About the Literacy and Numeracy 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 learning progressions describe common literacy and numeracy learning pathways for students from Kindergarten to Year 10. The learning progressions are developed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) in collaboration with the department.

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

The short video ‘How are the Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions structured?’ introduces the progressions and their structure.

How are the National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions structured?

The progressions reflect aspects of literacy or numeracy development necessary for successful learners across the K–10 NSW syllabuses and in everyday life.

As shown in the diagrams, the progressions are divided into elements and sub-elements. Within each sub-element, there are a series of indicators.

Indicators describe the observable behaviours that students may demonstrate as they progress in their literacy or numeracy learning.

Let’s take a closer look at the different structural components in the progressions, focusing on Speaking and Listening from the literacy progression and Number sense and algebra from the numeracy progression.

Each element contains sub-elements that provide further detail about important aspects of literacy and numeracy development.

For example, Listening is a sub-element within the Speaking and listening element and additive strategies is a sub-element within the number sense and algebra element.

Within each sub-element, indicators are grouped together to form developmental levels.

These sequential levels are identified by a letter and number code that indicates the abbreviated name of the sub-element and the developmental level.

There are as many levels within each sub-element as can be supported by evidence. The listing of indicators within a level is non-hierarchical.

Many of the sub-elements include subheadings that group indicators into cateories of skills that develop over a number of levels.

The amount of detail in any level or sub-element is not an indication of importance.

A single indicator at a more advanced level in the progression may rely on a substantial number of indicators being evident in earlier levels.

The amount of time it takes a student to progress through each level is not specified and will vary, as students’ literacy and numeracy development occurs at different rates.

Effective use of the learning progressions

The National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions:

  • assist in strengthening teacher knowledge and facilitate a shared understanding of literacy and numeracy development

  • assist teachers to identify the literacy and numeracy needs of students, target teaching and monitor progress throughout the teaching and learning cycle

  • assist teachers to differentiate teaching and learning experiences and to provide feedback to students about next steps in learning

  • are to be used in support of the syllabuses, which remain the focus for planning, programming, teaching, learning and assessment

  • should be used in support of schools’ improvement priorities as articulated in Strategic Improvement Plans.

See the Introduction to the literacy and numeracy progressions (version 3) professional learning for an overview.

NSW schools use version 3 of the progressions from Term 1, 2023.

All literacy and numeracy resources and professional learning now align to version 3 of the progressions and new syllabus outcomes where applicable (Note: Some resource updates may occur early in Term 1)

  • the department's literacy and numeracy assessments map to version 3 from 2023 to continue to assist teachers to make consistent and valid decisions about student learning and achievement

  • PLAN2 incorporates version 3 progressions from 2023, updated syllabus outcomes (where applicable) and enhancements including an updated observation status scale.
    • Note: PLAN2 data lodged prior to 2023 has been migrated to version 3 (no observations are lost).

Learning progressions and the relationship to the NSW syllabuses

The National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions support teaching and learning using current and new NSW syllabuses.

English and Mathematics K-2 syllabuses

The updated English and Mathematics K–2 syllabuses are taught in all NSW schools with K-2 enrolments from 2023.

The digital version of the English and mathematics syllabus content is tagged with version 3 of the National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions.

These progression tags provide guidance on the literacy and/or numeracy skills students might need to support their learning of syllabus content and their achievement of outcomes. They assist teachers to access relevant indicators to identify students’ starting points, monitor and support learning.

Current K-10 syllabuses

Teachers can identify the literacy and numeracy expectations and opportunities within their NSW K-10 syllabuses through:

  • the literacy or numeracy general capability description in Learning across the curriculum

  • general capability literacy and numeracy icons throughout syllabus content (not applicable to new syllabuses)

  • keywords and verbs that indicate literacy or numeracy knowledge and skills

  • NESA mapping of version 2 progressions sub-elements and levels to English and Mathematics syllabus outcomes (current for Years 3-10), shown underneath the articulation of content for each outcome.

The department has provided interim mapping of NSW 3-10 syllabus outcomes to version 3 of the progressions. This is available in PLAN2 and in all literacy and numeracy resources and professional learning from 2023.

Teachers use the progressions to support teaching, learning and monitoring of student progress in the literacy and numeracy skills identified in their syllabuses.

For information on upcoming changes, visit the NSW curriculum reform web page.

Support for schools

  • Information sessions and updates will be available via the Literacy NSW and Numeracy NSW statewide staffrooms.

  • Refreshed professional learning to support schools will be released throughout Term 1, 2023.

Related links



  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Learning Improvement
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