Exemplars / Commentaries for National 3: Literacy

This section has been designed to help practitioners and learners understand the expected standards for the Reading and Writing Outcomes in the National Literacy Unit.


Assessment Standard

Outcome 1: Read and understand simple word-based texts by:

1.1 Selecting and using relevant information

1.2 Identifying audience and purpose

1.3 Showing awareness of effectiveness

Example of reading task

Learner response

Below you can see questions based on the reading passage and the learner's answers to the questions. You should consider these responses before attempting the task.

What is healthy eating?

Read the leaflet then answer all the questions.

1. Why has this leaflet been written? Is it to:

  • Give you a recipe for a fruit pudding
  • Tell you how to buy, cook and eat healthy foods
  • Give advice on choosing a supermarket

Write out one answer:

Tell you how to buy, cook and eat healthy foods

2. Write down two ways to reduce your chance of illness:

(i) Eat more fruit. Five bits

(ii) Eat less fat and sugar

3. Look at the table of figures. Write down what the writer considers to be

“a lot” of fat.


4. Apart from changing what you eat, what else does the writer say is important for improving your health?

Do exercise as well

5. Is this a good leaflet? Circle YES or NO.

Give one reason for your answer:

It gives you a table you could take to the shops to check your food. You could see if its healthy.

Task for practitioner

Before you complete the exercise below, you should read the passage on Healthy Eating, read the learner's responses and then attempt the task.

Exercise - What is healthy eating?

  • Did the learner correctly identify the purpose?
  • Did the learner grasp the main points or ideas? Comment on the quality of answers.
  • Did the learner make a basic evaluation and support it with evidence?
  • What else would have been acceptable?

For each question explain and make a note of your reasons.

Would the learner pass?

The exemplar text- What is Healthy Eating- is of the required length and appropriate content (functional / transactional) to provide the learner with opportunities to meet the Assessment Standards for Literacy at National 3.

The questions have been matched with the Assessment Standards (below) and it should be noted that the learner need only meet the Assessment Standard once to satisfy the requirements at this level.

Q1. 1.2         

Q2. 1.1

Q3. 1.1

Q4. 1.1

Q5. 1.3

All of the Assessment Standards have been met within the learner’s answers.


Assessment Standard

Outcome 3: Write simple technically accurate texts by:

3.1 Selecting and using appropriate language

3.2 Organising writing appropriately

3.3 Using appropriate spelling, punctuation and grammar

Example of a writing task

Write an e-mail to a friend in America. You went to school together but haven’t been in touch for 6 months. Your e-mail should be at least 100 words long.

Learner response

Below is a learner's response to the exercise. You should read and consider this before attempting the practitioner task.

Hello Janet

I was thinking about you and wondering how your doing.

Did you get your extenshion finished OK? It must be nice to have the extra rooms.

We are all fine. I’m still working in the after-school club. Some of the kids are a bit cheeky but we have a laugh.

Lindsay got her hair died in Glasgow. Brite red! I didn’t like it at first but I’ll get used to it.

George slipped on the golf coarse and burst his ankle Hes off work just now. We’re all trying to be quiet ‘cos Jamie’s studying for exams.

My Mums keeping quite well – thank goodness!

Well, thats all for now, Janet.

Take care and write back soon with all your news.



Task for practitioner

Before you complete the exercise below, you should read the learner's response and then attempt the task.

Only when you have looked at both of these and considered the Assessment Standards for Outcome 2 should you complete the exercise below.

Exercise on learner’s work - letter/e-mail to a friend in America

a) Is the learner’s writing suitable for the purpose and audience? Give evidence to back up your answer.

b) Does the piece of writing seem to be complete? Does it contain essential information?

c) Is there some evidence of structure?

d) Are spelling, grammar and punctuation sufficiently accurate for the meaning to be clear?

For each question explain and make a note of your reasons.

Would the learner pass?

The exemplar learner response does meet Assessment Standard 3.1 for National 3 Literacy as the language employed does communicate meaning at a first reading and it is more than 80 words in length. There is the sense that the correspondent has not communicated with the recipient for a while, as stated in the task, and the friendly, informal tone is appropriate for the genre.

The piece of writing is organised appropriately: it uses simple structures following some of the more obvious conventions of the genre (e-mail to a friend) and does meet Assessment Standard 3.2 for the level.

Assessment Standard 3.3 concerns using appropriate spelling, punctuation and grammar and while there are some errors in spelling and punctuation these do not baffle on a first reading. This response has been judged to meet the Assessment Standard, after some discussion with verifiers. While the errors in technical accuracy may be inappropriate in another context such as a business letter, on balance and in this informal instance of an e-mail to a friend, the response is just acceptable as a pass at this level.

It is hoped that following further learning and guidance on technical accuracy, the learner may progress and be able to respond with fewer errors in future.