School communities supporting literacy and numeracy

Parents as teachers and classroom helpers (PaTCH)


Many families are unaware of the valuable role they play in apprenticing their children into literacy and numeracy learning. In this regard it is critical that teachers and school leaders help parents and caregivers understand the important role they play in their children’s education.

In Early Action for Success, the Department’s strategy to improve students’ performance in literacy and numeracy in the early years, school communities have developed the capacity of parents and carers to work in classrooms in support of early literacy and numeracy.


Parents as teachers and classroom helpers (PaTCH) is a program to train and accreditvolunteers to support children in developing literacy and numeracy in classrooms.  PaTCH provides parents and community volunteers with the skills to work in supporting the teaching of reading, writing and early number.

In particular, participants:

  • Develop their understanding of how children learn.
  • Consider how children learn to talk, read and write.
  • Explore the importance of speaking and listening to developing literacy and numeracy. 
  • Gain skill in assisting children by listening to children and talking with them about books being read and stories being written.
  • Understand the need for children to be able to express quantity with words and numeric symbols in day-to-day experiences.


Volunteers undertake a 10 week course involving:

  • Participation in 5 training sessions totaling 10 hours of tuition.
  • A minimum of 15 hours practicum in an early years’ classroom, completing between session tasks. Every second week they have an opportunity to practice what they have learnt in classrooms, and to get feedback themselves from the classroom teachers and course organisers.


In Early Action for Success schools seeking to strengthen parents’ involvement in K-2 classrooms. Participants:

  • Collect samples of work using a learning journal. The collection includes samples of resources, photographs or recordings of activities, short summaries of activities and reflections of practice. 
  • Are observed and supported by the classroom teacher and the school’s instructional leader during the practicum experience.
  • Engage in regular interviews related to session content with the school’s instructional leader.


For parents –

  • To increase the confidence of parents and care-givers in being able to help children to learn at home and in school.
  • To increase the skill set of parents and care-givers providing them with greater employment opportunities.

For students –

  • Increased one-to-one time to receive feedback.
  • Seeing parents in a responsible shared teaching role in school.