Literacy at East Tāmaki School
Literacy, and the teaching of reading and writing, is seen a high priority at East Tāmaki School. High achievement expectations are set annually and we work through the year to develop action plans and goals to help ākonga achieve the goals they set for themselves. Ākonga agency and voice are valued and ākonga, with the help of their kaiako, identify goals in order to reach the curriculum standards set in the New Zealand Curriculum document. Reading and writing is assessed regularly and kaiako use up to date information to inform their planning and teaching. Lessons are planned to cater to individual needs, giving support and extension through differentiated grouping and personalised programmes. In writing we focus on many different genres such as Recounts, Narratives, Descriptive and Persuasive writing. The middle and senior school use Ready to Reads and PM books and follow the colour wheel for reading. The junior and middle school have embarked on a new way of teaching reading and writing which is called Structured Literacy.
From 2021, the junior and middle school at East Tāmaki are following a Structured Literacy approach to teaching reading and writing. Ākonga learn to read and write using phonics. This is a structured approach to learning, where knowledge and skills are built upon to ensure success for every child in Literacy. This approach is based on the Science of Reading and is a highly explicit and systematic way of teaching all important components of literacy. These components include both foundational skills (e.g., decoding, spelling, handwriting and letter formation) and higher-level literacy skills (e.g., reading comprehension, written expression).
We have invested in the Little Learners Love Literacy (LLLL) decodable texts and resources, and The Ministry of Education’s new Ready to Read Phonics Plus readers will be used in the scope and sequence that we have adopted from the LLLL programme.
All the kaiako at East Tāmaki have completed professional learning and development with Dr Christine Braid of Massey University to learn about the 44 sounds and over 170+ spelling patterns. The junior team kaiako have also received professional learning and development with Liz Kane.