Articles on: Literacy

Do the PLD stages correspond to year levels in primary school?

PLD advocates that there is a range in ability within every class. This range in ability will be different for each classroom.

PLD does provide a suggested sequential word and phonic study program for each year level, as outlined in the Teaching Sequence Manuals, which is the recommended teaching sequence for Tier 1 students who are working at an age-appropriate level. The stage-to-school year relationship is modeled in the image below.

Stage to Year Correlation for Tier 1 Students


PLD’s view is never to allocate a stage of ‘word and phonic study content’ based on the year level.

This is not how PLD operates. PLD advocates that a placement test presented each term will provide information for three levels of ability and the teaching content that is required for that range. The class profiles should then be entered into the PLD Tracking Sheets. Request the tracking sheets HERE

PLD recognises that it is unrealistic that all students will be operating at a single level, but over time, through the effective implementation of SSP, the majority should be operating at age appropriate levels. The following is PLD’s model of the three tiers of instruction model.

Three Tiers Approach


Following Nation Curriculum guidelines, students are required to read, spell and write in their first compulsory year in school or Pre-Primary (WA), Transition (NT), Reception (SA) Prep. (QLD, VIC, TAS), Kindergarten (NSW, ACT). Hence students are required to be well into stage 1 within the Foundation year.

How far students progress into stage 1 is dependent upon a range of factors; the school’s whole school literacy strategy, how effectively PLD is being implemented across classrooms and factors such as the entry level of the students. In every class there will always be students operating higher and lower, but undoubtedly average students need to be at least half-way through stage 1 within the Foundation year.

Please refer to Australian Curriculum work samples for an indication of ‘satisfactory’ levels.


It is important that teachers are familiar with the Teaching Sequence Manuals are can utilise these to cater for the range of abilities in their classrooms.

In Foundation: is located within the Foundation Teaching Sequence Manual.

In Year 1 and 2: is located in the Year 1 & 2 Teaching Sequence Manual.

In Year 3, 4, 5 & 6: is located in the Year 3, 4 5 & 6 Teaching Sequence Manual.

Updated on: 01/09/2023

Was this article helpful?

Share your feedback


Thank you!