Learning progressions

The literacy and numeracy strategy commits to deliver new literacy and numeracy learning progressions to schools.

What are the learning progressions?

The learning progressions are a teaching and learning resource. They describe common pathways of literacy and numeracy development from Kindergarten to Year 10. The learning progressions map to the NSW syllabuses and the Australian curriculum in English and maths, demonstrating the development needed to meet stage outcomes. They can be used to determine what students know already, and what they need to learn next.

Why were the learning progressions developed?

The learning progressions have been developed to help identify student needs, and to support classroom planning and reporting. The learning progressions will:

  • provide comprehensive information about literacy and numeracy development from K-10
  • identify knowledge, understanding and skills that can be demonstrated across all learning areas, not just English and maths
  • allow teachers to locate a student's current knowledge and ability more accurately, to determine the learning that should follow.

All Australian education ministers agreed in December 2015 to develop national literacy and numeracy learning progressions. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and the NSW Department of Education have led development over 2016-17. Development has been informed by available evidence and consultation with researchers and experts in literacy and numeracy education. Trials have taken place across Australia, including in NSW, to ensure the learning progressions are usable and reliable across a range of different schools.


Online assessments are being developed to support formative assessment of literacy and numeracy against the learning progressions.

Assessments such as Best Start Kindergarten and Best Start Year 7, will map students’ knowledge against the learning progressions, showing teachers what a student still needs to learn. Software (for example PLAN2 for government schools) may be used to record student progress against the learning progressions, giving teachers quick access to information about how their students’ learning is developing over time.

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