learning & teaching

Standardised Tests in S3


The new SNSA Testing System is now up and running and we will shortly be advertising new dates.  See below for more information.

Each year, all S3 pupils in Scotland will sit a set of Standard Tests.  The tests in Gracemount High School are planned for August and September.


What you need to know

The assessments will be the same ones used across the whole of Scotland, which are designed to reflect the way we deliver education in Scotland through the Curriculum for Excellence.  In addition to these assessments, ongoing and informal assessment will carry on an normal, with teachers continuing to use a range of assessment information to plan the next steps in learning for your child.


What will be assessed?
The assessments will focus on aspects of reading, writing and numeracy.


How many times will your pupil sit an assessment?
S3 pupils will take three assessments – one reading, one writing and one numeracy.  These will be done in class time.


How will the assessments be taken?
The assessments are taken online – either on a computer or iPad. They are marked automatically which means that teachers have immediate feedback to help you’re your child ’s progress.


What happens if my child forgets their iPad?
It would be greatly appreciated in you could ensure that your child remembers to take their iPad to school on the assigned day.  If they forget it then will will have a small number of computers on standby so they can sit the tests.


Preparing for the tests
Your child will be prepared for the tests by the Mathematics and English Departments.  This will include an opportunity to see an example of a test so that pupils will be familiar with the format of the test.  There may also be an opportunity to do a practice test.


What does this mean for your child?
The assessments are used as part of routine learning and teaching to help teachers understand how well your child is progressing and to plan next steps. The system is designed so that if a child is experiencing difficulty, the questions will get easier, and if a child is doing well, the questions will become more challenging. The assessments are as short as possible and are age and stage appropriate. There is no time limit – this is to ensure that children do not feel under pressure when taking the assessments. We do expect that the majority of children will complete each assessment in no more than 45 minutes. You child will not be expected to do all the assessments in one sitting.


What about additional support to sit the tests
Our Support for Learning Department will work with the Mathematics and English Departments to identify and pupils who may require assistance to sit the tests.  A plan will then be agreed on what supports are most appropriate.


How will the results be used?
SNSA data provides additional information to the teacher regarding how your child is progressing in school. Teachers will use this information, alongside a wide range of other assessment information to plan appropriate next steps in learning for your child. This will assist the teacher to help your child further. 


How can you help? 

You have a key role to play in helping your child to progress in their learning. Teachers will keep you informed about how your child is progressing. Reports are sent home in November and May of S3.  We would recommend that you:

  • Talk to your child ’s guidance teacher if you have any concerns about their learning or assessment.
  • Ask for information about how you can support your child’s learning at home.
  • Attend any planned family learning events organised by the school
  • Attend parent ’s evenings. 
  • Regularly speak to your child about how they are getting on at school and support them to complete homework and study at home.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Link to SNSA site: