P–9 Literacy and Numeracy
P–9 Literacy and Numeracy Indicators
The indicators are a resource that can be used when planning for teaching, learning
assessment and monitoring in all key learning areas (KLAs).
They support teachers to build Queensland students’ capabilities across key learning areas
in the areas of literacy and numeracy and to foster a shared and consistent understanding
of the literacy and numeracy expectations for each year of school from the Preparatory
Year to Year 9.
The indicators identify knowledge, understanding and skills related to literacy and
numeracy learning. They develop in complexity across year levels.
Literacy emphasises speaking and listening, reading and viewing, and writing and
designing in many contexts with both written and multimodal texts.
Numeracy emphasises the appropriate application of mathematical concepts, procedures
and skills in everyday situations.
Literacy definition Numeracy definition
Literacy refers to reading, writing, speaking, Numeracy is the capacity, confidence and
viewing and listening effectively in a range of disposition to use mathematics to meet the
contexts. It encompasses a flexible, demands of learning, school, home, work,
sustainable mastery of a set of capabilities in community and civic life. 2
the use and production of traditional texts
and new communications technologies using
spoken language, print and multimedia. 1
Literacy and numeracy across the curriculum
Aspects of literacy and numeracy are inherent to each KLA, so some of the P–9 Literacy
and Numeracy Indicators can be incorporated into the work or various contexts used in
Not every indicator is applicable to each KLA or to each unit of work or learning context.
It is envisaged that over the course of a year:
• teachers will embed the indicators in focused teaching to support students developing
literacy and numeracy across the curriculum
• students will be given opportunities to demonstrate the indicators through various
learning experiences in different KLAs.
Adapted from Shape of the Australian Curriculum: English, National Curriculum Board 2009, accessed 23 Nov 2009,
<www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/Australian_Curriculum_-_English.pdf>, p. 6.
Adapted from Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics, National Curriculum Board 2009, accessed
23 Nov 2009, <www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/Australian_Curriculum_-_Maths.pdf>, p. 5.
2 | P–9 Literacy and Numeracy Indicators Information statement
Literacy Indicators Numeracy Indicators
Literacy Indicators describe the concepts, Numeracy Indicators describe the concepts,
procedures and skills used to meet the procedures and skills used to meet the
demands of the different modes of numeracy demands of everyday situations.
These are arranged into five organisers:
These are arranged into three organisers:
• Speaking and Listening
• Reading and Viewing
• Writing and Designing.
• Chance and Data.
Knowledge, understanding and skills Knowledge, understanding and skills
P–3 4–9 P–3 4–9
• Purpose and texts • Purpose and texts • •
Speaking and Listening
Order and Order, position,
• Strategies for • Strategies for position quantity and value
speaking and speaking and • Quantity and • Representations
listening listening value of digits •
• Textual features • Textual features • Representations • Operations
• Vocabulary • Vocabulary • Fractions • Financial
• Spoken • Spoken • Operations knowledge
• Financial • Rate and ratio
• Metacognition • Metacognition knowledge
• Purpose • Purpose • •
Patterns Direct proportion
Reading and Viewing
• Texts • Texts
• Strategies for • Strategies for
texts texts • Measurement of • Measurement of
• Reading with • Reading with attributes attributes
fluency fluency • Estimation • Estimation
• Textual features • Textual features • Time • Time
• Metacognition • Metacognition
• Properties • Properties
• Purpose and texts • Purpose, audience
and texts • Location and • Location and
• Strategies for
Writing and Designing
planning and • Strategies for
composing planning and
• Chance • Probability
• Textual features composing
• Data collection • Data collection
• Editing and • Voice
and analysis and analysis
proofreading • Paragraphs
• Metacognition • Textual features
Aspects of working mathematically are embedded in
• Editing and
Language elements and text types are embedded in
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Using the P–9 Literacy and Numeracy
Teachers can use the indicators to plan for teaching, learning and assessment. The
indicators can also be used to support and monitor student’s progress in literacy and
The P–9 Literacy and Numeracy Indicators have been written with all students in mind. It is
expected that students will typically be able to demonstrate the indicators identified for a
year level by the end of that year.
Students’ demonstrations of the indicators will depend on their individual development and
learning. Learning is unlikely to occur in the same way or at the same time for all students.
To achieve optimal learning teachers are encouraged to:
• provide rich and focused learning programs
• hold high expectations of students and support them in achieving those expectations
• engage in ongoing monitoring of students’ learning to ensure optimal progress
• diagnose and address the learning challenges of individual students
• recognise and extend the learning of students who progress quickly
• make adjustments as required to support students’ learning.
Students’ demonstrations of the Literacy and Numeracy Indicators can be shown using a
variety of communication modes and methods.
The range of communication modes and methods include, but are not limited to:
• physical — pointing, touching, hand squeezing, blinking
• written — braille, large print, audio-to-text computer transcripts
• verbal — vocalising, signing systems, text-to-audio computer program
• visual — displaying, drawing, matching, sorting
• augmentative — switches, adaptive and assistive technologies, sound systems.
4 | P–9 Literacy and Numeracy Indicators Information statement
The Early Years Curriculum Guidelines and the Essential Learnings are the starting point
for planning in the early and middle years of schooling. As a part of class and whole-school
planning, the indicators provide additional detail about literacy and numeracy expectations
that can meaningfully and realistically be a focus for teaching, learning, and assessment
By considering progress in relation to the indicators, teachers can use the indicators to help
determine where students need support for learning and how teaching can be focused to
meet the needs of individual students.
An important aspect of literacy and numeracy is to consistently develop and maintain
literacy and numeracy knowledge, understanding and skills over time.
Students with English as a Second Language
When planning for teaching, learning and assessment, teachers need to consider the
language and literacy capabilities of students with English as a Second Language (ESL)
who are new to English or new to written literacies. Students who begin learning Standard
Australian English at different junctures along the P–9 continuum will have second
language acquisition learning needs that are not reflected in the age-appropriate literacy
and numeracy indicators.
Processes and resources
This diagram below outlines processes and supporting resources recommended for
planning focused teaching, learning and assessment that support the development of
literacy and numeracy capabilities.
Source: QSA 2008, Building Student Success: A guide to the Queensland Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting
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Suggestions for embedding Literacy Indicators in KLAs
KLA Sample learning experiences
• Reads, views, writes and designs literary and non-literary texts
• Constructs and comprehends literary text types
• Analyses information presented in data displays
• Uses the protocols for speaking and listening in games, team contexts and presentations
Health and Physical Education
• Uses paraphrasing to summarise what was heard and to monitor for understanding when
listening to information and presentations
• Evaluates stated and implied information in subject-specific and media-driven texts on
health and wellbeing
• Makes connections with prior knowledge and experience when interacting with spoken and
• Sequences ideas and supporting details in text types such as reports, comparative
evaluations and essays
• Uses conjunctions to illustrate/explain cause-and-effect relationships in written texts on
health and fitness issues
Establishes a distinctive voice in own writing/designing that is appropriate to the subject
matter, audience and text type
• Effectively chooses and uses register to influence targeted audiences in spoken tasks
• Uses active or passive voice in a written task to persuade or influence readers
• Uses agreed protocols for speaking and listening in mathematical conversations, debates,
explanations and presentations
• Monitors for understanding by using questions and responses at correct intervals to gain
elaborations and supporting evidence
• Edits and proofreads own and others work, particularly in areas of reasoning or
• Integrates multimodal approaches (use of different media and visuals) within scientific
Uses headings and indexes to find and select information when exploring scientific research
• Spells unfamiliar words using a variety of strategies
• Plans, locates and selects information to support ideas for own written research
• Questions texts in terms of context, purpose, point of view and how they represent beliefs,
attitudes and assumptions in contested areas such as genetics and environmental science
• Evaluates and responds to how a textual feature helps communicate or impede meaning
and the Environment
from particular perspectives/positions
Studies of Society
• Draws inferences by linking vocabulary and nominalisations to ideas and arguments
• Replaces commonly used words with more specific figurative or technical vocabulary to
• Uses consistent subject–verb agreement to maintain past, present and future in essays,
letters and explanations
• Uses modality to create a sense of certainty or probability through the use of noun and verb
groups, and adjectival and adverbial phrases
• Independently reads with fluency and automatically understands regularly used words in a
range of reading contexts including words of significance, and specialised language and
terminology from year level texts and design briefs
• Monitors for understanding by using questions and responses at correct intervals to gain
elaborations and supporting evidence while constructing/developing products
• Maintains cohesion in written work by selecting appropriate text connectives
• Uses rehearsals to refine ideas and to choose language appropriate to the context and
• Visualises to build a mental picture of the major features in a text in order to create
• Infers meaning from stated and implied ideas in texts and supplies evidence from
interrelated parts of the text when exploring dramatic/dance pieces, plays and radio theatre
6 | P–9 Literacy and Numeracy Indicators Information statement
Suggestions for embedding Numeracy Indicators in KLAs
Sample learning experiences
The use of number underpins many applications involving patterns and algebra, measurement,
chance and data and aspects of space
• Interprets, uses and constructs electronic and non-electronic timetables
• Analyses information presented in data displays
• Interprets and compares a variety of measures including digital time, heart rates and lengths
• Uses navigational skills in outdoor activities to describe and follow directions, pathways and
• Interprets and creates data displays related to health issues or patterns of behaviour, e.g.
smoking statistics, drug and alcohol use
• Interprets information in tables and maps
• Describes locations using the language of direction and movement on maps and plans
• Interprets different representations of time, e.g. dates, 12- and 24-hour time conventions,
• Writes characters in scripted languages where order and spacing of strokes is critical
• Extrapolates data and predicts outcomes
Considers variations when designing experiments and gathering associated data
• Analyses scientific data
• Uses measurement, estimation and calculation in scientific inquiry
• Represents and solves equations
• Identifies opportunities to use numeracy in daily activities
• Applies the mathematics knowledge, understandings and skills learnt to civic life
• Reflects on the efficiency of use of numeracy concepts, knowledge and skills in civic life
and the Environment
Accesses information from a range of sources, including maps, plans, timelines, data
Studies of Society
displays and spreadsheets
• Collects and analyses data collections
• Creates data displays and critiques their own or others’ results
• Applies knowledge of statistical processes such as mean, median and mode
• Interprets and creates maps and plans that use scales, keys, coordinates and inter-cardinal
• Calculates measurements to inform precise design briefs and production processes, e.g.
total length, area, perimeter, surface area of product
• Interprets data in tables, graphs and charts to inform design decisions or respond to design
• Applies knowledge of shapes to solve problems or respond to design challenges or briefs
• Applies numerical terms and concepts in practical situations
• Understands and applies concepts related to number such as:
− patterns — motifs, repetition, variation
− counting — rhythm, phrasing, sections, round and canon (music, dance)
• Represents real or imaginary objects and situations using time, length, symmetry, shape
• Develops skills in time management and budgeting when preparing for exhibitions or
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Monitoring and assessment
Monitoring and assessment of the Literacy and Numeracy Indicators can be built into
everyday teaching and learning. For example, when planning units of work teachers should
consider the opportunities that may arise for students to demonstrate the Literacy and
Numeracy Indicators. Through observation, teachers can determine whether students can
or cannot demonstrate an indicator. These observations will provide teachers with evidence
to inform their planning for the future needs of individual students.
Additionally, the indicators may be embedded in an assessment instrument. For example,
students may be asked to undertake a science investigation. When planning this task,
teachers should consider whether opportunities will arise for students to demonstrate the
knowledge, understandings and skills of a particular literacy or numeracy indicator and how
this demonstration could be assessed.
The Assessment Bank will provide resources that teachers can use to:
• monitor and assess students’ progress in literacy and numeracy
• provide information to assist teachers to develop specific feedback
• provide information that informs future teaching and learning.
The QSA has developed a range of resources that teachers can use to monitor and assess
the Literacy and Numeracy indicators.
8 | P–9 Literacy and Numeracy Indicators Information statement
Frequently asked questions
Has the QSA mandated No. The Literacy and Numeracy Indicators are a resource developed to
use of the Literacy and support and monitor student’s progress in literacy and numeracy. They
Numeracy Indicators? identify what students should typically be able to demonstrate in literacy
and numeracy. Through monitoring, teachers will be able to use the
indicators to help determine whether students require additional support,
or whether students are demonstrating a better-than-expected
understanding. Learning can then be planned to support the needs of
Do the Literacy Indicators The indicators do not replace the use of bandscales. Teachers of
replace ESL bandscales? students with English as a second language (ESL) may find the indicators
useful to identify where students need additional support or where they
may be meeting expectations across the three modes: Speaking and
Listening; Reading and Viewing; and Writing and Designing.
Why isn’t handwriting Handwriting or use of communication technologies is fundamental to
included in the Literacy successful participation in schooling and society. Expectations for
Indicators? handwriting are clearly described in the Essential Learnings for English.
Do the Literacy and No. The indicators are a resource that can be used by teachers to support
Numeracy Indicators and monitor student’s progress in Literacy and Numeracy. The starting
replace the Essential point for all planning in English and Mathematics continues to be the
Learnings for English and Essential Learnings.
Do I need to formalise the The current curriculum for the Prep Year is based on the principle that
pedagogy I use in Prep to students learn best through the five contexts for learning described in the
ensure that students have Early Years Curriculum Guidelines:
opportunities to • play
demonstrate their literacy • real-life situations
and numeracy learning?
• routines and transitions
• focused learning and teaching.
Interactions, active exploration and experimentation support learning
through play-based contexts and focused teaching. Teachers build
focused teaching episodes into their teaching where appropriate to help
students develop literacy and numeracy. Teachers select the pedagogies
that best suit the learning context.
Can I make A–E No. The indicators have been written as expectations, and do not have
judgments linked to the any standards attached to them. Students either will or will not be able to
indicators? demonstrate the indicator, and teachers should look for this evidence to
monitor student progress and inform future teaching and learning.
What formats are the The indicators are available on the QSA website in both Word and PDF
indicators available in? formats.
Queensland Studies Authority December 2009 | 9
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