Examples of good practice and recommendations for improvement have been identified across the sample of 112 schools.
Examples of good practice
- Students in most schools have frequent opportunities for learning in reading and participate in interesting and challenging programmes.
- Many teachers are very knowledgeable about the teaching of reading and provide programmes that meet the needs of their students in reading.
- Comprehensive and detailed assessment information on student achievement in reading is gathered by many teachers and analysed to identify their students’ learning needs.
- In most schools, the content of the reading programme was clearly linked to English in the New Zealand Curriculum and had appropriate sequences and coherent progression over time.
- A wide range of appropriate texts was used effectively to enhance reading programmes.
Recommendations for improvement
Based on the findings of this evaluation, ERO recommends the following areas as a focus for continued development:
- supporting teachers of Year 8 students in planning and teaching high quality reading programmes;
- increasing the use of ICT and electronic media in reading programmes to extend students’ opportunities for problem solving and creative thinking with these tools;
- identifying the learning needs of diverse groups of students within classes and adapting the programme and teaching strategies to meet these needs;
- better use of student achievement information in reading to inform curriculum review and decisions about policies and resources; and
- expanding the opportunities provided to students to evaluate and regulate their own learning.
Most students participate in regular, rich and productive reading programmes. Their teachers plan interesting and varied programmes that build on previous learning and are responsive to the individual needs of students. Teachers, particularly those teaching Year 4 students, are knowledgeable about literacy development and appropriate teaching strategies to support students in the reading programmes. There is a need for further support for teachers of Year 8 students to enable them to meet the needs of these older learners in reading and to provide richer programmes for this age group.
Classes in New Zealand schools reflect the increasing diversity of cultures and experiences within the nation. Some teachers require training and resources to enable them to implement more effective strategies to meet the needs of the range of diverse students in their class.
Many teachers collect and analyse assessment information in reading for the individual students in their class. From the data they gather they are able to diagnose the causes of reading difficulties and provide learning programmes that match students’ prior learning and achievement. However, achievement data is not always analysed to determine patterns of achievement across the school or to identify groups of students who could benefit from extra assistance.
Overall it appears that students not only enjoy and participate in reading but their teachers provide them with real and meaningful opportunities for success in reading.