Assessment and Reporting

 Cognitive Ability Testing (CAT)

 What is CAT

 The Cognitive Ability Test assesses how well a pupil can think about tasks and solve problems using a range of different questions.

 Some tasks involve thinking about shapes and patterns (Non-verbal Reasoning), some with words (Verbal Reasoning) or numbers (Quantative Reasoning) and, finally, some questions are answered by thinking about shape and space together and imaging a shape being changed and moving (Spatial Ability).


Why Use CAT?

  •  CAT is used in many schools across the UK to provide information to teachers, pupils and parents that, with additional information such as results from other tests, forms the basis for discussion about how best an individual can learn and reach his or her potential in school.
  •  CAT does not require any prior knowledge and you cannot ‘learn’ how to answer the questions in CAT.  It is therefore a good test because everyone starts at the same place.
  •  The abilities tested in CAT, such as spatial ability, may be difficult to demonstrate in the classroom so it is important that teachers know the level of a pupil’s ability in such areas.
  •  CAT contributes to setting targets (for example, at National 5 level) and allows an individual’s progress to be monitored.
  •  CAT results will help teachers decide about the pace of learning that is right for an individual and whether additional support or challenge is needed.
  •  CAT, unlike an English or Maths test, is not a test of what the pupil has learned.  It tests how an individual can think in areas that are known to make a difference to learning and achievement.


Interpretation of CAT Information

  •  The indicators relating to a pupil’s future performance in National Examinations in S4 is currently linked in the report to Standard Grade predictors.   The reason for this is that there is insufficient data at this stage (since the new National Examinations have only been in use for two years) to identify predictors in relation to these.
  •  However, Standard Grade correlates to the new National Exams and provides a very useful indicator of a pupil’s future progress as follows:-


            Standard Grade                                  National Qualifications

            Grade 1 / 2                                           National 5 (highest level)

            Grade 3 / 4                                           National 4 (general level)

            Grade 5 / 6                                           National 3 (lower level)

            Grade 7                                                            No Award


  • If a child’s profile in a subject indicates a 2, this would mean he/she could attain a National 5 in that subject in S4.  If the score is a 4, this would mean they would perform at the lower end of National 4.
  •  The data also highlights what a pupil COULD achieve in S4 if they work hard and are properly challenged by teachers and parents; this is shaded in ORANGE on the Parents’ Report.  The other grade shaded in BLUE tells you what a pupil is LIKELY to achieve if they are not challenged to achieve their best.
  •  These predictors are useful to parent/carers in four ways:-
  1.  They allow you to identify your child’s particular strengths and  weaknesses across the curriculum
  2.  They provide a focus for discussions at home
  3.  They provide an agenda for discussion with teachers at Parents’ Evenings
  4.  They help you to make decisions at the end of S1 when your child is allowed some personalisation and choice regarding the subjects he/she majors in in S2/S3.  




Pupils sit formal assessments around November and March/April to benchmark their progress and this is matched to their CAT score to check they are achieving their best.  Action is taken via parental contacts, extra help sessions etc where performance is below what would be expected.



Pupils sit formal S3 Exams in December.  These replicate the S4 National Exams and provide an opportunity for pupils to get used to the formal procedures of SQA Exams relating to timing, invigilation and so on.

 Results from exams (along with other classroom evidence) inform option choices for the Senior Phase.



Unit Assessments take place throughout the session as per SQA guidelines.

An S4 benchmarking exercise takes place in October to check progress against CAT scores and S3 Exam data.

An S4 formal Prelim Exams are in January each year. 

There are regular interventions by teaching staff and Year Heads throughout the year to ensure pupils are working to achieve their potential.


Whole School Profiling

 Profiling is an important part of Curriculum for Excellence as it allows pupils to evaluate their progress within subjects and in relation to their achievements outwith the classroom.  It allows them to identify their strengths and points for action so that they know what to do to improve.

 Pupils regularly complete departmental profiles in relation to their subjects and they also complete an electronic profile via PSE which is more broad based and examines progress in a range of contexts.  Pupils take home a copy of their electronic profile at the end of each year.

 Dept Profile (for website).pdf

Pupil Profile (for website).pdf


Parents’ Information

 The Assessment and Reporting information for this session is noted below:


The dates for this session’s Parents’ Evenings are:-

S1        27 October

S2        6 October

S3        21 January    

S4        2 February    

S5/6     24 February   


The dates for this session’s Primary-Secondary Transition Evenings are:-

Information Evenings             2 November               

Information Evenings             26 May         

P7 Induction                           6 June, 7 June, 8 June                                               

In addition to these formal meeting times, the Head Teacher publishes a School Calendar annually to inform parents of reporting and other key dates.


The Head Teacher also issues a summary of the School Improvement Plan towards the end of each session to allow parents to be involved in the evaluation of the Plan and to comment of proposed priorities and targets for the forthcoming session.