Literacy and Numeracy


Literacy | Numeracy


Literacy is the ability to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts. This is reflected in the recent Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority’s (ACARA) Australian Curriculum: English.

ACARA defines Literacy as:

being the fundamental knowledge and skills students require to access, understand, analyse and evaluate information, making meaning, express thoughts and emotions, present ideas and opinions, interact with others and participate in activities at school and in their lives beyond school (ACARA, 2015).

Students across the ACT have access to equitable and supportive curriculum that will develop their literacy concepts and competences to successfully read, view, write, create and speak with purpose and effect across a range of contexts.

Literacy Programs

Principals as Literacy Leaders

The Principals as Literacy Leaders (PALLs) program was developed by Griffith University in partnership with the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA), Edith Cowan University and Flinders University. The PALLs program is designed to develop the capabilities of Canberra public school principals as effective literacy leaders, with a specific focus on reading.  PALLs supports principals and leadership teams to enhance literacy and build literacy leadership in their schools. The impact of innovations introduced by Canberra schools as a result of participation in the PALLs program will continue to be evident in the literacy practices in schools throughout 2016.

First Steps

First Steps materials are made up of three interwoven strands of literacy: Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening, which symbolise the interrelatedness of literacy learning. All strands are threaded with practical, accessible, classroom-tested teaching procedures and activities. First Steps Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening professional learning programs are delivered by trained facilitators upon requests from schools.

Useful Literacy Resources


To be numerate is to confidently and effectively use mathematics to meet the everyday demands of life. The Australian Curriculum defines numeracy as ‘involving students in recognising and understanding the role of mathematics in the world and having the dispositions and capacities to use mathematical knowledge and skills purposefully’ (ACARA, 2015).

In everyday life, numeracy is used to solve problems, make sense of time, numbers, patterns and shapes. It is used in tasks such as cooking, reading a map, paying a bill, reading instructions and even playing sport.

The Melbourne Declaration of Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008) recognises that:

Numeracy is an essential skill for students in becoming successful learners at school and in life beyond school, and in preparing them for their future roles as family, community and workforce members. More broadly, a numerate population is critical in ensuring the nation’s ongoing prosperity, productivity and workforce participation (ACARA, 2015).

Numeracy Programs

Count Me In Too

Count Me in Too (CMIT) is an ACT Education Directorate supported program. The program, originally developed by the NSW Department of Education and Communities, aims to support teachers in their understanding of how students learn mathematics and develop strategies to solve arithmetic tasks.

Middle Years Mental Computation

The Middle Years Mental Computation (MYMC) program is an on-going professional development initiative of the ACT Education Directorate. MYMC aims to increase teachers’ professional knowledge, understanding and skill in connecting teaching, learning and assessment. MYMC supports students in learning mental computation strategies for addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, decimals, percentages and ratios.

Useful Numeracy Resources