Glossary

The following terms are used in this resource. Some are commonly understood terms and others have a specific meaning in the context of schooling or family/school partnerships. [Definitions listed alphabetically]

  • comprehension – Comprehension is the capacity to analyse the meaning of sentences and texts. 
  • curriculum – The curriculum refers to the subjects comprising a course of study. 
  • early learner– The early learner is typically a  child up to the age of 8 years old.
  • everyday activities – Family-led games or activities that happen at home (and elsewhere) that also lay the foundations of literacy and numeracy.
  • EYLF (Early Years Learning Framework) The EYLF is the approved learning framework for prior-to-school services like preschools. It describes the practices and outcomes that support and enhance young children’s learning from birth to five years of age, as well as their transition to school.
  • family – Family is defined as a specific group of people that may be made up of partners, children, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.
  • fluency – Fluency is the capacity to read texts with speed and accuracy. Fluency is developed with guided oral reading practice that improves word recognition, the speed and accuracy of oral reading and comprehension. 
  • inquiry -based learning – Inquiry-based learning involves discovering new knowledge and skills through questioning and investigating.
  • KLAs (Key Learning Areas) KLAs are found in syllabus and curriculum documents and describe broad areas of learning. 
  • literacy – Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy development is learning about sounds, words and language. Literacy is the basis for your child’s ability to read, write, communicate and socialise.
  • NESA – The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) is responsible for the NSW syllabuses, assessment, teaching standards and school registration. 
  • numeracy – Numeracy broadly includes understandings about numbers, patterns, measurement, spatial awareness and data as well as mathematical thinking, reasoning and counting.
  • parent engagement – Parent engagement involves all people in the life of a child or young person working together to create a stimulating and supportive environment for their learning and development.

    For parents and families this means taking opportunities in the everyday interactions they have with their children to promote and support learning, and to connect learning at school, in the home and in the community. For schools it includes looking at ways to work in partnership with families, helping to build their capacity for effective parent engagement.

  • partnerships – Family-school partnerships are collaborative relationships between families and school staff, focused on student learning and development. Through these partnerships, parents and families can participate in purposeful and productive relationships that expand their interests, knowledge, needs and resources.
  • phonics – Phonics is the knowledge of the relationship between letters and sounds. Knowledge of phonics is essential for beginning to learn to read. 
  • phonemic awareness – Phonemic awareness is the ability to focus on and manipulate phonemes in spoken words. Phonemic awareness is an important skill in acquiring reading and writing skills.
  • play Play is a context for learning that:
    • allows for the expression of personality and uniqueness
    • enhances dispositions such as curiosity and creativity
    • enables children to make connections between prior experiences and new learning
    • assists children to develop relationships and concepts
    • stimulates a sense of wellbeing
  • syllabus – A syllabus is a guide to a course within the curriculum and describes the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes the students are expected to develop at each stage of learning as well as describing the aim of the learning and outcomes and content. 
  • teacher – A teacher is a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.
  • transition – Transition covers the process of moving between home and early learning settings, such as preschools and from early childhood settings to full-time school. Children, families and early childhood educators all contribute to successful transitions between settings.
  • wellbeing – Wellbeing is a multi-faceted concept involving much more than just physical health. It’s a combination of a person’s emotional, mental and social health and it also reflects how they feel about themselves and their life in general. Wellbeing is linked to improved academic achievement, enhanced mental health and responsible life choices. Helping students to feel connected and engaged in their learning, and collaborating effectively with parents, will enable students to develop the social and emotional skills to grow into happy, respectful, well-balanced and successful members of their school and wider community. Wellbeing positively influences student learning outcomes, and success in learning enhances student wellbeing.
    working mathematically – Working Mathematically is integral to the learning process in mathematics. It provides students with the opportunity to engage in genuine mathematical activity and develop the skills to become flexible, critical and creative users of mathematics. 
  • vocabulary – Vocabulary is the body of words used in a particular language. Oral vocabulary is a key to learning to make the transition from oral to written language. Reading vocabulary is crucial to, and helps, building reading comprehension.