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Numeracy and literacy (birth to 18) strategy

Numeracy and literacy skills are crucial in helping our children and young people develop fully as individuals and live satisfying and rewarding lives.

The numeracy and literacy (birth to 18) strategy is designed to help all young people leave school confidently able to:

  • apply mathematical understandings
  • communicate effectively in a range of contexts
  • use their literacy and numeracy capabilities as skilful problem solvers.

More detail can be found in the  great start – strong foundations – powerful learners: a numeracy and literacy strategy from birth to 18 (PDF 4MB) document.

There are 3 important challenges:

Challenge 1: a great start

To help reduce the differences in numeracy and literacy achievement among young children, we will ensure all children are given the support they need to develop their language and learning skills.

All children will start school with age-appropriate numeracy and literacy awareness and skills. Learn more about challenge 1: a great start.

Challenge 2: strong foundations

We will increase the number of children with basic numeracy and literacy skills in their first 4 years of school and ensure these strong foundations are built upon throughout their school years.

Foundational skills are often described as basic mathematics and English skills, but children should be able to use the skills, not just know them. Strong foundations are a springboard to the powerful learning that leads to mastering the curriculum and participating fully in society.

Learn more about challenge 2: strong foundations.

Challenge 3: powerful learners

We will build the learning power of all children and young people by increasing their ability to use high-level thinking skills and apply what they have learned in new and increasingly complex situations.

Powerful learning is the idea that children and young people will have the curiosity, creativity and confidence to be active and responsible participants in their learning.

Learn more about challenge 3: powerful learners.

How will we achieve this?

The success of this strategy and our ability to meet the challenges will depend on the efforts of 3 important groups of people working together:

  • families and communities
  • teachers
  • leaders.

What you will see from this strategy

Great start – strong foundations – powerful learners has been progressively implemented in early childhood settings, preschools, schools and the wider community since 2013, with short, medium and longer-term goals to be met up to 2018.

Some of the actions include:

  • supporting families to make sure they are able to assist with advice about children’s numeracy and literacy development
  • strengthening learning partnerships between families, communities and early childhood settings, preschools and schools
  • making clear the expectations and standards expected for child and student numeracy and literacy achievement across South Australia
  • providing families with a range of information, resources and learning opportunities so they can be partners in helping their children to develop their language and learning skills
  • increasing support for teachers to better understand and respond to the complex and personalised needs of children and young people
  • building the capacity of early childhood, preschool and school leaders to provide effective numeracy and literacy leadership in sites.


Learning Improvement division

Phone: 8463 5829

Emaileducation.newmedia [at] sa.gov.au