Appendix 4: Glossary of terms


Accelerating learning in mathematics was designed to accelerate learning in mathematics of low achievers through targeted teaching for a short period.

Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning (asTTle)

asTTle gives information about children’s achievement and progress in reading, writing and mathematics from Years 4-12.

Assistive technology

A wide range of tools for students with special education needs that help them access the learning curriculum, including anything that can help a person with disabilities do something that might otherwise be difficult.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

ASD is a disorder of development that affects language, social skills and behaviour. Children with ASD are unable to interpret what is happening around them in the same way that other children do. There is a range of severity and intellectual ability, from the severely impaired child with classical autism, to a child with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism. Children with Asperger syndrome may have a high level of intelligence but have difficulty with social interaction.


COSDBRICS is a remedial maths programme for primary and intermediate pupils who are delayed in number knowledge.

Decoding and encoding

When decoding children work out what a word is saying by using the sounds the letters in a word make. Encoding is when children use their letter-sound knowledge to work out how to write a word.

Enhanced Programme Fund

A supplementary grant for schools with a disproportionate number of students with moderate special education needs. It is to enhance programmes and interventions that raise presence, progress and participation in learning for these students in their regular classrooms.

High Health Needs Fund

This fund provides support for children at school/kura who have a significant health condition.

Incredible Years

Incredible Years has programmes for parents, teachers and children that are designed to improve parenting skills, teacher competencies, home-school links, and develop children’s social skills to promote emotional and social competence and reduce behavioural and emotional problems in young children.

Individual education plan (IEP) or Individual behavior plan (IBP)

An IEP is a succinct outline of a few priority learning goals and strategies to meet them within the classroom programme. It shows what supports are needed (including for team members), and records student achievements. IBPs focus on behaviour.


The Junior oral language screening tool covers vocabulary, social language and grammar. It is intended for use with five year olds whose oral language is of concern and aims to support teachers to build a programme, group children appropriately for language groups, and decide about referral to a speech language therapist.

Learning Support Funding

Funding provided to RTLB clusters to meet the needs of students with learning and behaviour difficulties. They can be used to provide release time for classroom teachers to meet with the RTLB, or to prepare an IEP.

Letter-sound knowledge

When teachers assess a child’s letter sound knowledge they find out what the child knows about the names of the alphabet letters and some of the sounds they make.


Lexia Reading is a software package that helps teachers to monitor and inform reading instruction.


Mathletics is an international network of websites designed to help students enjoy and achieve well in maths. It provides access to a wide range of tools and resources for students, teachers and parents, covering the mathematics curriculum Years 1-13.

National Administrative Guidelines (NAGs)

Statement of school operation requirements that are addressed to boards of trustees. A component of the National Education Guidelines.

Numeracy Project Assessment (NumPA)

A Diagnostic Interview used to assess children’s number knowledge and operational strategy in number.

Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS)

The Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) provides support for children with the highest level of ongoing need (about one percent of the school population) to help them join in and learn alongside other children at school.

Perceptual Motor Programme

PMP is a programme which uses facets of physical education, music, fitness, dance and gymnastics to develop children’s self‑perceptions.


Phonics is the relationship between spoken sounds and the letters that represent them; and the correspondence between sound and symbol in an alphabetical writing system.


Prose reading observation behaviour and evaluation of comprehensionis one type of reading running record that includes an oral reading comprehension test.

Progressive Achievement Tests (PATs)

PATs are standardised tests developed by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. They include reading comprehension, reading vocabulary and mathematics for Years 4‑10 and listening comprehension for Years 3‑10.

Rainbow Reading

Rainbow Readinghas two programmes for intensive, individualised instruction of students reading below expected levels and two for reluctant readers. The books cover a variety of topics, styles and illustrations to meet the varying needs and interests of a wide range of students.

Reading Recovery

Reading Recovery is a one-to-one teaching programme for children who have made slow progress learning to read and write in their first year at school. It is a 12 to 20 week programme undertaken for half an hour daily. Each child’s reading and writing is assessed close to their sixth birthday and some children are selected to take part.

Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour (RTLB)

Specially trained teachers who support and work within schools to assist staff, parents and community members to meet the needs of students with moderate learning and/or behaviour difficulties.

Resource Teacher: Literacy (RTLit)

Specially trained teachers who support and work in schools, assisting staff to meet the needs of Years 0‑8 students with reading and writing difficulties.

School Entry Assessment (SEA)

SEA is a standardised assessment procedure to collect information on oral language, early mathematics and early reading knowledge and understanding of new entrants four to eight weeks after children start school.


A SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) is a senior staff member who is assigned a range of responsibilities and often has a teaching and leadership role within the school.

Severe Behaviour Service

Provision of advice and specialist support for students with severe behaviour difficulties and their schools, and their parents/whānau.

Six-year net (Six-year observation survey)

The six-year observation survey is a comprehensive assessment of progress in reading and writing on or immediately after the child’s sixth birthday.


Speech-language therapists work with students with severe communication needs who have speech (articulation) difficulties, fluency disorders, voice resonance disorders, language difficulties or significant language delay.

Special education grant (SEG)

A grant provided to schools to support students with moderate special education needs, such as learning and behaviour difficulties, in accordance with NAG 1(iii) and (iv). It includes a base amount plus per-student funding.

Supplementary Learning Support (SLS)

SLS aims to better support students with special education needs including students with significant and ongoing learning needs who have missed out on ORS support.

Supplementary Test of Achievement in Reading (STAR)

STAR was developed by NZCER and has tests for three age groups (Year 3, Years 4 to 6 and Years 7 to 9). Sub-tests within each test relate to word recognition, sentence comprehension, paragraph comprehension and vocabulary range. Year 7-9 tests also cover the language of advertising and reading different text types.

Talk to Learn

Talk to Learn is a programme designed to develop children’s skills in oral language and conversation. It is taken with small groups, and uses a range of themes to aid discussion along with fun ‘making and doing’ experiences.

Toe by Toe

Toe by Toe is a synthetic phonics programme that uses repetition so a student can learn the alphabetic sounds to allow easy decoding. It has proved successful with students in Years 9‑11. It requires a regular 15-20 minute session with a tutor and most students complete the book in about 50 sessions.