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Cluster focus

Can we improve mathematics / numeracy for Aboriginal Primary Years students through using the highly scaffolded pedagogy of Accelerated Literacy and developing a sequence of lesson based on “Big Ideas in Number”?

Introduction to Accelerated Literacy Pedagogy

Accelerated Literacy pedagogy (AL) has been developed over a number of years by Dr Brian Gray, formerly of the University of Canberra. Originally researched for use with marginalised Aboriginal students at Traeger Park Primary School in Alice Springs, it is now used in a large number of low socio-economic schools across Australia.

In South Australia, the SA Accelerated Literacy Program began in 2006. All teachers involved in this cluster are trained in and supported in implementing Accelerated Literacy pedagogy. Several teachers have a Graduate Certificate in AL, or SA Accreditation in AL. Therefore they bring to the project a shared and deep understanding of the underpinning theoretical principles which inform their classroom practice.

Rather than just try to adapt the teaching routine used typically in the subject of English, it was intended that the underpinning AL pedagogic principles would inform the teaching and learning negotiation within Mathematics...

View the presentation below to find out more about using scaffolding pedagogy:

Why we did it

Why scaffold? The four sites in the Noarlunga Cluster have been involved in the Accelerated Literacy program using scaffolding pedagogy to teach English.

How we did it

We began with the goal of using scaffolding pedagogy to raise numeracy outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.


The assessment tools we used to measure student growth were PAT Maths and NAPLAN.  We also collected evidence through interviews with staff, students and families, and through episode and stories.