Oakwood School

Your name: Amanda Cradock

Your role:

Senior Administrator

Your school name:

Oakwood School

Describe your school (type, age, location, demographic etc):

Mainstream secondary. 11-16 age range on the Surrey/Sussex border. Mixed wealth area well served by transport links to the coast and London and then further afield by the local airport, Gatwick.

Did you trial the Exam Reader / Reader initially, if so, what “review process” did you follow and what conclusions did you draw?
Yes, I found it more effective than a previous model trialled and with the variations of append/replace, being able to scan different languages, the English voice and its read delay along with the clear readable window, and lastly but by no means least the functionality to use headphones which the previous model did not have. I was impressed with the reader pen’s ability and it was on my review, backed up with a sample of children testing it and giving their verbal ‘thumbs up’, the class pack was purchased. I have found that in order to really engage a student’s attention with the pen at first use, it is the ability of the pen to scan backwards but read the line in the usual left to right format.

What do you most like about the ExamReader?

The ease of handling. It is a comfortable unit and the delay feature to allow students with slower processing ability to use the pen. At exam times it frees up staff from reading to students.

Please describe how you are using the ExamReader?

Students’ needs are assessed by our Specialist Assessor and only students identified as requiring this support are provided with a pen. Any student given a pen is able to come to the Access to Learning Faculty and practice using it or to seek help with it, during break times in the first instance and then during lessons if there is an issue. Once students are trialled with a pen and agree to use it, they have a note taken of their preferences recorded (updated as required), to ensure that each student is provided with a pen that has their user preferences and is ready to go.

Please describe how the use of the ExamReader has affected your students (performance, confidence, independence etc)?
Students who have used the pen are usually really pleased to receive the help. It has reduced the stress on them for their tests and exams, and for some, enhanced their learning in class. Year 10/11 students have found a particular benefit to their English papers, as they are able to use the pen to read text that a human reader would not be permitted to read. It is almost impossible to say whether a student’s performance has been improved with the use of the pen, but for students who also use a laptop to type their answers the pen gives them complete independence.

Please describe any other areas in school you feel the ExamReader has helped (staff time savings, school results, cost savings etc)
Without a doubt the pen has relieved staff from reading to an identified student during tests/exams.

How likely are you to recommend the ExamReader to others?

I believe staff who have dealings with the pen would recommend their use to others.