The Early Start Kit is a suite of literacy and numeracy materials which gives schools and teachers the opportunity to monitor the progress of their Prep to Year 2 students in literacy and numeracy.

Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek said the Early Start Kit was all about boosting literacy and numeracy outcomes in our schools. “The Newman Government has a relentless focus on achieving better educational outcomes for all Queensland students,” Langbroek says. “Research shows that the early years of schooling are a critical time for students, as they begin to develop essential literacy and numeracy skills that pave the way for future learning.”

Provided free to all Queensland State Schools, the data generated by the Early Start Kit will give teachers insight into the best ways to target the learning needs of students. Education Queensland partnered with the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to develop the Early Start materials, the use of which is optional in schools.

“The Early Start Kit is an innovative suite that can support schools and teachers in promoting a culture of ongoing and consistent monitoring of literacy and numeracy to ensure the best possible learning outcomes for students,” says Langbroek. “The program is administered by teachers one-on-one with students, providing a great opportunity for teachers to spend valuable time gathering information about their students learning.”

Since children entering Prep have a range of skill levels – for example, some have had little experience with books while others may already be reading – the Kit helps to determine the varying skill levels for teachers to better approach each child’s development.

“This kit is not for grading or comparing students, it’s designed to help teachers and schools determine the best way to develop each child’s literacy and numeracy skills.”

Langbroek said state schools throughout Queensland trialled Early Start in Prep classes in 2013, with the Department receiving an overwhelming positive response from the schools involved. “Trials for the End of Prep, End of Year 1 and End of Year 2 materials will occur before their release in 2014 and 2015.”