Teachers’ beliefs about their students influence how they teach and interact with them. High expectations are linked with higher performance for all students. The reverse can also be true. Students may achieve less than their full potential if expectations of their ability are low.
The NSW syllabuses set the expectation for student learning at a point in time. They are the focus for planning, programming, teaching, learning and assessment. The National Literacy and Numeracy Progressions describe common literacy and numeracy learning pathways. The learning progressions allow teachers to more accurately locate a student's current literacy and numeracy knowledge, understanding and skills to support planning for teaching and learning.
To ensure high expectations for all students when learning to read in the early years, reading guides have been developed to support conversations about reading and numeracy improvement in the context of school strategic planning. The Effective reading Kindergarten to Year 2: A guide to support conversations about evidence-based practice in reading, informs conversations about evidence-based reading instruction in all key learning areas across the K–2 school context. It is critical in the first 3 years of schooling that students develop the foundational skills in reading. The Improving reading comprehension Years 3 to 8: A guide to support conversations about evidence-based practice in reading, informs conversations about evidence-based reading instruction in all key learning areas across both primary and secondary school contexts.
Principals and leadership teams have a pivotal role in driving, reading, and numeracy improvement in schools.
Reading and numeracy guides have been developed to support conversations about reading and numeracy improvement in the context of school, strategic planning. They support the Department’s School Success Model to help us to ensure that every student, teacher, leader and school improves every year. The guides support the Director, Educational Leadership, principals, school leadership teams, and teachers to have informed conversations about evidence-based reading and numeracy instruction in all key learning areas, across the school context. The guides can assist with an analysis of current practices, help to inform planning for school improvement in reading and numeracy, and suggest ways to build capacity and understanding of effective reading and numeracy with explicit classroom practices and professional learning resources. There are 2 guides for reading. Effective reading Kindergarten to Year 2 and Improving reading comprehension Years 3 to 8. There are also 2 guides for numeracy, a K to 2 numeracy guide and a numeracy guide for Years 3 to 8. All of the guides support conversations about evidence-based practice.
The reading and numeracy guides provide an outline of responsibilities of the principal and leadership teams in driving, reading, and numeracy improvement throughout the school. Both reading and numeracy are foundational for success in everyday life. Reading is a complex cognitive process. It requires our brains to make new connections and requires explicit teaching in order for our brains to make those new connections. All teachers need a thorough understanding of how the complex cognitive process of reading develops and how the many components work together as students read increasingly complex texts, skilfully, strategically, and critically.
Numeracy is also complex and multifaceted. Numeracy is considered the confident application of mathematical skills, understanding and dispositions across areas of learning and within our daily lives. While the evidence-base for understanding and teaching numeracy is largely shared with mathematics, some researchers have attempted to define numeracy and describe its components. To support and build capacity and understanding the guides are organised into the components of numeracy and of reading. The components of reading in the reading guide are Phonological awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Reading comprehension.
Looking closer at the numeracy guides, we see that these resources highlight evidence-based practices to inform teaching and learning in the components of Number and place value, Patterns and algebra, Additive thinking, Multiplicative thinking and Proportional thinking.
Each component is defined with links to New South Wales syllabus documents and the Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions, as well as an outline of what this learning looks like in the classroom. Advice is offered on where to find further support, including professional learning, podcasts, resources, and assessments.
The reading and numeracy guides are available on the Literacy and numeracy website and on the Digital Learning Resources Hub.
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High expectations resources:
- NSW syllabuses
- National Literacy and Numeracy Progressions
- Reading guides:
- Effective reading Kindergarten to Year 2: A guide to support conversations about evidence-based practice in reading
- Improving reading comprehension Years 3 to 8: A guide to support conversations about evidence-based practice in reading.