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QKLG: Continua of learning and development

QKLG review

The QKLG 2018 is being revised. While the revision is in progress, teachers and services will continue to implement the QKLG 2018.

The continua of learning and development assist teachers as they assess children’s learning and development and reflect on evidence of learning to inform their ongoing decisions.

They can be used at key points across a kindergarten year to reflect on children’s learning progress.

The continua of learning and development are described using three phases — emerging, exploring and extending — which are differentiated by the child’s level of familiarity with the learning situation and level of support needed to demonstrate learning (see Table 1). The continua support teachers to:

  • identify and reflect on where the child has come from, where they are now, and where they are going
  • monitor and interpret aspects of learning and development, and describe the child’s learning progress
  • identify and plan ways to promote significant learnings described in the learning and development areas
  • identify the learning needs of all children
  • record learning progress across the phases of the continua
  • reflect individually and with colleagues.
Table 1: Continua phases
In familiar situations in familiar situations in new situations
with explicit support with occasional support with occasional prompting

Note: ‘New situations’ refers to new learning environments, e.g. an unfamiliar space or area, new types of interactions or groupings, or engaging with new people or materials.

Using the continua

Teachers use the continua throughout the year to review evidence of learning to make an informed judgment about a child’s learning and development. During this process, they:

  • match evidence of learning to the descriptions in the continua
  • identify the level of support the child required to demonstrate learning
  • identify whether the child’s learning occurred in familiar or new situations
  • record their professional judgment to track learning progress over time
  • reflect on how this evidence can be used to inform the next steps in the child’s learning.

The continua descriptions identify the observable behaviours expected for each of the significant learnings in kindergarten. The terms ‘emerging’, ‘exploring’ and ‘extending’ describe phases of learning for teachers to make judgments at key points. The phases of the continua are useful for teachers to monitor children’s learning progress and interpret the pattern of evidence to identify which phase is ‘more like’ a child’s learning (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Examples of the process for making 'more like' judgments

Example 1

The learning occurred:

Figure 1 Example 1: Process for making 'more like' judgments

If the child needs explicit support, this indicates that the demonstrated learning is in the emerging phase.


The learning occurred:

Figure 1: Example 2: Process for making 'more like' judgments Example 2

If the situation is familiar, this indicates that the demonstrated learning is in the exploring phase.
If the situation is new, this indicates that the demonstrated learning is in the extending phase.

Detailed description of this diagram

Teachers’ judgments inform their planning and intentional teaching responses, including:

  • identifying focuses for each child’s learning
  • identifying ways to build on each child’s strengths
  • engaging in conversations with families and professional partners.
  • Children’s learning is fluid and may not fit into one phase across all learning and development areas. For this reason, it may not be helpful to use the terms ‘emerging’. ‘exploring’ and ‘extending’ when sharing information about children’s learning with families.

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