2.5 Literacy and numeracy strategies

(Last Updated On: September 23, 2023)

What does this descriptor look like at different levels?

Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area is the fifth descriptor of the second standard of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

This descriptor covers how you use different teaching strategies to support the literacy and numeracy of your students. It is important to remember that improving literacy and numeracy is every teacher’s job, not only the English and Maths teachers. Including this as one of the focus areas in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers ensures that this is a focus of all teachers’ work.

See more: Australian Professional Standards for Teachers Terminology Explained


What does it look like?

At the Graduate level, teachers are expected to know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.

At the Graduate level, you are expected to have little experience in the classroom. At this career stage, it is enough to simply know how you could apply literacy and numeracy strategies to your teaching. You don’t necessarily need to have done the application already.

What evidence can I collect?

You need to provide evidence that you have reached the Graduate career stage before you can graduate from a teaching degree in Australia. This means that your university is expected to help you develop evidence that you have met this descriptor.

This will often take the form of university assignments. You will be given a few different opportunities to show that you know some literacy and numeracy strategies and how to apply them to your teaching.

If you are concerned that you don’t have evidence against this descriptor, you can always create a lesson or unit plan that explicitly contains literacy and numeracy strategies. You don’t need to have taught this at this career stage, but you’ll be able to show that you know how to improve student literacy and numeracy in your subject area. Remember to include annotations to emphasise why you’ve selected certain strategies to show that you can choose the right strategy for your context.


What does it look like?

At the Proficient level, teachers must apply knowledge and understanding of effective teaching strategies to support students’ literacy and numeracy achievement.

This is the next step after reaching the Graduate career stage. As a Graduate teacher, you must demonstrate that you know literacy and numeracy strategies. At the Proficient career stage, you need to actually use them.

Selecting the right literacy and numeracy strategies for your students and your lesson is important. It is important for a teacher to show that you not only know a few strategies but also where they are useful.

What evidence can I collect?

To provide evidence for this descriptor, you need to show that you’ve used these strategies in the classroom. There are a few different types of evidence that you can use to show this:

A combination of these different types of evidence is ideal. Make sure you include annotations to clearly show that you’ve understood what you’ve done and that it was intentional. You can also use annotations to link your actions to the descriptor.

Highly Accomplished

What does it look like?

At the Highly Accomplished level, teachers are expected to support colleagues to implement effective teaching strategies to improve students’ literacy and numeracy achievement.

You need to start supporting your colleagues at the Highly Accomplished career stage. If you have reached the Highly Accomplished level, you need to be good enough at applying literacy and numeracy strategies in your lessons to help other teachers do the same.

This can be in a formal or informal context. You can help a small group of teachers who are working together, or you can support a few teachers who you know are struggling or want to do better.

What evidence can I collect?

You will need evidence that you’ve supported other teachers. This could look like:

  • Minutes of meetings where literacy and numeracy strategies were discussed.
  • Email or other communication with other teachers.
  • Collaborative lesson or unit plans that incorporate literacy and numeracy strategies.

Make sure that you annotate your evidence! This is especially important when you’re doing work with other people. You want evidence that you supported others, so write a little about your role in the group or pair to show that you weren’t just tagging along.


What does it look like?

At the Lead Teacher level, teachers are expected to monitor and evaluate the implementation of teaching strategies within the school to improve students’ achievement in literacy and numeracy using research-based knowledge and student data.

A couple of parts of this descriptor are different from the other career stages. Being a Lead teacher is about monitoring and evaluating the work of other teachers, meaning that you will need to collect evidence of how other teachers are using literacy and numeracy strategies.

This descriptor also specifies evidence-based knowledge and student data, meaning that the strategies you and other teachers use need to be justified. You can do this by looking at formal educational research or using your data to justify your decisions based on what you know works in your context.

What evidence can I collect?

To provide evidence that you’ve reached the Lead Teacher stage of this focus area, you need to provide evidence of a few different things:

  • You’re monitoring teacher use of literacy and numeracy strategies.
  • You’re evaluating how teachers are using these strategies. Are they being implemented effectively? Are they having the desired impact?
  • You’re selecting strategies for your entire school that are based on evidence. This could be educational research or what your own student data suggests works.

You’ll need to demonstrate all of these things to meet the requirements of this descriptor.

You will need to include student data in this evidence set to show why you’re making the decisions you are. Notes you’ve made while observing other teachers’ lessons are also great evidence. The key to demonstrating that you’ve reached this career stage is showing how these pieces fit together; your annotations will be essential. Make sure that your evidence tells a story and shows your overall strategy.

Learn more about the other focus areas and descriptors for Standard 2:

2.1 Content and Teaching Strategies of the Teaching Area

2.2 Content Selection and Organisation

2.3 Curriculum, assessment and reporting

2.4 Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to Promote Reconciliation

2.6 Information and Communication Technology

Elise is an enthusiastic and passionate Australian teacher who is on a mission to inspire and support fellow educators. With over a decade of experience in the classroom, Elise leverages her expertise and creativity to provide valuable insights and resources through her blog. Whether you're looking for innovative lesson ideas, effective teaching strategies, or just a dose of inspiration, Elise has got you covered.

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