12th December 2019

Science Primary assessments show slight improvement

Science Primary assessments show slight improvement

Science

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The government insists the assessments are not high-stakes tests

The number of children in primary 1 achieving the expected level in reading and writing has improved slightly, new figures show.

The levels for numeracy and listening and talking remained the same.

The standardised assessments for P1 pupils have been at the centre of a political row in Scotland.

Critics say they run counter to the idea of learning through play but the Scottish government says they are not “high stakes” tests.

The data of children’s progress are based on teachers’ professional judgements.

This is based on a number of factors including standardised assessments and work in class.

The assessments were introduced across Scotland during the 2017-18 school year.

The government has always insisted they were designed to give an indication of the level children had reached by the time they started school.

That data could then be used to measure the impact of schemes to raise attainment and as a benchmark for subsequent assessments carried out in P4 and P7.

The 2018/19 figures showed small increases across all years but were broadly similar to the previous year.

2018/19 figures

P1 – Early Level – Reading (82%) Writing (79%) Listening & Talking (87%) Literacy (76%) Numeracy (85%)

P4 – First Level – Reading (78%) Writing (73%) Listening & Talking (85%) Literacy (70%) Numeracy (77%)

P7 – Second Level – Reading (80%) Writing (74%) Listening & Talking (86%) Literacy (71%) Numeracy (76%)

S3 – Third Level or better – Reading (91%) Writing (90%) Listening & Talking (91%) Literacy (88%) Numeracy (90%)

S3 – Fourth Level – Reading (55%) Writing (52%) Listening & Talking (57%) Literacy (48%) Numeracy (59%)

The Scottish government report said the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged had narrowed on most indicators.

In 2016 Scotland scored its worst ever performance in the PISA figures, which compare international education systems.

Scotland was classed as average in all three categories – reading, maths and science – for the first time ever.

The latest figures – produced last week – indicated an improvement in reading but a further fall in the scores for maths and science. However government statisticians say the fall is small enough to represent stability.

Compared with the other home nations, it was ahead of Wales and Northern Ireland but slightly behind England.

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