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Warners Bay High School

Warners Bay High School

Quality Education for All

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Literacy and Numeracy

Literacy and numeracy are foundational skills for the subsequent development of more complex skills. They underpin workforce participation, productivity and the broader economy, and can impact on social and health outcomes. ​At WBHS, supported by teacher professional learning, we are building teams to develop school wide and KLA specific  strategies to support the growth of Literacy and Numeracy skills in all students. 

Literacy Achievements 2021

Explicit Teaching of Reading

Throughout 2021, WBHS took a deeper dive into improving reading skills. Teachers continued to develop their skills in the explicit teaching of reading with the focus on Stage 4.

We began the year looking at a broad range of skills. Teachers of Year 7 used the data provided by Best Start Year 7 Reading Tests and internal writing data to develop reading and writing activities that targeted the learning needs of their students. Mid-year, our focus narrowed to Super Six reading strategies with the objective of using the most appropriate strategies to each KLA in explicit reading lessons, supported by newly developed posters in every room.

Student achievement data from external tests- 2020 Year 9 Check-In Reading Assessments, 2021 Year 8 Check-In Reading Assessments and 2021 NAPLAN tests- helped to establish our strengths and weaknesses in literal and inferential comprehension and which reading skills needed to be targeted for improvement. These included subject specific vocabulary, connecting ideas, main idea, audience and purpose.

Complimenting this, teachers were guided the process of aligning NAPLAN style reading questions with Super Six strategies, providing a data base of question stems to support teachers to frame comprehension questions that target the specific question types which students find most difficult. Students have the most difficulty with multi-step, multiple choice questions. Time was allocated for these strategies to be understood and embedded in Stage 4 and 5 programs in all KLAs and for appropriate resources to be developed.  

2021 Check-in Assessment Reading Assessments Expanded

In 2021, Check-in Reading Assessment programs were expanded to include Year 7 in Term 4, Year 8 in Terms 2 & 4 and Year 9 in Term 4. These optional online reading (and numeracy) assessments are a useful way to track student performance and progress and supplement existing school assessment practices.

This complements the suite of literacy assessments that provide checks along the way to see how well they are learning the essential skills of reading and writing. These include Best Start Year 7, Year 7 & 9 NAPLAN and HSC Minimum Standards.

Improved student performance in literacy is a key pillar of the Warners Bay High School Improvement Plan 2021-2024. As evident from the outline of our work above, our school is committed to continuous improvement. Lessons learnt from 2020 and 2021 will guide our work to ensure that every student, every teacher, every leader and every school improves every year. (NSW DoE Strategic Plan).



Numeracy Achievements 2021

Explicit teaching of Numeracy:

The Numeracy Team continued their focus on supporting whole school improvement of numeracy through explicit teaching of problem solving. With a focus on applying numeracy skills to unfamiliar, multi-step, word-based problems, teachers continued to implement the WBHS CUBES Numeracy Problem Solving strategy. Students in Years 8 and 9 have participated in designated numeracy lessons as part of their Mathematics courses, where teachers model the CUBES problem solving strategy through explicit teaching and support students to accurately apply numeracy problem solving skills to wide range of higher order numeracy problems.   

Numeracy Assessments


Students in Year 7 and 9 completed NAPLAN Numeracy assessments in 2021. In Year 9, 21.9% of students achieved in the top two bands. In Year 7, 15.5.% of students achieved a Band 9 results, while 21.4% achieved a Band 8 result. The goals for numeracy improvement continue to focus on overall student growth in achievement, as well as shifting more students into the top band for numeracy assessments.

2021 Check-in Assessments

Students in Year 7, 8 and 9 completed Check-in assessments for numeracy in 2021. Overall cohort performances indicated that students achieved above state levels for numeracy achievement in all three year groups. Years 8 and 9 achieved best results in the Statistics and Probability strand while Year 7 achieved better results in the Measurement and Geometry strand of the assessment.  Students also participated in numeracy assessment through Best Start Year 7 and HSC Minimum Standards providing valuable data to tailor teaching based on student’s strengths and focus areas for numeracy improvement.

Numeracy Resources

The WBHS Numeracy Toolkit was launched in 2021 to support teachers to effectively implement the explicit teaching of numeracy into everyday teaching and learning activities. The toolkit contains strategies to support numeracy across the curriculum including: mathematical literacy, equivalence, modelling the mathematics, open-ended questions and working backwards to develop a problem. The CUBES problem solving strategy is featured as well as the 5-step framework for graphs and tables to support numeracy problem solving. A series of cross curriculum lesson plans were also developed and included in the Numeracy Toolkit to support teachers to plan and explicitly teach numeracy in their subject area.