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Using InCAS Assessments Information Seminar for Classroom Assistants Anne Cromie and Diane Owens August 2011. Learning Intentions. Classroom Assistants working with pupils who have special educational needs (SEN) will:

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Using InCAS Assessments

Information Seminar for

Classroom Assistants

Anne Cromie and Diane Owens

August 2011

learning intentions
Learning Intentions

Classroom Assistants working with pupils who have special

educational needs (SEN) will:

  • Understand their supportive role in the management of InCAS;
  • Be aware of the range of assessments offered by InCAS;
  • Complete the assessments from a pupil’s perspective;
  • Consider the challenges which may be faced by pupils with SEN; and
  • Share best practice.
Session 1

InCAS in Northern Ireland

what is incas
Interactive Computerised Assessment System:

is a computer-based diagnostic assessment which is adaptive;

focuses on the pupil as an individual;

selects the initial question based on the pupil’s age; and

presents further questions in response to the pupil’s answers.

What is InCAS?
general maths example 1
General Maths:Example 1

Marina’s actual age is 7yrs 3m.

Pupils are asked several sets of questions to give them a number of chances to demonstrate their ability.

The number of questions in each set may vary depending on how many right answers a child gives..

5yrs 4m10yrs

This is the age range covered during this set of questions.

To give her a good chance of getting the first question correct InCAS chose a question which is targeted at a pupil younger than her actual age.

7yrs 4m9yrs 2m

This assessment produced a General Maths Age of 7yrs 9m for Marina.

7yrs 6m8yrs 4m

7yrs 7m8yrs 2m

general maths example 2
General Maths: Example 2

Robert was 11yrs 1m when he sat this General Maths assessment.

8yrs 6m10yrs 4m

5yrs 66yrs 2m

This assessment produced a General Maths Age of 6yrs 2m for Robert.

3yrs 1m4yrs 11m

4yrs 6yrs

4yrs 4m8yrs 5m

Purpose of InCAS


  • provides information at pupil, class and school level;
  • highlights pupils’ strengths and areas for improvement so that teachers can determine what pupils know and can do;
  • can inform teacher planning and target setting; and
  • provides age-related outcomes and diagnostic information to facilitate personalised learning.
scores chart
Scores Chart


General Maths Modules

Ref: Information for Teachers-2009 p.31

incas reading
InCAS Reading
  • Reading:
  • has 3 modules;
  • takes a maximum of 30 minutes;
  • has a continue button after each module; and
  • must be completed in one sitting.
  • Word Recognition and Word Decoding are completed
  • by all pupils.
  • Comprehension is:
  • selected based on the pupil’s performance in the
  • first 2 modules; and
  • not given to pupils who perform very poorly in either
  • or both of the first 2 modules.




incas general maths
General Maths:

has questions that are read aloud;

takes a maximum of 20 minutes; and

has no continue buttons

Please note: Pupils are allowed to

use pencil and paper during General

Maths but will get no marks for

anything that they write down.

It is important to keep pupils on task!

InCAS General Maths
session 2
Session 2



inky pupil demo
Inky Pupil Demo

All pupils should be given the opportunity to view the Inky Pupil demo

before they use InCAS.

Remember that:

  • it can be paused at key points or rewound for emphasis;
  • you do not have to watch the whole demo at once; and
  • pupils can watch Inky as many times as is necessary.

Inky’s Reminders are also a useful resource.

Remember that they:

  • appear at the end of each demo;
  • can be controlled by clicking the mouse; and
  • have no voice over.
Create an Assessment
  • Using your own name, enter yourself as a pupil.
  • Create the statutory assessments.
  • Make a note of your passwords.
supporting pupils
Support for pupils should:

focus on individual needs; and

take account of usual methods of

working in the classroom.

Support for pupils should not:

give them an unfair advantage over

other pupils; or

offer help which reduces the

reliability or validity of the outcomes.

Supporting Pupils
SEN Challenges Activity

While completing InCAS consider the following …

Sight, e.g.picture, colour, and layout

Sound, e.g.headphones, audio speed

Motor Skills, e.g.use of mouse

Attention, e.g. question length, environment

Content, and format of questions

… and note any aspect that might cause difficulties for pupils.

complete a statutory assessment
Complete a Statutory Assessment
  • Log-In using the password that you created earlier.
  • Complete your assessment.
  • Using the prompt sheet make notes on any aspect of the InCAS assessment that you think might cause difficulties for pupils you work with.
Check that when you enter your special password it is your name and the assessment that you are expecting that appears.
  • You will hear instructions as you go along.
  • Check that the volume is not too loud or too quiet because once you start the assessment you cannot change it again!
  • Assessments cannot be paused once they have begun.
  • Cannot answer the question until you have listened to it all. You will know you have heard it all when the arrows turn green.
  • If you want to listen to the question again, use the Again button.
  • When it is time to start the assessment for real you will hear – Get ready! Now try these. Remember, you won’t see any more smiley faces from here on.
  • It is really important to listen carefully, to concentrate, do your best and enjoy using the software.
optional incas
Optional InCAS
  • Spelling;
  • Mental Arithmetic (consists of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division modules);
  • Developed Ability (consists of picture vocabulary and non-verbal ability modules); and
  • Attitudes (consists of Attitude to Reading, Maths and to School – it produces a score on a scale from 1-5 / negative to positive).
session 3
Session 3

Guidance for Using InCAS

with Pupils who have SEN

checklist before using incas
ChecklistBefore Using InCAS
  • Consult with the class teacher and support teachers.
  • Make sure that no one is logged in using the ADMIN password.
  • Check that pupils understand that this is not a ‘computer game.’
  • Ensure that pupils have been well prepared and are as confident as

possible using the computer.

  • Give the pupils some indication of the duration of the assessments.
  • Check that the sound is working on all the computers/laptops.
  • Make sure that the headphones, tables, chairs and monitors are

suitable for the pupils.

  • Decide whether your pupil should use a mouse/ touch pad or a



Pupils should not:

  • use concrete materials or visual aids for General Maths;
  • receive any help which would affect the reliability of the assessment;
  • get up and leave before they are finished; or
  • distract other pupils still working.
using incas
Using InCAS

When using InCAS ensure that pupils:

  • tell you/or the teacher when they have completed an assessment;
  • are aware of appropriate strategies (need to listen carefully, think

and then respond); and

  • don’t have to complete all the assessments on one day.

After pupils finish it may be useful for them to:

  • receive positive feedback/meaningful reward;
  • be allowed to have a rest; and
  • have the opportunity to do some informal activities.
communication and interaction difficulties
Communicationand Interaction Difficulties

Possible strategies

  • Social story;
  • Understand the language on the computer screen; and
  • Practise with Inky to help them understand when to use these commands.

Use available resources to minimise the pupil’s communication and interaction difficulties.

visual impairment
Visual Impairment

Possible strategies

  • Use a largest monitor available;
  • LCD magnifier screen has been attached, where appropriate;
  • Optimum screen size 800 x 600;
  • Keyboard is removed;
  • Cursor is adjusted so that it is larger with higher contrast; and
  • Lighting is good and there is no glare.

Use available equipment to maximise the pupil’s residual vision.

hearing impairment
Hearing Impairment

Possible Strategies

  • Quiet room;
  • Volume is at an appropriate level and pupils can discriminate the

recorded voice; and

  • Access to a live speaker where appropriate.

Use available equipment to maximise the pupil’s residual hearing.

physical difficulties
Physical Difficulties
  • Possible strategies
  • Keep the pupil as comfortable and stable as possible;
  • Register the pupil’s answer for them, where necessary;
  • Remove unnecessary equipment to minimise the barriers;
  • Maximise screen size including use of a whiteboard to facilitate eye pointing; and
  • Ensure equipment is correctly adjusted.
  • Use available equipment to minimise the pupil’s physical difficulties.
medical conditions and syndromes
Possible strategies

Position to allow monitoring of the pupil’s face for any condition

where they become dazed, confused, lose consciousness or have a


Check blood glucose level for diabetic pupils;

Have suitable chairs, desks and supports for pupils who have a

tremor or instability;

Ensure that aids for concentration are available, such as a wobble

cushion, weighted jacket or other supports;

Remove anything which may become a distraction, e.g. fidget supports.

Use equipment, support aids and appropriate medication to minimise

pupil difficulties.

Medical Conditions and Syndromes