Basic Skills


This course can only be undertaken by staff from a school that has sent an enrolment form to SiMERR for the relevant year and have been approved to attend. The information below applies to both the Numeracy and Literacy courses.

There are six days of workshops to attend in the first year of becoming a QuickSmart instructor. They are implemented in blocks of two days three times a year and are sequential so learning builds throughout the year. The first two days are usually in Term 1, the second two days in Term 2 or 3 and the last two days in Term 3 or 4.

When a school has decided to take on one of the QuickSmart program(s), the selected educators will attend QuickSmart professional development (PD) workshops to become qualified QuickSmart instructors. A QuickSmart instructor can be a teacher, a teacher aide, a learning and support officer, an Aboriginal Education Officer, a librarian or any other person involved with students on a regular basis in the school.

Every educator that wishes to become a QuickSmart instructor, must attend professional development training. The training is (usually) completed in the first year of implementation. The instructor will start teaching the children after attending the first two days of PD. The training is completed alongside the students’ progress in the program.

The professional development program accompanying QuickSmart is focused on supporting QuickSmart instructors to understand and provide:

  • effective instruction that maximises student on-task time, and provides learning scaffolds to ensure students experience improvement and success;
  • focused, fun, and successful practice that is integral to every lesson and involves guided and independent timed practice activities;
  • strategy instruction and concept development;
  • their students with confidence by encouraging a ‘can do’ attitude;
  • appropriate teacher and peer modelling; and
  • motivational academic activities that are used as opportunities for instructional modelling and to develop fluency.

As a consequence of the program and professional development experiences, QuickSmart instructors will learn to:

  • use time as a dimension of learning and practice;
  • incorporate concepts of automaticity (Quick) and accuracy (Smart) regularly in their teaching;
  • structure learning activities to help encourage success;
  • plan to address individual student needs over an extended period;
  • assess and monitor student needs unobtrusively in their teaching programs;
  • create a highly motivational learning environment for students;
  • integrate assessment tasks into each lesson;
  • facilitate learning in a non-competitive environment that focuses on individual improvement; and
  • design and develop activities that improve students’ information processing abilities by freeing up working memory.

During the course of their professional development, instructors will also develop an understanding of how:

  • automaticity requires conceptual understanding and efficient;
  • strategies can be used effectively; and
  • assessment provides ongoing formative information relevant to the progress and design of each individual student’s program.

Participants who complete Basic Skills training will receive a certificate of recognition from SiMERR at UNE. SiMERR/QuickSmart is endorsed to provide NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered Professional Development for teachers accredited at the Proficient Teacher level (47 hours).

Please view our Purchasing Guides for information on how to sign up to this course.