University of Edinburgh

SSC Course 2: SQA Assessment and Exam Arrangements for Candidates with a Visual Impairment

Presented on Tuesday, 30th August 2016

Courses evaluation summary

Number of Participants: 46
Number of Respondents: 45

Overall Assessment:

How would you rate the following: Excellent = 1; Poor = 5

Enhancement to your expertise


Content and supplementary material


How will you use what you have learned today?

To support learner about to sit NAT5 in 2016-17.
SQA 2017 and beyond. Liaison VSS pupils, teachers.
To advise all secondary schools as to what SQA can achieve/do ...
Very knowledgeable speakers.
Start prep for prelims early. Meet with class teachers/discuss and practice papers.
Assist me in AAR with VI and other pupils with ASN.
Share at my school.
Look at SQA website and CALL Scotland website. Pass on info to colleagues in secondary schools.
Give pupil access to Digital Answer Book (DAB), Assessment Arrangements Request (AAR). Check out different versions PDF/Word, etc.
In my work as a peri teacher.
In planning assessment arrangements for three pupils currently at our school.
Feedback to VI staff in establishment, mainly confirming what we already know and what we already practise.
Take back this info to staff.
A lot about SQA and technology - there is so much.
With VI pupils in job throughout the year.
Pass on information to colleagues.
SQA website - information there will be of importance and helpful. CALL’s presentation on digital papers - consider use of these.
Will use the information in ongoing discussions about SfL co-ordinators in schools.
It will inform my practice in terms of supporting VI students attending college (and requesting alternative assessment arrangements).
Speak to departments over deadlines, specific course requirements. Justifying speaking to departments as soon as possible about assessing requirements in their subject.
In daily work.
Improved knowledge to effectively support VI students, and other students with ASNs.
We do not have any VI pupils in school at the moment, but I will feel more prepared for this in future.
When in SI meetings to ensure secondary schools have appropriate arrangements in place.
Share info with other staff and improve AARs.
New AAR documentation and showing this to staff.
To prepare current S2 pupils in techniques and practice which will be used in future exams.
When providing support to VI/blind pupils in preparation for SQA exams and advising schools regarding provisions.
To support staff/pupils in mainstream schools to request appropriate adaptations.
Link with SQA co-ordinator and pass on info gathered and work through together. A lot of quite new information for me, as not required to list in recent past.
I now have a general understanding of Assessment Arrangements for secondary pupils.
Having a VI pupil in S4 very useful.
More aware of issues related to font size and how this is replicated on to question paper.
Share with colleagues.
To support a blind learner in SQA exams next year.
Share with secondary schools as appropriate. Speak to Graphic Communication teacher re exam arrangements for a pupil sitting this year’s exam to see what can do/request.
I will use this when working with schools and visually impaired pupils. I may also use it to support colleagues.
Start planning for National and Higher content/assessment delivery in liaison with subject staff.
Reassuring to know that existing practices adhere to SQA Quality Assurance.
Better understanding of what is available for individual candidates.
To ask for appropriate assessment and exam arrangements for my VI pupils.
Cascade to other members of SfL team. Check out digital papers.
To feed back to schools. Help make recommendations for pupils.

How would you rate the following: Excellent = 1; Poor = 5

Clarity of presentation


Pacing of course/event


What was best about the course/event?

Great overview. Chance to network
Would like emailed PowerPoint.
How flexible and accommodating SQA are. Well done SQA!
Networking with other teachers - future contact.
All presenters were excellent and informative.
Meeting other practitioners, as it can be a lonely job out in the sticks.
Presenter’s explanations in both her talk and in Q&A session were excellent.
Presenters gave good clear advice and guidelines.
Knowledge of how to access further information on SQA website AAR pages(s)/alternative exam ‘ideas’, e.g. using 2 screens or large monitor.
Networking/having questions answered.
Focus on ICT solutions.
Provided the latest information from the SQA and answered a number of questions.
Getting input from the people at SQA who deal with alternative assessment arrangements. Being able to network with others working with VI learners.
All information.
Gave a clear overview of SQA and technology. As my experience is in early years, most of the SQA information was new to me and most informative.
All very relevant.
Input from CALL.
Being directed to SQA resources. Excellent to know PowerPoint presentations will be emailed out as it allowed us to focus on the speaker more.
Information about adaptations for VI pupils.
General overview and presentation on technology - specifically difficulties with digital assessments.
CALL speaker - good mixture of methodology and realism. SSC CPD Co-ordinator (Visual Impairment) - excellent summariser, refreshing to find someone so thoroughly in command of their subject.
Very practical/useful support strategies. Sharing good practice/experiences of colleagues. Facility to ask questions of SQA team.
Highlighting of where to go for info and support. Opportunity to ask/answer questions as they arose.
Appropriate time given for questioning.
View new booklet about SQA artwork. Access to digital Braille papers. Discussion of digital question papers.
People asking real life questions.
Interaction between audience and speakers very informative.
Presenters well prepared - able to address audience questions. Length of course adequate.
Lots of up-to-date information. Pointers for where to go for more info.
Experience of practitioners passed on discussed and also examples presented by all presenters. Also my understanding improved of individual additional requests.
Information regarding the adaptation of papers.
The need to speak to SQA coordinator.
Having questions expertly answered. Free course - limited budget for courses.
Clear guidance and examples.
Getting the PowerPoint slides emailed after course is a good idea, as it saves having to write everything down at the time. You can therefore give optimum attention.
Opportunity for discussion with others. Open questioning format.
Sharing of knowledge at other schools/institutions.
Open discussion/question session with other users.
The speakers were knowledgeable about this subject.
Enabled me to ask specific questions of SQA representatives which apply to my own school.

What, if anything, could have been improved about the course?

Allow/encourage questions to be given/sent to SQA from those attending in advance, so SQA can cover more questions within their presentation, or indeed any course you run. Focus on Large Print, keep Braille as a separated course, 11 papers in 2016!!
Air conditioning. Less questions being asked, leave until question time, as all were answered in the following talks. Fruit at break
Too short time - more opportunities for seeing example papers in different subjects.
It could have been a whole day.
Rushed through. A full day would have suited me better.
Sound. Also room hot.
Hard to hear presenters at times!
List of organisations where further info/assistance could be obtained.
More Q&A time - full day course?
Audio difficulties.
Printouts of all presentations. Email out all presentations.
Difficult to hear in the room used. This course should be a full day. Also, the morning coffee break isn’t really necessary, as the main part of the day only began about an hour before the break.
If time had allowed, breaking up into groups to share information/discuss issues and solutions!
Room was very warm!
More hard examples of adapted papers/Braille etc. A hard copy of AAR documentation to annotate during presentation. Directions to the location were awful, no signs or detailed map!
Perhaps some handouts on approaches and demonstration of technological solutions.
Please ask all speakers to use microphone routinely and throughout. Asking can you hear me at the back - not enough as volume can’t be sustained. Thanks.
Some questions and answers not heard clearly.
ICT. Room temperature uncomfortably warm.
Inclusion of speaker with experience of implementing AAR for VI pupils - challenges and procedures.
Pre-course literature/information was weak, i.e. no directions for individuals travelling by train! Audio was very poor and room was extremely hot/stuffy.
More time for questions!

How did you hear about this course?

SSC Courses Brochure: 2
Course Info Email from SSC: 19
Co-ordinator/Line Manager: 10
SSC eBulletin: 4
Colleague: 7
SSC Website: 1
Other (please state): 1 (City CPD list), 1 (SQA electronic newsletter)

What other CPD training would you like the SSC to provide?

Online delivery of current CPD.
Assessing vision of children with profound and complex needs. What can an Orthoptist do? What can we (VI teachers) do to aid the Orthoptist assessment?
Audio impairment assessment arrangements, particularly for listening papers in Modern Languages/ESOL.
Would it be possible to offer training events in the West rather than them always being held at the SSC in Edinburgh?
Braille - teaching Braille to learners who have lost sight later rather than from early age/birth.
More of the above keeping us up-to-date.
Examples of how schools gather/collate and process AAR in school prior to submitting to SQA.
Experience of using iPad and digital exam papers.
More on iPad uses.