At Thorpe House our admissions policy is not overtly selective. It states that places which become available are offered to boys who pass the entrance assessment according to their date of registration. In practice, our entrance assessments are looking for boys who will be able to cope with our curriculum without needing to be withdrawn from particular subjects. Therefore for entrance to the Senior School a boy who is likely to gain a full set of GCSEs, most of which are at grade C, will pass the assessment in the same way as a boy who will eventually gain ten A* grades will pass it. For entrance to the Junior School, a boy who has the potential to gain a mix of Level 3s and 4s in Maths, English and Science will pass the assessment in the same way as a boy who will get Level 5s.
When putting this policy into place it means that it is quite possible for boys who have learning difficulties to sit and pass our assessments. If a boy with learning difficulties passes the assessment we will offer a place (if one is available) as long as he will not need to be withdrawn from more than two lessons during a week for one to one learning support. If he needs to be withdrawn from more lessons than that or needs to have a learning assistant in the classroom with him then we are unlikely to consider that we can meet his educational needs whether he has passes the test or not. In the latter situation our classrooms are not set up for learning assistants to be present and so it a matter of logistics rather than anything else.
Once boys are members of the school, either as a new joiner or having come through from Kingscote, we then offer as much Learning Support as the boy needs. We have a team of three well qualified teachers in our Learning Support department who provide one to one support in literacy and numeracy and who also support small groups from time to time in the classroom context. Form tutors communicate regularly with parents and the Learning Support team to ensure that pupils who need support are getting it and that the work done in individual lessons is relevant to what is taking place in the classroom. As the boys get older and start being entered for external examinations such as 11+, Common Entrance and GCSE, our Learning Support department makes sure that appropriate examination concessions, such as extra time or the ability to use a laptop are put in place.
We are only able to take boys with statements of special educational needs in very specific circumstances. If a boy has a statement which relates to a physical disability of some type we will consider his case on an individual basis and look at whether we can meet his needs in the classroom and around the school. If a boy has a statement relating to classroom learning difficulties then we would not be able to meet his educational needs.