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SSLN Survey Background

Survey Background


The Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN) was an annual sample survey which monitored national performance in literacy and numeracy in alternate years, for school pupils at P4, P7 and S2. Findings from the survey also informed resources for practitioners to facilitate improvements in learning, teaching and assessment at classroom level.

The SSLN was developed to support assessment approaches for Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). The guidance for assessment for CfE is set out in Building the Curriculum 5: A Framework for Assessment and its supporting suite of publications, first published in January 2010.

The assessments used in the survey were a mix of written, online and interactive. The survey measured the wide range of knowledge, skills, capabilities and attitudes across learning identified in the Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes. The assessments were designed to reflect the CfE requirements that pupils have achieved breadth, challenge and application of learning.

The numeracy SSLN consisted of:

  • two written assessment booklets
  • an interactive teacher/pupil assessment and,
  • a pupil questionnaire

The literacy SSLN consisted of:

  • two assessment booklets, one paper-based and one online
  • a group discussion, or
  • submission of class-based written work
  • a pupil questionnaire

Teachers selected to take part in the SSLN:

  • complete a teacher questionnaire