Last Updated: Thursday, August 11, 2022

Primary 1 Scottish National Standardised Assessments Case Studies

What is this?

​​​​​​​These case studies exemplify a range of effective approaches for the delivery of Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSAs) in primary 1.​​

Who is this for?

​The case studies offer practitioners and assessment leaders practical advice and strategies for the delivery of P1 SNSAs, as well as considering how data can be used to ensure excellence and equity for all learners.

​How to use this exemplar to improve practice

These case studies will allow practitioners and assessment leaders to consider how SNSAs are managed within a range of school settings. They offer some suggestions on how teachers have felt the delivery could be improved upon, based on their own journey so far.

It will be useful to consider how the needs of all learners are being met within these case studies and the supports that teachers have put in place to ensure a relaxed and encouraging environment. This may help those planning for assessments to reflect on the specific needs of the children within their classes and how these needs may be better met.

The studies may also support considerations on how best this diagnostic data can be used for personalised, targeted interventions for each child, as well as across a school or cluster.​

Improvement questions

  • ​​​How have SNSAs been planned for in com​parable settings and how do these approaches compare to what we have done?
  • How well are SNSAs planned and integrated into our learning, teaching and assessment?
  • How well are we ensuring that the needs of all children are being met when delivering SNSAs?
  • How effectively is the diagnostic information from SNSAs being used to develop targeted interventions, particularly at points of transition?
  • How well are we analysing and using assessment information to identify development needs for individual learners and specific groups?
  • How well are we using the data that we are gathering?
  • How effectively are we using the diagnostic information to review our approach to a play-based curriculum in P1?
  • How do we ensure that SNSAs are being used diagnostically, as one part of the wider assessment and moderation picture?​​​


PDF file: SNSA case studies - South Ayrshire Council

PDF file: SNSA case studies - Glasgow City Council

PDF file: SNSA case studies - Aberdeenshire Council

PDF file: SNSA case studies - Edinburgh City Council

PDF file: SNSA case studies - West Lothian Council


Listen to one headteacher involved in the case studies talk about her experience of carrying out the P1 SNSAs for the first time:​


Explore this exemplar

What was done?

A number of local authorities were approached and gave permission for headteachers and primary 1 teachers to be interviewed on their recent experience of delivering SNSAs to primary 1 classes.​

As a result of these discussions, case studies were compiled reflecting the strengths and challenges of delivery, as well as giving some examples of how the data gathered from the process was informing future learning, teaching and assessment to support improvement.

Why was it done?​

Since the implementation of SNSAs in August 2017, there have been some concerns about the use of SNSAs in primary 1​​.

In the first instance, the case studies were developed to review how well teachers felt the SNSAs sit within a play-based P1 curriculum.

They also seek to support a better understanding amongst practitioners of differing, but equally effective, approaches to the delivery of SNSAs and how well the needs of all learners are being met across a range of contexts.

Finally, they reflect some of the work undertaken by schools and clusters to begin to use data to improve learning, for individuals and groups of similar learners.

What was the impact?​

The case studies present the views of staff from a range of local authorities and school settings. They explore some of the challenges that have been faced in the first year of SNSAs and show how diagnostic information is beginning to be used to underpin planning learning, teaching and assessment with the needs of all learners in mind.

The studies reflect the need for effective organisation and positive relatio​nships to support the process and they show how effectively​ SNSAs can be used in P1 to ensure early interventions are measurable and productive.​​