Science setting(10 Posts)
My son is severely dyslexic. With a scribe he scored 5b at key stage 2 in Science. He went into top set (of 6). I spoke to the Head of Science about how worried I was that his Dyslexia might be an issue. He said not to worry, the problem would be theirs in 'how he is assessed' not his.
Then we had end of year 7 tests which were relatively poor. Teacher felt it was due to his Dyslexia and he was retested using a scribe. He did very much better but was reassessed as set 2. That's fine, if that's his progress.
Then year 8. Reports all good. No problems. End of year tests come along. Before the test I emailed science teacher advising of the end of year 7 situation (that's teacher had left). I said that He was happy to sit the test without a scribe if one hadn't been arranged but if the teacher felt the test results were affected by his Dyslexia could he consider a retest/ different assessment, or whatever is suitable. He said he would take all of that into account and thanked me for contacting him.
Tuesday, start of year 9, my son has come home and is in set 4! Same teacher as last year . I advised him to ask the teacher why... 'do better in your tests and you'll go up' was the reply. My son is upset. He dearly wants to do triple science as well, which also causes a potential issue.
What do I do? I honestly thought if he asked the teacher himself that was better than me asking for him but the reply is so curt, and quite unfair too if you think of the dialogue we have had regarding the tests.
Kez - you've seen my thread so you know i'm virtually clueless but in your position I think I would contact the Head of Department (plus Head of Year) and tell them exactly what had happened. I think you may have a case under the DDA too if they didn't provide a scribe and didn't take his dyslexia into account. I would certainly mention that in your email anyway.
Thanks. It's really difficult isn't it? Im not an awkward parent - my daughter was in set 5 for years (this teacher) and she is no great scientist. In her case, I told her to work like Billy oh and nab a brilliant end of year score - prove them all wrong. She did! Yes, she went up - by two sets! However she never had triple science on her radar so being in a particular place at the end of KS3 wasn't as important for her.
However , it's different for my son. I cannot just say to him 'do better in tests' because he does do what he can - it's the right assessment he needs. He has eyed triple science and music ever since he got to the school. In fact, the SENCO, when I first mentioned GCSEs said 'he may not have too much choice as once he does triple science and, I expect he'll pick music, being so good, there isn't a lot of choice left to make. I am sure you need not concern yourself about GCSEs. He is a bright lad' I'm not quoting her as a gospel, but clearly she felt triple science was a likely way for him to go too.
Bumping for you as hopefully someone will come along who has more experience of this. I've sent my email to the Head of Department asking for some clarity. Do you think you will email them? I don't think it's being awkward or pushy at all, btw. I can't see any reason why he can't be retested with a scribe if they've agreed to it before. I think schools have a legal responsibility to make 'reasonable adjustments' for students with a specific learning difficulty ie dyslexia so I wonder how they would defend this?
Thanks QJ. Yes, I have actually emailed this morning. You'll never believe what happened - I can hardly believe it myself.
My son got up this morning and asked me to email to ask them for a work plan to do at home to get him back on target. I told him about the Maths comment in your thread and he said he has moved down one set in Maths as well, so he asked me to contact that teacher as well! He says he will let me administer whatever extra work they need him to do to catch up but he wants them to give us appropriate work so he is learning stuff he needs for the current syllabus. Apparantly, the next time he gets a test (Science or Maths) he is going to go to see the SENCO and asked to be scribed! Honestly, I couldn't believe it this morning! I told him the committment it needed - and he said he knows but he'll do it.
So, seems he has formulated a plan overnight! Shows how much it was playing on his mind though.
A scribe sits with a student during the exam. The student answers the questions and says what he/she is writing and a scribe writes the unreadable words in a readable form.
There are also readers as well, but my son has never needed one of those.
Obviously some papers you cannot use one of these - reading exams can't use readers, for example.
My son doesn't have a statement but does have an Ed Psyc diagnosis of Severe dyslexia and mild dyspraxia. However, paperwork or no paperwork, it is very very very clear he has an issue.
A scribe is not something you can request, if your child has a proven need for one the school have a duty of care to provide one for all externally marked exams but any decent school will ensure one is provided for all important tests.
In my experience any external exam provision is usually replicated in internal exams (not usually a class test but certainly anything that could affect setting)
I would certainly contact the school asap
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