Literacy and Numeracy

While our National Qualifications are designed to develop literacy and numeracy skills across all subjects, National Units in Literacy and Numeracy are also available.

National Literacy Units are designed to develop the key literacy skills of reading, writing, listening and talking, and are a mandatory part of National 3 and National 4 Courses in English and Gàidhlig. They are also available at National 5 on a freestanding basis.

National Numeracy Units develop skills in number processes and information handling. These Units are a mandatory part of National 3, National 4 and National 5 Lifeskills Mathematics Courses, and the National 4 Mathematics Course.

National Units in Literacy Units and Numeracy may also be taken separately at National 3, National 4 or National 5 levels for those who want or need certification of these skills.

Updates and announcements

Understanding Standards materials 2015-16

We have published further Understanding Standards materials for National 5 Literacy Units. The following materials are available from our secure website and you can arrange access to them through your SQA Co-ordinator.

  • Literacy Outcome 1: Reading (published December 2015)
  • Literacy Outcome 2: Listening (published December 2015)
  • Literacy Outcome 3: Writing (published December 2015)
  • Literacy Outcome 4: Talking (published December 2015)

These materials must be stored securely and treated as confidential.

We have also published materials from the 2015 National 3 to National 5 Literacy event, which are available to download from the Understanding Standards Events Materials page.

English common questions

Mathematics common questions

Qualification content and delivery tools

The documents on this page are for teachers and lecturers.

Learners studying this qualification may also find the documents useful.

The 'Related information' panel on this page contains information that applies to all new National Qualifications in this subject.

Use the tabs below to open each section individually. Alternatively you can view all the sections.

Mandatory information

Literacy Unit Specifications in English

These provide an outline of what each Unit will cover and detail the Outcomes and Assessment Standards.

Literacy Unit Specifications in Gàidhlig

These provide an outline of what each Unit will cover and detail the Outcomes and Assessment Standards.

Numeracy Unit Specifications

These provide an outline of what each Unit will cover and detail the Outcomes and Assessment Standards..

Advice and guidance

Literacy - Unit Support Notes

These provide advice and guidance for teachers/lecturers on learning, teaching and assessment within the Units.

If a Unit is being done on a free-standing basis, notes need only be read along with the Unit Specification.

Numeracy - Unit Support Notes

These provide advice and guidance for teachers/lecturers on learning, teaching and assessment within the Units.

If a Unit is being done on a free-standing basis, notes need only be read along with the Unit Specification.

Assessment support

Unit Assessment Support Materials

These documents contain details of Unit assessment task(s), show approaches to gathering evidence and how the evidence can be judged against the Outcomes and Assessment Standards. Teachers/lecturers can arrange access to these confidential documents through their SQA Co-ordinator.

Bridging packs for Literacy (National 5), Gàidhlig: Literacy (National 5) and Numeracy (National 5) are now available and teachers/lecturers can arrange access to these documents through their SQA Co-ordinator.

Annotated Unit assessment support is available for Literacy Units at National 3 and National 4. These documents are designed to encourage and promote inclusive practice in the assessment of the National Literacy Units, particularly where learners may have reading and writing difficulties. Teachers/lecturers can arrange access to these documents through their SQA Co-ordinator.

Verification