Homebush Boys High School logo

Homebush Boys High School

Homebush Boys High School

Recte et Fortiter

Telephone02 9764 3611


Literacy and numeracy


We know 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. 

So, we believe that it’s important for every boy to bring his best effort to his reading, writing and numeracy skills.

In all subjects, teaching programs will incorporate these skills.  As well, the school has put in place a number of programs to specifically and explicitly support literacy and numeracy. 

Gathering and responding to information……

Now, there is plenty of student literacy and numeracy information available to schools and parents from standardised, on-line testing (Check-in and NAPLAN), as well as in-school assessment information.

In standardised assessment, it’s important that students are prepared for the on-line test environment, so they know what to expect.

And some forms of on-line testing are now conditions of credentialing. The NSW Educational Standards Authority (NESA) have introduced Minimum Literacy & Numeracy Standards as a condition of the award of an HSC. Managing this situation, for schools, requires a balance of expectations, communication and support.

School responses to standardised data may take the form of:

  • programs to address whole-cohort weaknesses;
  • strategies to improve performance of those who are generally progressing well; and
  • intensive support for students experiencing difficulty.

Tracking students……

A central school tracking system monitors all literacy and numeracy data on students, from the time they arrive at the school, and seeks to ensure that no student “falls through the cracks”.

As it comes in, the data is responded to, to ensure timely intervention in case of difficulties being experienced.

Tracking now includes Year 10, 11 and 12 students who have already attempted HSC Minimum Standards tests, but have not yet achieved proficiency.

Literacy and numeracy in timetabled classes…..

All subjects embed literacy and numeracy strategies in their timetabled classes.

And, because some students come to High School behind in these skills, each Year 7, 8 and 9 class is also timetabled for extra periods of literacy each fortnight (3 in Year 7, 2 in Year 8 and 3 in Year 9). This acts to “fill the gaps” which may be there.

In Year 8, a whole-school writing strategy operates. In each course, one assessment task each Semester requires extended writing, and students are prepared for these, beforehand, through practice exercises in class. Then, the writing is marked using a common marking scale, and grades (A to E) shown on Semester reports.

Afterwards, follow-up takes place of those students whose writing grades suggest that they need support.

Other literacy & numeracy support....

A number of other school programs specifically and explicitly support literacy and numeracy.

In Year 8 and early Year 9, the school posts 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.  These must be completed and submitted by all students, providing them with an instant mark and feedback on incorrect answers.

For two afternoons per week, the Homework Help program offers literacy and numeracy tutoring, after school in the school library. The sessions run after school for an hour, with a qualified teacher, and full access to computers and online facilities.

And, in an ongoing way, parents are kept fully informed about school programs, and about their sons’ literacy and numeracy progress, via newsletter items, letters, text messages and the school website.

Results snapshots.....

In 2023, Year 9 NAPLAN results clearly indicated our students' literacy & numercay strengths, compared with State levels:

In addition, every one of our graduating 2022 and 2023 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.

At HBHS...


there is no greater priority than this.


For further information about our programs, call the school Phone: 9764-3611 and ask to speak to          Mr Bawden (Literacy/Numeracy support person, Tues/Thurs).