Learning progressions

The Literacy and Numeracy Strategy commits to deliver National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions to schools. The learning progressions will 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. They have been developed by ACARA in collaboration with the NSW Department of Education. The National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions are available in the Resources section of the Australian Curriculum website.

The National Literacy Learning Progression has been mapped to the NSW English K-10 syllabus and the National Numeracy Learning Progression has been mapped 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 provide greater detail than the current literacy and numeracy continuums. 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.

New online assessments linked to the learning progressions will be developed to assist teachers make consistent and valid decisions about student achievement. New software - PLAN2 - will be made 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 maths syllabuses for the Australian curriculum reflect the standard of literacy and numeracy achievement from Early Stage 1 to Stage 5. The learning progressions, which provide specific literacy and numeracy learning pathways, will sit alongside the syllabuses. The learning progressions will help teachers to describe students' observable behaviours across curriculum areas from Kindergarten to Year 10.

Implementation in schools and professional learning

From 2018, the learning progressions have replaced the literacy and numeracy continuums in Early Action for Success (EAfS) schools and a small number of selected supplementary schools.

The Best Start Kindergarten Assessment is mapped to the learning progressions and primary schools can use the learning progressions with additional year groups.

All primary and secondary schools are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the learning progressions and have access to professional learning, including face to face sessions and e-learning.

Development of the learning progressions

All Australian education ministers agreed in December 2015 to develop national literacy and numeracy learning progressions. ACARA and the NSW Department of Education have led development over 2016-17. Development has been informed by 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.

More information

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