Appendix 1: Methodology

Evaluation framework and approach 

Two overarching evaluative questions guided this evaluation:

  • How well do teachers assess, plan and teach reading and writing to children in Years 1 and 2?  
  • How well does the school promote and monitor high achievement expectations in reading and writing in Years 1 and 2? 

ERO collected evidence for the two overarching evaluative questions and a set of investigative questions by observing teacher practice, talking with key groups of teachers and senior staff members and looking at school documents relevant to their inquiry. 

Reviewers recorded their judgements on a separate synthesis sheet and reported information material to each school in the individual school report.  The complete evaluation framework including the investigative questions is detailed in Appendix 2. 

As well as the synthesis sheet, there was a school questionnaire.  Reviewers used the information from this questionnaire to scope their evaluation, and responses were aggregated to inform this report.  Responses were received from 70 percent of the schools in this evaluation and information from these questionnaires supports the school findings. 

The findings also include extracts from review officer comments about unidentified school practice.  These comments provide examples of effective or ineffective practice in the teaching of reading and writing. 

Sample of schools 

ERO evaluated literacy in Years 1 and 2 in all schools where ERO carried out an education review in Term 1 and Term 2, 2009.  The types of schools, roll size, school locality (urban or rural) and decile ranges of the schools are shown in Tables 1 to 3 below.

Table 1: School types 

School type Number Percentage of sample National Percentage[24]
Full Primary (Y1-8) 110 52 54
Contributing (Y1-6) 96 45 39
Composite (Y1-15) 6 3 7
Total 212 100 100

Table 1 shows that composite schools in the sample were under-represented and contributing primary schools were over-represented in comparison to national figures, but this difference was not statistically significant.[25]

Table 2: Roll size 

Roll size[26]  Number  Percentage of sample  National percentage 
 Small  108  51  51
 Medium  40  19  25
 Large  64  30  24
 Total  212  100  100

Table 2 shows that medium sized schools in the sample were under-represented, and large schools were over-represented in comparison to national figures, but this difference was not statistically significant.

Table 3: School locality 

Locality Number Percentage of sample National percentage
Urban 133 63 65
Rural 79 37 35
Total 212 100 100

Table 3 shows that the number of urban and rural schools in the sample is representative of national figures.   

Table 4: School decile ranges 

Decile [27] Number Percentage of sample National percentage
Low decile (1-3) 50 23 30
Middle decile (4-7) 78 37 30
High decile (8-10) 84 40 40
Total 212 100 100

Table 4 shows that low decile schools in the sample were under-represented and high decile schools were over-represented in comparison to national figures, but this difference was not statistically significant.