Learning progressions

The National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions help to ensure literacy and numeracy are taught explicitly in schools, and that the literacy and numeracy needs of all students can be addressed. The progressions will continue to support schools in their focus on the five new priorities for improving literacy and numeracy from 2022.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has finalised Version 3 of the National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions and are available on the ACARA website. ACARA have advised it is for use in the alpha phase of the Online Formative Assessment Initiative. The purpose of the learning progressions remains the same and the new version reflects updates to the evidence base for literacy and numeracy development.
For NSW schools, the department will manage the transition from Version 2 to Version 3. This will support the continuity of student progress data in PLAN2 and adjustments to literacy and numeracy assessments and professional learning. As progress is made, more information will be made available to support schools and keep them updated. For recent updates please check the refreshed information section on the PLAN2 web page.

The learning progressions describe common literacy and numeracy learning pathways for students from Kindergarten to Year 10. They have been developed by ACARA in collaboration with the department. The National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions are available in the Resources section of the Australian Curriculum website.

NESA has mapped the National Literacy Learning Progression to the NSW English K-10 syllabus and the National Numeracy Learning Progression to the NSW Mathematics K-10 syllabus to demonstrate the range and level of literacy and numeracy skills required to access the outcomes and content.

The benefits of the learning progressions

The learning progressions are:

  • comprehensive, reaching from K-10
  • evidence-based
  • linked to the Australian Curriculum
  • designed to identify literacy and numeracy behaviours across all curriculum areas.

How can the learning progressions be used?

The learning progressions allow teachers to more accurately locate a student's current literacy and numeracy knowledge, understanding and skills to support planning for learning and teaching from the syllabus. The learning progressions are a resource to support implementation of the curriculum. They can be used at a whole school, teaching team or individual teacher level for:

  • differentiated assessment
  • planning for teaching
  • diagnostic assessment
  • monitoring progress over time
  • student self-assessment
  • scaffolding curriculum area learning
  • identifying curriculum literacy and numeracy demands.

Online assessments linked to the learning progressions will be developed to assist teachers make consistent and valid decisions about student achievement. The department's PLAN2 software is available to keep a record of student development and track progress over time.

How do the learning progressions relate to the syllabus?

The NSW English and mathematics syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum reflect the standard of literacy and numeracy achievement from Early Stage 1 to Stage 5. The learning progressions, providing specific literacy and numeracy learning pathways, sit alongside the syllabuses. The learning progressions help teachers to describe students' observable behaviours across curriculum areas from Kindergarten to Year 10.

Implementation in schools and professional learning

The learning progressions replaced the literacy and numeracy continuums. The department's literacy and numeracy assessments are now mapped to the learning progressions.

All primary and secondary schools are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the learning progressions and have access to professional learning.

More information

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