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NSW Department of Education and Communities

Curriculum support for NSW Public Schools

National Literacy and Numeracy Week

National Literacy and Numeracy Week is an Australian Government initiative conducted in collaboration with the Government, Catholic and Independent education sectors. It is celebrated annually in all States and Territories in the first week of September.

National Literacy and Numeracy Week focuses on quality literacy and numeracy practices from Kindergarten to Year 10 and celebrates successful literacy and numeracy projects and programs by schools and their local communities. National Literacy and Numeracy Week website.

A suite of teacher professional learning and parent support videos has been created and they are now available in both small screen and 'full screen' versions. To make the 'full screen' version adapt to whole/full screen, select the icon in the menu bar (second from the right) below the video screen.

There are also text versions available with each video accessible by clicking on the top left of the video screen.

Literacy tips before starting school - Dr Katey De Gioia - for parents

In a discussion with a parent,  De Gioia offers various easy ideas for parents to try at home to build their child’s literacy skills before starting school.

Dr Katey De Gioia

Language and literacy in the 21st century series -  Prof. Frances Christie and Assoc. Prof. Alyson Simpson - for teachers

In four videos, Christie and Simpson discuss: Literacy and social responsibility; Writing in the primary years; Writing in the secondary years; and Building collaborative relationships in teaching literacy (in the classroom).

Professor Frances Christie (left) and Dr Alyson Simpson

Writing across the secondary curriculum series - for teachers

Writing in Science: Barbara Doran gives insights into how to teach students to understand that writing in Science needs to have repeatability, validity and objectivity.

Writing in History: Glenn Wykes demonstrates how to structure writing in a Year 7 History lesson.

Writing in Senior Visual Arts: Michelle Chivas gives insights into how to show students how metaphor can be a powerful tool in representing writing in senior Visual Arts.

Writing in secondary English: Anna Mellor demonstrates how to use writing as a tool for learning. She uses metacognition about writing to cause her students to reflect on how the writing can lead to a deeper understanding of the novel being studied.

Senior students from Shore
Promoting writing development Parts 1-4 - Honorary Professor Roslyn Arnold - for teachers(presented in 4 parts)

Arnold considers various aspects of writing development in students, such as why writing is important for students, particularly in this technological age; features of writing maturity; conditions which enable students to develop their abilities; and teachers’ role in supporting and promoting students’ writing development. In addition, she investigates some myths about writing development and offers some strategies to help reluctant writers.

Hon. Professor Roslyn Arnold 

Organising for literacy teaching: A Kindergarten snapshot - Robyn Wild at Miranda Public School - for teachers (Presented in five parts)

In this video, Wild draws on the high order skills of Kindergarten teacher Sue Orlovich to demonstrate how to effectively structure and organise a Kindergarten literacy session. The classroom set up is examined and later students work in various small groups and independently as they follow similar routines each day: setting the scene; secret sentence; modelled reading; reading literacy centres; guided reading; spelling; modelled, guided and independent writing; and reflection.

Kindergarten students from Miranda Public School
Literacy across the curriculum - Professor Peter Freebody - for teachers.
Freebody believes that the different ways in which literacy is put to work in different curriculum areas is the real issue for secondary literacy education. He investigates four areas of James Heckman’s research on human learning as well as other research and offers some practical tasks that school leaders, teachers, parents and interested community members could initiate or intensify.
Professor Peter Freebody, University of Sydney

The benefits of whole-school literacy plans - Professor Allan Luke (Queensland University of Technology) - for teachers.
Presented in four parts: Part 1Part 2, Part 3Part 4. 

Luke promotes building a sustainable, coordinated whole-school literacy program across all the K–6 years of primary school to support all students and prevent any from ‘falling between the cracks’. Recognising that NSW teachers are keenly aware of the Four Literacy Resources model, he builds on these and recommends developing a common dialogue; audits of student data, community and staff resources; and following his process for whole-school planning so that it becomes a cross-sectional study. He also recommends intellectual engagement and deflecting focus from preparation for state-wide testing. (In four parts, totalling 37 mins)

Professor Allan Luke, Queensland University of Technology

Creating effective persuasive texts - Dr Sally Humphrey (Senior Lecturer, Australian Catholic University) - for teachers

Presented in two parts: Part 1Part 2

To assist teachers in more effectively teaching the features of persuasive texts, Humphrey outlines their many purposes. She specifically investigates persuasive exposition and provides a generic scaffold, models of different forms of analytic and hortatory exposition and rhetorical devices that can be used as interpersonal resources. (Total 23 mins)

 Dr Sally Humphrey, Australian Catholic University

Supporting oral language development in the K-3 classroom - Carmel Crevola (International Educational Consultant) - for teachers


Crevola provides clear insights into supporting students’ oral language development that are relevant not only for the average classroom, but for ESL and students with language disabilities. She investigates the link between language and thinking and connections with teacher talk and instructional language in the classroom. (27.5 mins)

     Carmel Crevola, International Educational Consultant

Questioning strategies Years 3-6 - Therese Corben (Literacy Consultant, Sydney Region) - for teachers.

Corben and teacher, Brooke Smith, demonstrate and model questions about predicting and making connections in order to further develop students’ comprehension. Students are encouraged to freely participate and to see the relevance of the lesson content to their own world of experience. (13 mins)

Sydney Region Literacy Consultant, Therese Corben   

Children's literature - Dr Alyson Simpson (University of Sydney) - for teachers and parents

To develop literary consciousness as well as good spelling, fluency and comprehension, Simpson believes that strategies like modelled, shared and silent reading allow time to for students to engage with books for pleasure as well as learning. She sees that teaching reading is important through all grades and that, to achieve all literacy goals, teachers need to actively lead children to read a wide range of texts and respond in different ways. (19 mins)

Image of Dr Alyson Simpson

Embedding literacy learning and instruction within inquiry-based Science: Impact and synergies - Professor P. David Pearson (University of California, Berkeley)  - for teachers

Pearson believes that there are natural synergies between science and literacy teaching. He sees reading, writing and language not as goals but tools to teach science. Science teaching can be enhanced using text and experience where the texts provide the first- and second-hand experiences and then teachers integrate the literacy learning around appropriate vocabulary, comprehension, reading and writing. (36 mins)

Image of Professor P. David Pearson

NOW literacies - everyday classrooms reading, viewing and creating multimodal texts - Dr Jon Callow (University of Sydney) - for teachers and parents

Callow explores how visual and multimodal texts can inform classroom teaching and discusses how teachers need to effectively integrate technology into their literacy classrooms using a variety of pedagogically sound teaching strategies and approaches. (12 mins)

Dr Jon Callow, Lecturer, Education, The University  of Sydney

Explicit teaching as an 'enabling' literacy practice -Dr Christine Edwards-Groves (Charles Sturt University) - for teachers

Edwards-Groves sees effective literacy teaching as practice which 'enables' learners. Explicit teaching is one aspect of 'enabling' practice that affords learners an opportunity 'to go on'. The video illustrates how this happens in two important ways: the orchestration of lessons and reflection. (22.5 mins)

Picture of Dr Christine Edwards-Groves

Talk around text - Professor Peter Freebody  (University of Sydney) - for teachers and parents

Freebody discusses ideas about the impact that parents and teachers can have when talking in depth with children about texts. He shows how simple answers do not develop the understanding that is needed to keep pace with what is occurring in today’s classrooms. (11 mins)
View full screen version.

Professor Peter Freebody

Literacy across the curriculum - Professor Peter Freebody (University of Sydney) - for teachers

Freebody investigates the challenges in pedagogy around literacy education in the middle and secondary school. He emphasises the need for all teachers to provide rich support for curriculum-specific literacy capabilities. (11 mins) 
View full screen version.

 Professsor Peter Freebody 

Rich talk about text - Professor P. David Pearson (University of California, Berkeley, USA) - for teachers

Pearson considers how comprehension, enjoyment and insight into texts can be enriched by teaching and encouraging effective discussion techniques rather than simple teacher-student interaction. He considers various teaching models and research findings. (28 mins) 

View full screen version: Part 1Part 2;   Part 3.

Professor P David Pearson 

Tutoring: Collaborative approaches to assisted reading - Dr Gary Woolley (Griffith University) - for teachers

Woolley provides insights into the different forms of tutoring that can be used in the classroom and gives suggestions for effective tutoring practices, especially peer tutoring. He gives guidelines and suggestions for developing trained tutors. (14 mins)

View full screen version.
Dr Gary Woolley 

Literacy learning and technology - Dr Kaye Lowe (University of Canberra) - for teachers

Lowe investigates the impact of technology on literacy for students and teachers and the need to adjust teaching and classroom practices. She considers some current perspectives; the role of the teacher; and some considerations for the classroom. (15 mins)

View full screen version.

Supporting young children’s literacy development
- Dr Scott Paris (National Institute of Education, Singapore) - for teachers and parents

Paris shares rich insights into how literacy teachers and parents can support young learners, particularly in the important aspect of comprehension. Accompanying this video is a short interview wherein Paris discusses such things as comprehension, reading assessment and ways to encourage children to read. (7 mins)

View full screen version.

Interview with Scott Paris: Part 1Part 2.

Professor Scott Paris 

Teaching narrative writing - Christopher Cheng (Australian author) - for teachers

Cheng provides teachers with a strong, clear model of how to set up and conduct an effective lesson about narrative writing using explicit and systematic techniques and incorporating modelled, guided and independent writing. Along with the video, Cheng is interviewed by a teacher about various techniques when writing a narrative. (20 mins) 

For full screen version, click the section required: IntroductionNarrative structureBrainstorming ideas; Modelled writingGuided writing.

Christopher Cheng, Australian Chidlren's author 

Parent education and literacy - Dr Kaye Lowe (University of Canberra) - for teachers and parents

Lowe recognises the impact that parents have on their children’s literacy learning and stresses the need for effective parent programs to be developed to support their important role. She offers a series of strategies that parents can use at home. (13 mins)

View full screen version.
Associate Professor Kaye Lowe

What is NAPLAN? - Kate O’Donnell  (Assistant Director, Educational Measurement and School Accountability Directorate) - for parents

O’Donnell informs parents what the NAPLAN assessment is; helps them understand their child's results; and gives some brief advice about helping children at home. (6.5 mins) 

View full screen version in English.

Note that this NAPLAN video is available at the National Literacy and Numeracy Week website in six community languages along with text versions in those languages.

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In addition, there is a range of parent support brochures and leaflets available for downloading in six community languages.

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