Changes to JCQ exam access arrangements mean that computer readers can now be used in exams, even where reading is being assessed, opening up a world of opportunity for struggling readers and writers to be assessed on a level playing field.
Read&Write, Texthelp’s text-to-speech literacy software, is being employed by many secondary schools not only in the classroom, but also as a computer reader to make examinations accessible. The software allows students to read all of the English Reading paper independently (including sections where reading is being assessed) and can also be used in a wide range of other exam subjects.
Benefits for schools:
- enabling student independence across the school
- saving staff time and school funds (by reducing the requirement for human readers)
- improving students’ grades
RSA Academy Arrow Vale have seen some great results since introducing Read&Write:
Louisa Smith, Special Educational Needs (SEN) teacher at Arrow Vale comments:
“Used as a reader in exams, Read&Write has made a huge difference to exam grades, particularly in the English language exam where human readers are not allowed. It has allowed pupils more independence and to work at their own pace and given them more confidence. One student refers to it as her ‘best friend’.”
Holly Sutton, Assistant Director of Inclusion at Arrow Vale explains:
“To begin with, people thought the software was just for SEN students but as we’ve been using it more and more, people realise that it has definitely got a wider use. Even for me, it helps with lesson planning. Read&Write is not just for SEN students, it is for everyone in the school.”
As a flexible toolbar, Read&Write changes students’ lives through lots of clever reading, writing and study support features. These tools help students who struggle with reading and writing reach their potential when working in class, doing their assignments/coursework and in exams.
Students at Arrow Vale are also providing some great feedback after using Read&Write:
Year 11 student
“I use Read&Write for all my exams because I can’t understand the questions in the exam paper, so it helps me process the questions because I can listen over and over again.”
Year 12 student
“I use Read&Write to make study notes using the text-to-speech tool. I usually get quite embarrassed by asking about spellings or if someone reads my work and it doesn’t make sense. I like that I can have my work read back and hear my own mistakes and correct them myself”.