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To not expect my DD to spell words in exams??

(26 Posts)
Ivorbig1 Sat 09-Jul-16 21:03:51

My dd is beginning prep for mock exams (end of year 10/11). I'm adamant she has in place correct, well advised support for her dyslexia, which has been assessed as moderately severe. A reader and a scribe was recommended for all tests and where possible in class, in reality it's rare for class work but we accept that at least she will gain some practice for writing etc, albeit she is very slow and at times difficult to understand.

I've spoken to year head who said she would try her best to arrange support but not maths at all. However during a support class, SEN told my dd a scribe would want correct spelling anyway, this really worried her. SEN also told my dd another assessment was needed to confirm she would get any help for exams, the last one was 3 years ago. Despite being in contact with me several times this week, they address my dd and not a word to me.

Does anyone know what I need to do and how to find what if anything the school must do, they can be very difficult, under achieving and frankly I'm worried they will tell me yes no problem but on the day be too busy. This has happened for tests, many times.

littledrummergirl Sun 10-Jul-16 09:59:50

Ds2 is in this position but in yr9 atm so yr10 in September. His school advised us that each official assessment is valid for two years and determines what support they are entitled to.
He is due to be reassessed before end of year (which reminds me I must chase it up).

LIZS Sun 10-Jul-16 10:04:22

Yes an assessment has to be within 3 years of the exam to meet JCQ Access regulations. A scribe can only write what is said not correct spelling and punctuation. It also needs to established as usual mode of working and evidenced. Can you not email/call SENCO for clarification?

Ivorbig1 Mon 11-Jul-16 21:57:32

Senco changes frequently and are very inconsistent. This is an academy in special measures and I just don't trust them.
I need to find out as much as I can before too late to have things set up for he final exams. Any advice would be very gratefully received.

Ivorbig1 Mon 11-Jul-16 21:58:28

So Liz. Yes I understand they write verbatim but is my dd expected to spell everything as well??

TrivialPursuit Mon 11-Jul-16 22:05:20

Yes and give punctuation.

DawnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 11-Jul-16 22:32:59

Hi, we're moving this thread over to AIBU at the OP's request.

queenofthemountains Mon 11-Jul-16 22:55:23

The scribe will write what the candidate tells them too. They don't need to spell all the words as the scribe will fill in a sheet saying what they did for the candidate. I've just come out of exam season and most students I scribed for didn't do spellings but did do punctuation.

A good tip we teach ours is too tell the scriber at the beginning of the exam that after every full stop the next words starts with a capital.

A reader and a scribe make a huge difference for candidates and definitely help towards closing the gap.

RobinsAreTerritorialFuckers Mon 11-Jul-16 23:09:05

Unfortunately, the 'support' offered to dyslexic students can be extremely poor.

Do you mean, the school seems to think your DD must spell out each word as she says it? If so, that seems absurd. It will be far too slow. She can't sensibly write an essay like that - it would disadvantage her hugely.

Ivorbig1 Mon 11-Jul-16 23:17:15

Robins ... I'm not sure if it's every word, as you say that would be absurd. Certainly more difficult words, scientific words for example during science exams. I don't understand how that "helps" to close the gap. She can't spell, her spelling age is that of an 8 year old.

Queen. Thanks that's a great tip, I will be sure to pass that on.

Trivial, yes puncuation makes sense, especially in English exams. It's the idea of having to spell, if she could, she would manage with extra time only surely.

queenofthemountains Mon 11-Jul-16 23:41:43

She can have a scribe and not spell any words, the scribe will just tick the box that says answers dictated no spelling given.

English is really hard as one paper we are not allowed to read anything apart from the instructions.

I can honestly say in my years of scribing, I have rarely had a candidate who spelled out words for me.

Will she get extra time? All mine got 25%

queenofthemountains Mon 11-Jul-16 23:45:21

Also the Senco might not be the exam access officer, though they should work together. Find out who the access officer is and go straight to them.

CecilyP Mon 11-Jul-16 23:52:52

Yes, the pupil just dictates the words and the scribe, who generally knows how to spell, writes them down. The only time I have asked a pupil to spell a word is in a tech exam were he used a term I had never heard before. My pupil also got extra time but none of them used it.

LemonySmithit Tue 12-Jul-16 01:50:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Geekmama Tue 12-Jul-16 06:31:47

OP She shouldn't have to spell anything. Asked for a meeting with the exams officer and SENCO. In my experience SENCO's don't no all the in and outs of the exam regulations and it would benefit you to meet with both.

I'm also very dyslexic, does your daughter use Dragon diction? You can download it for free on iOS I would really recommend it. I'm actually using it now smile.

AvonleaAnne Tue 12-Jul-16 06:45:37

Queenofthemountains - I would never normally point out mistakes, so I am sorry for this! But you mixed up too and to twice. What happens if you make mistakes like that in an exam for another person? I'm just asking because I'm curious as to how this works. Is being a scribe voluntary or paid? Do you need any qualifications?

00100001 Tue 12-Jul-16 08:24:10

a lot of scribed exams just get zero for SPAG. it's easier and is only a small component. you can still get A*.

queenofthemountains Tue 12-Jul-16 11:35:54

Well, why point them out then Avonlea? I'm sorry op but I seem to have offended someone with my very very late night lack of spelling, in my world we support each other which is what I was trying to do.
My advive is see the access officer as soon as you can.

AvonleaAnne Tue 12-Jul-16 12:13:54

No, you haven't offended me. Sorry it is impossible to put tone into a message on an internet. I was only curious as to what happens if mistakes happen in an exam? And it shows how easily mistakes can be made.

I didn't mean to touch a nerve. Sorry again.

I was curious about whether it is a job or voluntary as it is something that I am interested in.

Apologies again for offending you. I was really only curious as to whether mistakes by a scribe are counted or not in which case the pupil might want to spell themselves. I probably went about it the wrong way.

00100001 Tue 12-Jul-16 13:56:40

you get paid to be an invigilator. You have to have training.

and it's boring as anything most of the time! Imagine having to spend two hours in a room, not being able to do a single thing to distract yourself, and all there is to watch is students scribbling away.

Most invigilators I know end up counting all the blonde kids. all the right handed ones, guessing the amount of time that has passed etc grin

CecilyP Tue 12-Jul-16 15:52:19

Whereas being a scribe is not boring at all as you are busy scribing the whole time. It is generally paid and I got my work through a colleague in my day job who is friends with a learning support teacher in a local secondary. I don't think it is something you would go for if you were not confident in your own spelling. And I you would make fewer mistakes handwriting than typing quickly on an internet forum. Of course, no-one is infallible. Pupils would generally have a scribe if they struggle with spelling, so would be unlikely to want to spell themselves. (Though one of my pupils did decide to do most of his own writing for one of his exams).

trinity0097 Tue 12-Jul-16 16:07:34

A scribe is not the JCQ recommendation for most cases, instead a laptop is. That way your daughter does not have to spell out everything. If a scribe is used then unless everything is spelt out then no SPAG marks are awarded.

An in-house assessment must be carried out, external reports hold little sway with JCQ and it must be the usual way of working, so to use a laptop that needs to be established pronto!

TheNotoriousPMT Tue 12-Jul-16 16:09:45

The scribes I know are TAs. Scribing can be quite tough - writing as fast as you can for a few hours (if it's A-level) without naturally correcting as you go is tiring and quite dull (no offence to the candidates...)

OP - your DD does not have to spell anything.

Different exams award different % of their marks for correct spelling - on an English Writing exam it's relatively high, on Science papers (eg) it's very low. If your dd's spelling was strong, she'd be best off spelling out loud subject-specific vocab. If it's stressing her out this much, she'd be better off revising her subject knowledge and practising past papers.

The scribe has to sign a declaration at the end of the exam - did the candidate dictate all SPAG, just all P, all P and subject-specific vocab, or none of it. This is how the examiner knows how many marks they can award for SPAG.

TheNotoriousPMT Tue 12-Jul-16 16:19:39

JCQ like laptop use because then the candidate's work is not mediated by another person, whose work may contain errors or a (ahem) favourable interpretation of what the candidate said, etc etc
A proportion of candidates (no idea how big, I haven't researched) feel less self-conscious typing than dictating.

However, to use the laptop they need to be able to type at a reasonable speed.

If anyone's wondering, the exam laptop has spellchecker etc disabled.

OP - you can find out what you want to know from the JCQ website. It might feel like it, but the rules are not meant to be a secret.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Tue 12-Jul-16 16:55:02

For some candidates the laptop has spellchecker enabled. It is decided according to the specific needs of the individual candidate.

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