Literacy and Numeracy

Newstead Primary has a strong focus on literacy and numeracy.


In the senior classes students are taught strategies to understand text features and the language devices of texts. Students make personal responses to texts, interpret, analyse and ese comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse information and ideas, comparing content from a variety of textual sources including media and digital texts.

In the junior classes students are taught the concepts of print, phonic knowledge, word and sentence grammar, and visual language. Students are taught strategies to build their comprehension, accuracy, fluency and to extend their vocabulary. We build our reading muscles by reading at home every day, and encourage parents to read with and chat about the book their child is reading.


Writer’s notebook is being introduced in 2018. Writer’s notebook is a very important tool for capturing and holding ideas for writing.

Writers are like other people, except for at least one important difference. Other people have daily thoughts and feelings, notice this sky or that smell, but they don't do much about it. All those thoughts, feelings, sensations, and opinions pass through them like the air they breathe. Not writers. Writers react. And writers need a place to record those reactions. That's what a writer's notebook is for. It gives you a place to write down what makes you angry or sad or amazed, to write down what you noticed and don't want to forget, to record exactly what your grandmother whispered in your ear before she said goodbye for the last time. A writer's notebook gives you a place to live like a writer, not just in school during writing time, but wherever you are, at any time of day.

Ralph Fletcher, A Writer’s Notebook: Unlocking the Writer Within You (2003)

Students plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures and language features appropriate to their level. Soundwaves is used to teach Spelling across the school, and punctuation and grammar are taught at each year level. Newstead Primary has excellent spelling results in NAPLAN.

Speaking and listening

Students are taught language for social interaction, language to evaluate, and formal language to present publicly. In the junior rooms there is a strong emphasis on developing and extending vocabulary. Students are encouraged to engage in conversations and discussions, using active listening, showing interest, and contributing ideas, information and questions, taking turns and recognising the contributions of others.

In the senior rooms students participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions, and use interaction skills, varying conventions of spoken interactions according to group size, formality of interaction and needs and expertise of the audience School-wide speaking and listening protocols are in every classroom.


Newstead Primary School follows the Victorian Curriculum to teach mathematics. Students are taught at their point of need, and small groups are utilised for maximum learning opportunities. In the junior classes, there is a strong emphasis on practical, hands-on activities to support the teaching of the fundamentals of Numeracy. A range of resources, including digital, textbook-based and manipulatives combine to ensure that the numeracy program is meaningful, engaging and fun. Students are introduced to open-ended problems that help them develop a critical and thoughtful approach to mathematics and are encouraged to work together in pairs and small groups, as well as having the chance to work by themselves. Throughout the year, students will be given opportunities to practise and revisit mathematical skills they have begun to master, ensuring they become confident, well-equipped and numerate individuals. Wherever possible, the numeracy program makes connections to real-world problems and circumstances, so students understand the purpose of their learning. Formal and informal assessments, as well as teacher observations, ensure students develop their understandings in a sequential and ordered fashion.