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General capabilities: Numeracy

Numeracy encompasses the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that students need to use mathematics in a wide range of situations.

The following advice and resources assist educators to identify numeracy demands across the curriculum and support students’ numeracy development so they can engage with these demands successfully.

Advice and resources

Number sense

Number sense lays the foundation for the development of more advanced mathematical concepts and underpins the numeracy knowledge and skills that people require to function well in the world.

The following resources support teachers to develop students’ understanding of number magnitude and relationships, and enhance problem-solving and reasoning skills across whole numbers, fractions and decimals. Each resource includes information on:

  • key representations to support the development of number sense
  • considerations for sequencing teaching and learning.


Mathematical talk routines

Mathematical talk routines are short, purposefully structured activities that provide an engaging environment in which students develop conceptual understanding as well as fluency, through meaningful practice. Often planned as lesson openers, these routines are used regularly to promote classroom conversations that develop students’ mathematical understanding and metacognitive skills — students reason as they explain, represent and justify their understanding and consider the reasoning of others.

During classroom conversations, the teacher acts as a facilitator, supporting students to make sense of a problem through mathematical structure and relationships. Teachers encourage and listen to students’ explanations, clarify through questioning, rephrase using targeted vocabulary and represent the thinking to make it visible to all students.

Below are a range of mathematical talk routines that incorporate mathematical proficiencies while exploring mathematical concepts, strategies and facts. They can be introduced in the early years and built upon each year across many different mathematical concepts.


Data literacy

Data literacy underpins student learning in many Australian Curriculum learning areas. The following resources support teachers to develop students’ skills in interpreting, analysing and representing data using the graphical representations that are most commonly encountered by students in Prep – Year 10. The supporting information for each representation includes:

  • first encounter/s in the Australian Curriculum
  • graphing conventions
  • common student difficulties
  • possible teaching and learning strategies to support students in interpreting, analysing and representing.


Learning area–specific advice

Professional learning

The QCAA provides professional development resources to support schools in improving numeracy outcomes for students.

Available courses include:

Schools and educators can also:

  • register for conferences, workshops and webinars
  • request customised professional development.

For more information, please refer to the QCAA Professional development and events page.

National Numeracy Learning Progression: Resources

The National Numeracy Learning Progression describes a typical sequence of observable numeracy indicators, which increase in complexity over time both within and across the Australian Curriculum learning areas. It is a conceptual tool that teachers can use to develop targeted teaching and learning programs for all students.

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