Supportive practices for National Literacy Units

Information for teachers and lecturers who deliver National Literacy Units to disabled learners and/or learners with identified additional support needs.

We have produced support materials and guidance for the delivery and assessment of the National Literacy Units, to help learners achieve their potential in literacy.

Information guides

We have produced a quick and easy guide to supportive practices in National Literacy Units for disabled learners and/or those with additional support needs. This guide may also be helpful to learners, parents, carers, and others interested in the support available.  You can view the guide using the links below.

Support in National Literacy Units

This information is also available from Literacy support for learners

Using ICT in National Literacy Units

Assessment of Talking and Listening

Assessment support: annotated Unit Assessment Support packs

Annotated Unit assessment support packs are available for Literacy Units at National 3 and National 4. These documents are designed to encourage and promote inclusive practice in the assessment of National Literacy Units, particularly where learners may have reading and writing difficulties. These packs are available from our secure website and you can arrange access to them through your SQA Co-ordinator. They must be stored securely and treated as confidential.

View SQA Secure site.

Exemplars / commentaries: meeting the Assessment Standards

We have published interactive exemplars, which show examples of candidate evidence that meets the required standards for the Reading and Writing Outcomes in National 3 and National 4 Literacy Units. These are taken from archived Core Skill Communication Units, and contain:

  • the Assessment Standards for the Reading and Writing Outcomes in the Unit
  • an assessment task
  • a learner's response to the assessment task

Once you have read these, you can then complete the exercise provided and decide, based on the evidence, if the learner has met the Assessment Standards; before viewing specialists' comments on whether the learner would pass the Outcomes. Learners may also find this exercise useful in helping them to understand what is expected of them.

Case studies

Denny High School - ICT support for literacy

The following case study from Denny High School provides an insight into their experiences with using ICT to support pupils in developing their reading and writing skills.

We would like to thank Denny High School and CALL Scotland for their support.

Portobello High School - Literacy across learning

The following case study from Portobello High School provides an insight into their S1 'Literacy across learning' project to encourage the development of literacy skills across the curriculum. This includes examples of the lesson plans that were used.

We would like to thank Portobello High school for sharing this work.


This series of videos accompanies the Portobello High School case study, and features some of the pupils who took part in the 'Literacy across learning' project.