Improving Literacy and Numeracy Levels for Dundee Primary School Pupils

Improving Literacy and Numeracy Levels for Dundee Primary School Pupils  Image

Dundee’s primary pupils are making educational improvements during the earliest stages of their learning journey. 

The Children, Families and Communities Committee will hear that since 2018/19 primary pupils living in the most deprived areas of the city have shown higher levels of literacy attainment when compared to the Scottish average.  

Despite the ongoing impact of the pandemic, 66% of primary 1, 4 & 7 pupils living in the most deprived areas in the city have attained their expected level in literacy, which is the highest percentage on record. The Scottish average is 64%.  

In line with this, primary pupils living in the least deprived areas have also shown slightly higher levels of literacy achievement when compared to the Scottish average. In addition, the proportion of Dundee pupils in the least deprived areas attaining the expected level in Literacy now exceed levels seen in 2018/19. 

Despite overall improvements seen in literacy achievement since 2016/17, the gap between pupils from the most and least deprived areas has remained relatively steady. This is because of record performance of pupils living in the least deprived areas as well as those living in the most deprived areas.  

Elsewhere, the report will detail that prior to 2020/21 primary pupils in Dundee had lower levels of numeracy attainment than the national average but recent data highlights improvements in this area.  

Primary school pupils have seen a significant improvement in numeracy attainment since 2016/17, with the figure rising from 70% to 79% in 2022/23.  

Furthermore, since 2020/21 Dundee has had a higher proportion of primary pupils from the most deprived areas achieving their expected level in numeracy than Scotland’s average. 

This past year has seen a recovery by Dundee pupils in the least deprived and they are now showing their highest level of achievement, which is one percentage point ahead of the Scottish average. 

There are several key strategies and actions to further improve the proportion of pupils achieving the expected Curriculum for Excellence levels in literacy and numeracy. These include embedding ‘Every Dundee Learning Matters’ (EDLM) improvement strategy, redesigning Head Techer Learning Together Days, and creating stronger working links with Education Scotland Attainment advisors. 

Children, Families and Communities Convener Stewart Hunter said: "This report highlights a lot of great work going on in the city to make sure our primary pupils get good quality education from the start of their learning journey.  

"It’s great to see that the poverty-related attainment gap within Dundee is currently smaller than the national average, highlighting the amount of positive work going on in our city at the moment. 

"We know how important it is to get it right for every pupil and we are committed to ensuring best practice across all our schools, we have several ways in which we are looking to achieve this, including using data to drive improvement and investment with our schools. 

"I want to thank the staff who are doing a great job in ensuring that we are delivering for our young people and getting their education off to the right start."

This Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence Levels 2022/23 update provides information on the proportion of primary school pupils who have achieved the expected Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) levels in literacy and numeracy relevant to their stage in academic session 2022/23. 

The report is focused of the % of P1, P4 and P7 pupils combined achieving expected Curriculum for Excellence Levels in both literacy and numeracy.  

The Children, Families and Communities Committee will meet on Monday 4th March.  

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