A guide to the progressions for parents


Literacy and numeracy development influences students’ success in most aspects of schooling. The National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions are a resource that describe how literacy and numeracy learning  develops over time.

There are two progressions – one for literacy and one for numeracy. Each is divided into sub elements that give a detailed description of the typical developmental path in particular aspects of literacy and numeracy. The progressions may assist parents to understand the way literacy and numeracy skills develop and to identify the particular literacy and numeracy skills their children are using or are currently learning.


Click below to view infographics on the Literacy progressions.



Read and understand text




Click below to view infographics on the Numeracy progressions.

Numeracy progression

Addition and subtraction

Interpret and represent data





Q1 - What are the National Literacy and Numeracy Progressions?

The National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions are a resource that describe the sequence of stages or steps of learning for the development of aspects of literacy and numeracy.  The progressions take an aspect of literacy or numeracy, for example ‘spelling’ or ‘understanding money’ and show how skills in this aspect develop from ‘entry’ level skills to ‘highly skilled’.

Q2 - How could parents or carers use the progressions?

Parents or carers can use the progressions to gain an understanding or their child’s level of literacy and numeracy and the next steps in their learning.

Parents and carers can use the progressions to help their child with homework tasks by identifying the kinds of literacy and numeracy skills their child is using. Children frequently use literacy and numeracy in everyday life, for example to read instructions for a toy or add up scores in a game. By scanning the progressions, parents can identify the literacy and numeracy skills their children are using.

For example a parent working with a child in the early years of school might read a story to their child who then repeats parts of the story. A scan through the ‘Understanding texts’ sub element of the literacy progression would give them a snapshot of how their child is going with comprehension and vocabulary.

A parent of a child in later primary school years might be helping their child develop a savings plan to buy a new game. The parent and child might agree on some ways the child could earn some money, and how much money they would need to save over a period of weeks. In some weeks the child might earn a bit extra and then adjust the amounts they would need to earn in the remaining weeks. Looking at the ‘Multiplicative strategies’ sub element of the numeracy progression could help the parent get a sense of the types of numeracy skills their child would be using to complete their savings plan.


Q3 - Can the progressions support the literacy and numeracy development of all children?

Yes, as every child can learn.

Children progress along the path of literacy and numeracy development at different rates. They may have different starting points to their literacy and numeracy development and they may demonstrate their skills in different ways. The progressions describe skill development in small steps, allowing parents to see how their child is progressing and what their next steps might be. See more information on the progressions web site: Progressions website pages.