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Literacy and numeracy

  • Public
Last updated by Tara Fagan


Competence in both mathematics and literacy begin
in the same way: through spoken interactions with knowledgeable ‘others’ who recognise, respond to
and extend children’s experiences, thinking and language.

Professional development in both mathematics and literacy needs to increase understanding of the interrelated nature of literacies (oral, visual, written).
It also needs to focus on the learning progressions and how children’s thinking can be explored, challenged and extended.

Being literate is more than having the ability to decode text; it also involves acting with purpose and understanding.


Quality language experiences with teachers who know about mathematics are central to developing children’s competencies. These include not only numeracy but all mathematical thinking and practices (Kei Tua o te Pae – Book 18 Mathematics, Effective Pedagogy in Mathematics/Pāngarau).

Content for this focus area will include:

  • Mathematical knowledge: Developing understanding of what the specific mathematical disciplines and processes are and how they interrelate; understanding the learning progressions in becoming ‘fluent’ in mathematics.
  • Pedagogy: Developing understanding about how children develop knowledge in mathematics; understanding and applying the repertoires of practices (Kei Tua o te Pae Book 18).
  • Skill-building: Using mathematical language, and building upon the mathematics that is happening in children’s lives, activities and play.
  • Mathematical thinking: Developing knowledge and skills in deepening, extending and challenging mathematical thinking.
  • Assessment and evaluation: Developing expertise in assessment to identify what children know and the ‘next step’ in their knowledge, understanding and thinking.


“Children who have enjoyed the opportunity to talk, describe, argue, reason, justify, question, and explain will have developed language skills that predispose them to literacy with purpose, understanding and pleasure”.

(Book 17 Oral, Visual and Written Literacy)

Content for this focus area will include:

  • Content knowledge: Competences (coding, semantic, pragmatic, critical - Four Resources Model) needed to become literate; multi-modal literacy in the lives of 21st century children; maintenance of home languages.
  • Pedagogy: Learning about how children develop knowledge and skills in literacy.
  • Skill-building: Developing a repertoire of practices and activities that can be used in everyday experiences with children to promote oral, visual and written language.
  • Thinking skills: Examining and practicing the types of interactions that encourage and draw-out children’s thinking.
  • Assessment and evaluation: Developing expertise in order to make links and connections with children’s knowledge, and being able to describe the ‘next step’ for a child’s literacy knowledge, understanding and thinking to progress.