Monday, 20 April 2009

Deep pride

My son as you'll know if you are a regular reader of this blog is currently at university... at the back end of Wales!

A little recap...

Whilst he was at junior school we began to get a little concerned, he struggled with reading and sometimes his written work was poor, had words missing, lots of spelling mistakes etc. We kept being told he was bright and worked hard and that he would catch up. Then a new teacher did some tests and told us he was dyslexic, funny I think she was expecting some kind of hostile reaction from us. We were just glad to know and asked for help, he got some but still struggled. Thank God for Harry Potter as that at least gave us books he wanted to read and he pushed on.

We never entered him for the 11plus (sorry Medway selective secondary school selection test - or whatever nonsense name it has now). Principally then the test was very biased towards English writing creatively and comprehension - not good for him.

He went to the local high school - luckily the only one in the area that has a mix of grammar (i.e. passed the 11plus) and high school pupils. First parents evening went like this...

"Why didn't he do the 11plus, his Maths is way above average and his Science, Art very good as well".
"He is dyslexic and the test is principally English, we couldn't see the point with the stress etc."
"Oh yes - we'll do some special work on his English."

He used a computer programme that was brillant, apparantly one of the issues is that dyslexics learn something in language and apply it then suddenly forget it some time later. The computer can recognise this and reiterate the old learning, human teachers really struggle with that, since they have moved on. His reading age went from 3 years behind to bang on the money in less than 6 months. He was moved to top sets in Maths, French, Science etc. He took Maths and French a year early... He and one other boy were the only ones entered for RE GCSE in his year... he got an A*. He got 12 GCSEs in the end all A*s, As or Bs only one of them a C - English as you'd expect!

A levels - started with a view to going to Art College then suddenly a switch to Physics but he'd not done Maths A level. So he is doing a foundation course before starting his degree proper next September. His marks in the first exams were mostly in the 90% area, he took two first year modules to keep him busy and has enough credit on them for them to assist in getting a first already.

I'm very very proud of him. He works very hard, all weekend he's been revising Maths - integration and all that Calculus stuff I cannot begin to understand.

On Saturday he got an email saying that he was getting a bursary for the duration of his degree from the Institute of Physics due to his excellent work so far. He deserves all he gets, many kids like him would have given up at 11 with his issues but he works at it constantly. He is an inspiration to me.


  1. No wonder you're proud of him! He has done brilliantly. For anybody that's an incredible achievement but to have struggled with dyslexia as well! Congratulations to Son-of-Furtheron.

  2. Chip off the 'ol block eh?! Congrats you Mr & Mrs Furtheron, and of course Furtheron Jr... This is the stuff that it's all about eh? Nice one.


  3. Great news and you and Mrs F should be rightly proud. DoF is also a credit to you both