Review supplied by private tutor Claire Frost on behalf of her year four son Noah.

Noah has written this review for you (or that is to say I have been allowed to do the typing but the words are his!) 

Noah Taylor

Year Four

C of E Combined School, Milton Keynes, Bucks

My School is a primary School for people aged between 5 and 11. 

I am in class 4EH.

My mum met someone who taught her about the C Pen [Reader and Exam Reader] at a conference for helping children who have difficulties with their reading. The man said Mum could borrow two pens. My mum knew that I would be the best person to test the pen because then she could make sure it was good enough to talk to other Mums about and, because she’s a teacher she could see if it would work for the children in her school. She also knows that I would test it really well and then she would know it was indestructible!

I’m not allowed to use the pen for reading my reading book. My mum said I could use it for reading about Doctor Who though. I have lots of books on Dr Who but mostly the words are very hard for me so I just look at the pictures ordinarily. BUT with my pen I can read the pages. I put my headphones in and listen to the voice in the pen and I have learned so much more! 

I also like the pen for maths. Sometimes there is a maths Question and I know the answer to the maths but it is a long question with the maths hidden in it so it takes me a long time. The pen makes it quicker.  I can read a lot better because of the pen instead of me struggling in my brain! 

I’d like to change the buttons on the front because sometimes when I hold the pen my finger pushes the buttons when I don’t mean to. I would like it if there were special cases too.  The carry case keeps it safe and makes sure it won’t get damaged but you could make this more fun with superheroes or the Minions.  

Otherwise I think the pen is a very great design.

When I have a book that I can’t really read I grab the C Pen and it helps me along the way! People who have reading problems like me would really like this pen. It has helped me so much. I am confident I can read everything now! 

As a Private Tutor working in North London I have demonstrated the pen to a lot of parents concerned that their child may have dyslexic tendencies. I was confident that if my son could use it so easily it would be a doddle for the older students I tutor for GCSE and A-level. Parents were especially keen once they understood their child could use the C-Pen Exam Reader and that it was JCQ approved. It has helped students no end with reading passages on English as well as sources in history and has meant they could work at greater speeds, which not only, meant they completed the exam in the allocated time but also made them feel more confident and empowered. It really is a remarkable tool which has already sparked the imaginations of so many parents and young people - GCSE students who were contemplating not attending 6th form because they simply couldn’t envisage the volume of reading are now beginning to realise that the C-Pen Reader could really help them with the content of their course as well as their anxiety around the exam itself.

A revolutionary piece of assistive technology which really can make a difference to the confidence and capabilities of children and young people wrestling with dyslexia

Clare Frost

Founder & Director

Purple Satchel Tuition Limited


Describe your school:

Special Secondary School with learners from 11 - 19 based in Gillingham Kent but with a wide catchment area across all of Medway and into some of Kent. All learners have EHC plans, majority have ASD diagnosis and Speech and Language difficulties.

Did you trial the C-Pen Exam Reader initially, if so, what “review process” did you follow and what conclusions did you draw?

Picked up a C-Pen Exam Reader at the TES Special Needs London show in October.  Have used it with several year 11 learners in my maths group to see how they found it in test situations rather than having a 'stick on lady' at their side to complete any necessary reading. It made them feel more independent and they felt less self conscious about not being able to read bits of text. 

What do you most like about the C-Pen Exam Reader?

Compactness and ease of use, that gives learners autonomy over what they need to read. 

Please describe how you are using the C-Pen Reader & Exam Reader?

The C-Pen Exam Readers will be used with year 11's in preparation for their public exams in June 2016. They will be trained in its use during the year, this frees up  staff as individual readers will not be required.  The C-Pen Readers will be used in year 10 for creating their own podcasts of notes ready to turn into wave files for those who struggle with writing their own notes. 

What do the students say about the pens?

Those that trailed it really liked it, saying that it helped them and was easy to use after a bit of practice.

Please describe any other areas in school you feel the C-Pen Exam Reader have helped?

It will impact positively on my timetabling for all exams as I will not need to find so many rooms and staff to work with the learners who require a reader as they will be able to take the exam in the same room as the majority of the other learners except those who require a scribe. 

How likely are you to recommend the C-Pen Reader & Exam Reader to others?

Very likely.


30 October 2015

Dear Jack,

Many thanks for the use of the C-Pen Reader and C-Pen Exam Reader.

The boys here have found the C-Pen Reader to be a valuable learning tool. The functionality of scanning to memory so that quotes can be captured to support research ‘on the go’ has been fantastic, and has been a significant help in reducing the time spent copying from texts and handouts.

The recording function has been of particular use to boys with slow processing speeds who are not able to copy from the board within limited timeframes, and therefore miss content. They are, with teacher permission, able to record the lesson and update their notes at the end of the day, which has been exceptionally helpful.

As a reading tool, we have found both the C-Pen Reader and C-Pen Exam Reader to be a significant improvement from previous models of pen reader in its ease of use and functionality. It has allowed pupils with reading difficulties to scan and listen to extensive quantities of text which allows for more meaning to be gained in the scanning and listening process.

Many thanks again for allowing us to use these fantastic devices. Yours sincerely

Yours sincerely 

Andrea DiStefano-Power, Head of Learning Support