Promoting Excellence in Literacy

Ms Jenny Pollock | Deputy, Academic Strategy | 23 February 2024

The current St Luke’s Strategic Plan, under the Pillar of Personal Best Together, includes the goal of promoting excellence in literacy.

With this in mind, I read with interest two recent reports on research by the Australian Education Research Organisation which investigated the literacy skills which are important for young children for their future literacy outcomes.

One study conducted in 2022 involved analysis of a broad set of skills when children commenced school and their later literacy and numeracy performance. The results showed that the development of early literacy skills was indicative of future success in both literacy and numeracy. Further, the study demonstrated the value of children mastering specific basic literacy and numeracy skills. 

For example, the development of the literacy skill of ‘attaching sounds to letters’ was an indicator of future success in both reading and numeracy. The study also revealed that a child’s ability to ‘read complex words’ is linked to their ability to understand the phonetic properties of words, & “may influence not only the child’s reading potential, but writing and mathematical capability too” (+ Jackson, et al., 2023, p.47). The study highlighted the importance of parents facilitating a young child’s exposure to text & books in order to increase their child’s interest in reading which can be supported through shared reading.

Other studies provide further evidence for the positive effects on language development in children when shared reading occurs between parents and their children. Shared reading could include dialogic reading, where the family member interacts with the child by asking questions or having a conversation about the book. (* AERO, 2021). 

While much of the literacy research has focused on younger children, research on factors associated with adolescents’ reading engagement revealed that parents can support their adolescent children’s motivation to read in different ways which could include sharing their own books with them and discussing books or articles about mutual interests. (^ Klauda, S. 2009).


Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO). (2021). Engaging with families to support student learning in Primary school. December, 2021. Retrieved from

Jackson, C., Wan, W.-Y., Lee, E., Marslen, T., Lu, L., Williams, L., Collier, A., Johnston, K., & Thomas, M. (2023). Which skills are important for future literacy and numeracy learning? How the Australian Early Development Census data reveals the building blocks for future reading, writing and numeracy performance. Australian Education Research Organisation. Retrieved from resources/literacy-numeracy-skills-future-learning

Klauda, S. L. (2009). The role of parents in adolescents’ reading motivation and activity. Educational Psychology Review, 21, 325-363.