.com/offers/
SWtastic
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Re: Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby SWtastic » Wed Apr 19, 2023 9:42 am

I know in an ideal world you don't want to move him but the current school really doesn't feel a good fit for your son, especially if they're saying they can't sustain support and sport seems to be a big focus.

In the meantime, has your son had any counselling or therapy to help him manage his anxiety?
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Username976
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Re: Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby Username976 » Wed Apr 19, 2023 10:30 am

Yes - he is seeing a child psychologist at the Soke clinic (he currently misses games every Friday afternoon to attend the appointment), and we are working with him at home too, but the poor thing just seems to get so scared and overwhelmed. The Covid lockdown really did a number on him, on top of underlying traits, and he is really struggling with being away from us and home and dealing with a huge challenging school.
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Starr
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Re: Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby Starr » Wed Apr 19, 2023 11:17 am

I'm sorry to hear about your child. I know people say the independent sector did much more to maintain educational standards during the lockdowns than state schools but I saw so many children suffer under the pressures of an academic school under these circumstances, including mine and pastoral care is lacking in academic schools. I know a couple of people who turned away academic secondaries due to severe anxiety developed during lockdown and went for more nurturing schools. Catholic though.

Would you consider David Game College or Ealing Independent College? I worked at both as and Assistant teacher many years ago in my early 20s and they are very successful academically and nurturing.
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waitingforthesummer
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Re: Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby waitingforthesummer » Wed Apr 19, 2023 12:55 pm

This is simply not true Starr. You really seem to stir up all school related conversations on this forum... often totally contradicting yourself if one reads all your other posts on other topics. Why? I have no idea...

My son is in a very academic school but he has SEN and often needs some support. So probably a bit similar to your situation Guestuser987. From what I see (I have a big SEN network of mums whose kids are in both senior private and state), I think independent schools provide much better support and pastoral care BUT you need to find the right school. My son was supported incredibly well during the lockdown with SENCO calling every couple of weeks to check how he was coping. In contrast, my friends in the state sector got absolutely nothing. Yes, sadly, some private schools will discriminate against kids who need support and try to push them out. You need to get the right school. For example, our school is very sporty as well as academic and rugby is a big deal. However, if some boys hate it and don't want to do it, they can do another thing instead. My friend's son does tennis and basketball during the rugby lessons. Unfortunately, the location won't be great for you from where you are... The journey would probably be a nightmare but don't give up, ask and speak to as many people as you can. Hope you can find the right place for him
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https://www.mathnasium.co.uk/clapham
https://www.dulwich.org.uk/ducks
https://schs.gdst.net/events/early-explorers/
https://theluxurytravelboutique.com/offers/
Danijeanne2502
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Re: Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby Danijeanne2502 » Mon Apr 24, 2023 6:33 am

Sorry to hear about your son, we are in a very similar position with my daughter, since covid anxiety has been high and refusing school now since starting secondary, it has gradually got worse down to half an hour a day if at all. School have been supportive and there is a lot they can do. We have already been through this with my son who is on year 9 and now in a specialist provision as mianstream didn’t work. Have you applied for an EHCP? School should be able to provide support no matter what year they are in and adjustments should be made to accommodate your son. There is also a wonderful support group on fb called ‘not fine in school’ the group has grown immensely as so many children are struggling to attend. Could there be underlying sen needs? The only thing I would say is that state schools have to provide more support as they follow the the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice, these do not apply to wholly independent schools, and so these duties do not apply to them. If your child attends an independent school and you pay the fees, the school is not legally required to identify SEN or provide support in the same way. Obviously a lot
Of independent schools are fab but please do bear that in mind.
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dudette
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Re: Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby dudette » Mon Apr 24, 2023 8:03 am

I think you are absolutely doing the right thing and I would get him out of that school as fast as you can. To be honest as the new term starts I would be ringing round some of the schools others have suggested to try and get him in as quickly as possible.

When you say rugby is compulsory though - surely as a parent you have a right to say you don’t want him doing it? There were
some letters published in the press a couple of years back from eminent doctors saying how dangerous contact rugby is and that school children should not play it. I would thought that would give you plenty of ammunition for saying you didn’t want your son doing it. I would definitely have gone down that route if my son had gone to a compulsory rugby school.
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BalhamBorders
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Re: Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby BalhamBorders » Mon Apr 24, 2023 2:40 pm

I've heard good things about Ibstock Place by Richmond Park.

Also, co-ed day schools are more relaxed than boys only schools which can be quite competitive.

Depending on the age of your son, Newton Prep in Battersea takes children up to 13 years old.

We moved our son there and think highly of it: more greenhouse than hothouse.

Best of luck.
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Aabh25
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Re: Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby Aabh25 » Mon Apr 24, 2023 3:57 pm

Have you had a look at the Thomas's Senior School in Putney Vale?

Good luck with your search.
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https://tabbieats.com
https://www.dulwich.org.uk/admissions/bursaries-free-and-subsidised-places
https://www.dulwich.org.uk/admissions/
https://www.cameronvaleschool.com/thechelseanursery
Bevvers
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Re: Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby Bevvers » Mon Apr 24, 2023 5:25 pm

I’m sorry that your son is having problems- most schools are experiencing more children than ever requiring some extra help. I would say that whether you choose a private or state school, do lots of research into what and how much help and support the school will actually be able to offer your son. Tailor make your questions to your son’s needs, so that you get a clear picture of what is available. I’m sure you would do this anyway, but sometimes we can be given quite general information that doesn’t necessarily help your own situation. Good luck
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gemima
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Re: Independent secondary for smart boy with severe anxiety

Postby gemima » Mon Apr 24, 2023 10:45 pm

Dear Porchester,

Can you advise if London Park School is good for SEN pupils please?  Do you know the class no's by any chance?

MTIA
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