SUPPORT FOR LEARNING
Alternative Assessments for Exams
As your child transitions from S3 into S4, you may feel apprehensive about how they will cope in formal assessment situations, especially if they already have identified additional support needs. Ullapool High School supports pupils with identified needs in accordance with SQA guidelines which follow the basic principle of mirroring the support arrangements that are the norm for your child in the classroom. In practice this means that whatever support your child has had from S1 to S3 should be available to them on the day they sit their exam.
Our process begins almost immediately after the summer holidays, at the end of August/early September when we begin consultation with teachers and pupils about what type of support is typically being provided in each subject and whether or not the intervention is successful.
SQA guidelines state that schools should be able to provide evidence of the following:-
- Candidates for whom assessment arrangements are provided should potentially have the ability to achieve the national standards, but be unable to do so using the published assessment procedures.
- The individual assessment needs of a candidate in each different subject area should be the basis for the provision of an assessment arrangement in that subject. As part of the overall support offered to them, candidates should have an assessment arrangement plan, considered subject by subject, with no assumption 4 that the same kind or level of support will be required in every case. Subjects and their methods of assessment may vary, leading to different demands of the candidate. This is why we must consider the candidate’s need for assessment arrangements on a subject-by-subject basis.
- Assessment arrangements should reflect, as far as possible, the candidate’s normal way of learning and producing work, for example, if a candidate with dyslexia normally uses a computer with a text reader in class to overcome specific reading difficulties, this should be the assessment arrangement provided in the assessment.
- By a date that usually falls around the end of March there needs to be clear agreement between the candidate, parents/carers and teachers about what alternative arrangements are to put in place for the May exam diet with arrangements being “signed off” by all parties.
It’s a long road from the initial discussions in August to the final decisions in March and sometimes there will be changes and new approaches may be trialled in class and at prelim time, some may discarded as unhelpful or not meeting the pupil’s needs. This year the school supported over 60 pupils with over 180 individual arrangements. Sometimes it’s like a dance, two steps forwards - one step back. We do our best to get it right for every child but can’t always keep you in the loop every time we make changes. If you are concerned about whether your child is getting the support they need for assessments please encourage them to discuss it with you and please do contact the school if you have further questions.
PT Support for Learning
Standards and Quality Report
The following is the current Standards and Quality Report for Support for Learning. It outlines our rationale for the curriculum, as well as our ethos as to how it is taught.
Additional Support Needs-Highland Council
The following link takes you to National and Highland policies related to Additional Support Needs:
This link provides the Highland Council Guide:
We are often asked by parents how they can help support their child's learning from home. Here are some links to information from the authority specifically to help parents do just that.
Help and information on a range of topics from using your voice to control your computer to digital exam papers from the CALL centre in Edinburgh
In addition, Youtube is a fantastic educational resource which has something to offer on virtually any topic you can name! Other great resources are the BBC bytesize website and also the BBC archive website which has a wealth of programmes on relevant topics.
We will keep updating this page as we become aware of relevant resources, so please do check back regularly.