Tag Archives: sqa

Literacy and Numeracy Qualifications

Design Principles for the National Literacy and Numeracy Qualifications have been agreed by the CfE Management Board and have been shared on the SQA website.

The website provides quite a lot more detail than I’ve seen up to now:


1. There will be two separate qualifications:

  • National Literacy
  • National Numeracy

2. National Literacy and National Numeracy qualifications will be available at SCQF levels 3, 4 or 5 and each qualification will have SCQF credit points. The qualifications will be ungraded.

3. Each qualification will be made up of individual assessable components which are coherent and worthy of recognition in their own right. Each assessable component and will be accorded an SCQF level of 3, 4 or 5 and SCQF credit points.

4. All assessable components must be achieved for the full qualification to be awarded. Where all assessable components are achieved at different SCQF levels within the qualification, the qualification will be awarded at the minimum level of component achieved.

5. The assessable components for National Literacy are:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening and talking

The assessable components for National Numeracy are:

  • Number processes
  • Money, time and measurement
  • Information handling

6. Each assessable component will be based on a broad definition derived from Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes.


7. The National Literacy component Listening and Talking, and the National Numeracy component Information Handling, will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

Evidence for the other components will be gathered in a portfolio. Evidence in the portfolio will be drawn from across the curriculum or from more than one context.


8. National Literacy and National Numeracy qualifications will be separately recorded on the qualifications certificate.

9. Each assessable component achieved will be recorded on a Literacy/Numeracy profile, whether or not all components required for the full qualification have been achieved. Each assessable component achieved, its SCQF level, and its credit points, will be recorded on the profile.

Assessment Update

I attended the LTS Assessment Seminar on 2nd December and received lots of information on assessment which I thought I’d best share here.

We started with an update from the Scottish Government. They’re assuming there will be no change in policy direction as a result of the recent cabinet reshuffle in terms of assessment. The Strategic Vision document was highlighted once again. The two major changes highlighted in this document are the NAR and Moderation. The framework for assessment (Building the Curriculum 5) is due for publication in January 2010. BtC5 is quite a substantial document (as long as BtC3) and elaborates on the points in the Strategic Vision. It was stressed that BtC5 builds on the principles of AifL. There will be a printed copy for every practitioner in Scotland. BtC5 will be accompanied by a 10 page executive summary, a poster with key messages and a Quality Assurance & Moderation Paper. This QA paper provides clear delineation and expectations and outlines roles and responsibilities for schools, local authorities, Scottish Government, LTS & SQA. It was stated that the Government recognises the massive impact of these changes on schools.

In terms on National Qualifications it was stated that it was unreasonable to assume SQA can produce National 4/5’s, new Literacy & Numeracy qualifications and update Access, Higher and Advanced Higher at the same time. Programme is as follows:

  • 2012/13 – National Numeracy & Literacy
  • 2013/14 – National 4/5 & Access 3 replaces SG Foundation
  • 2014/15 – Higher
  • 2015/16 – Advanced Higher

There is a commitment to making arrangements available one year before a NQ becomes available.

The Scottish Survey of Achievement is currently under review. Currently trialing Numeracy materials. Report will be published online in February 2010.

A new CfE Management Board Subgroup has been set up to look at S3 Profile, Recognising Achievement & Reporting. National Guidance is due on this by August 2010. There is not an urgency for guidance on the S3 Profile and this may be later.

The final message from the Scottish Government update was that the National Assessment Resource will not be live any earlier than 30th August 2010 and might not be properly populated until September 2010. LTS are investigating how to make some aspects of the NAR available earlier.

The rest of the day was spent on the National Assessment Resource. LTS stressed that progress and achievement in CfE involves breadth of learning, challenge within learning and applying learning in new and unfamiliar situations.

What is the NAR?

  • Support for CfE assessment, NQ and national monitoring arrangements.
  • Examples of assessment approaches and evidence relating to experiences and outcomes across the curriculum areas, stages and levels.
  • Examples and guidance for CPD in assessment.
  • Initial focus on literacy, numeracy and health & wellbeing across learning.
  • Opportunities for professionals to design and contribute to the NAR.

Local Authorities have been asked to identify three establishments to be involved in developing content for the NAR – one early years, one primary and one secondary. Practitioners in these establishments will work with LTS/SQA to develop a package for the NAR focusing on one/two Literacy, Numeracy or Health & Wellbeing Experiences & Outcomes. This will be carried out across Scotland and LTS/SQA will ensure that packages are produced for Literacy, Numeracy & Health & Wellbeing at all levels and in all Curricular Areas.

What should these ‘packages’ look like?
“A documented account of how you got from E&O’s to judgements about how much and how well pupils have learned what was intended.“

  • A note of E&O’s in bundle explored
  • An account of the learning experiences provided
  • Examples of what a few pupils did in response to the experience(s): video/audio/paper/photos/online/multimedia
  • Note of the criteria used to evaluate the evidence
  • Notes about the features of learning shown by the evidence and proposed feedback to pupils

We’re currently in discussions with three schools who are interested in being involved in this process.

On a final note, I just wanted to highlight the assessment & achievement section of the LTS site which contains lots of information on assessment:

SQA Promoting Science

During 2010, SQA are planning a range of activities to promote science subjects and qualifications. This includes two competitions…

The Big Experiment! SQA is committed to creating and supporting science qualifications that will develop and inspire future generations of scientists and so we are inviting you to take part in our Big Experiment competition.

Science/Engineering Teacher of the Year Have you ever had a teacher who helped you to understand more about the world, or whose lessons caught your imagination?