Homebush Boys High School logo

Homebush Boys High School

Homebush Boys High School

Recte et Fortiter means Upright and Strong

Telephone02 9764 3611


Literacy and numeracy


Update November 2021

Check-in reading and numeracy assessment

Update June 2022

Information for parents: HSC Minimum Standards tests

Update April 2022

Presentation - Doing Naplan Online Tests - Click Here for the presentation

We recognise that a student’s ability to:

  • read, and understand what he reads

  • write clearly and effectively and

  • use numbers accurately and confidently

will determine his school results, career choices and life opportunities. In all subjects, teaching programs will incorporate these skills.

As well, the school is currently considering a number of programs to specifically and explicitly support literacy and numeracy. These programs include

Homework Help after-school tutoring

For two afternoons per week, after-school literacy and numeracy tutoring will be available in the school Library, with access to computers and online facilities.
The sessions will run for an hour after school, with a qualified teacher. 

On-line literacy/numeracy tutoring program

Mainly for Year 8 and 9, this is a program of additional literacy and numeracy skills quizzes, which can be accessed by students via computer in their homes or in the school Library.
A school administrator will post a new quiz each week, which must be completed and returned by students.

All quizzes provide students with an instant mark, and explain any incorrect answers.

These skill exercises will provide great preparation for the Year 9 NAPLAN tests, and for HSC minimum-standards tests.

Accelerated Reader program Year 7

This is a program of silent reading, in the Library, for three periods per fortnight.
Students are first assessed for reading levels, then matched with library books that are right for them. There’s also a “virtual library” to choose from.
At the end of a book, students complete a quick on-line assessment, to see how much they’ve understood. 
The program generates reports to show how each student’s reading levels are progressing.
And students are expected to borrow books, and continue their reading at home. (20 minutes per night).

Year 8 Writing Program 

In each Year 8 and 11 course, each Semester, one formal assessment task will require extended writing.
Students will be prepared for these, through practice exercises before each task, so they are clear about what they are to do.
Then, all writing is marked using the same marking scale across the school, and graded using the same standards.
Students’ writing grades in each subject (A-E) are shown on their Semester reports.

Timetabled literacy classes Year 8 and Year 9

Because some students come to High School behind in their literacy levels, each Year 8 and 9 class is timetabled for extra periods of literacy skills per fortnight (2 in Year 8, 3 in Year 9).
This acts to help “fill the gaps” that some students may have, and helps bring them to levels they will need to progress at High School.
Additionally, a few students who are assessed to have particular “catch-up” needs, are withdrawn from some classes to have small-group, intensive tutoring with a specialist teacher.

Literacy/numeracy tracking program

A central tracking system will keep track of all data coming in from literacy and numeracy programs, and seek to ensure that no student “falls through the cracks”.
As it comes in, the data will be monitored and responded to, to ensure timely intervention in the case of problems or difficulties experienced by students.
School tracking will also include Year 10, 11 and 12 students who have already attempted the NAPLAN or minimum-standards tests, but have not yet achieved proficiency.

Minimum Standards testing

The NSW Educational Standards Authority (NESA) have introduced minimum literacy/numeracy standards for all students, as a condition of the award of an HSC. Managing this situation effectively requires a balance of communication, expectations and support.

Performance at the top end

To perform at the highest levels, students need to combine writing skills with skills of analysis, interpretation and evaluation.
So, all senior students and staff are trained in ALARM – a package which improves access to the highest bands of HSC achievement.
Our students are thus equipped to achieve their absolute personal best at the most important stage of all.

School communication, publications and internal assessment

Prior to all on-line literacy and numeracy assessment (eg, NAPLAN, and the Minimum Standards tests), all students are prepared for the on-line test environment, so they will know what to expect.
Parents will be kept informed about programs at the school, and their son’s progress, via public meetings, letters and text messages.


The 2020 NAPLAN tests were cancelled due to Covid, but the 2019 Year 9 NAPLAN results indicated the school’s literacy & numeracy growths (in green) clearly above State levels, and above other comparative school groups:

In addition, every one of our graduating 2020 Year 12 cohort satisfied all Minimum Standards in reading, writing and numeracy.

All our programs are based on

  • training of staff and students
  • high-quality teaching resources, which deliver on essential literacy, numeracy and thinking skills

  • gathering and analysing critical information about progress, giving support where it is needed, and keeping parents informed

  • high expectations of parent support and involvement, and students taking responsibility for their own learning


There is no greater priority than this


For further information about our programs call the school Phone 02 9764 3611, and ask to speak to Mr Bawden (Literacy/Numeracy Support Person, Tuesday/Thursday).