Appendix 1: Glossary of terms

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. It includes anything that can help a person with disabilities do something that might otherwise be difficult or impossible.

Clicker 5

Clicker 5 is a writing support and multimedia tool to help learners write with whole words, phrases or pictures. Learners can ‘click on’ words, phrases, or pictures on the screen, to hear the words before they are written, or hear whole sentences when they are written.


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 by using the sounds the letters in a word make. Encoding is the converse as children use their knowledge of the relationship between letters and sounds 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.

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.

Learning Support Funding

Funding provided to RTLB clusters to meet the needs of students with learning and behaviour difficulties. It 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.


Makaton is a communication programme, based around a core vocabulary that includes speech, signs and/or symbols, that is designed to help children and adults with communication and learning difficulties.


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)

A statement of school operation requirements that is 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.


Numicon is an inclusive, multi-sensory approach to teaching numeracy, using patterns to represent each numeral. It is designed for preschool and primary-aged students, especially those with learning difficulties or special needs.

Ongoing and reviewable resourcing schemes (ORRS)

The Schemes are resources for a small group of children (about one percent of the school population) who have severe difficulties and therefore the highest need for special education.

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.

Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L)

PB4L is a Ministry of Education initiative that builds a supportive and effective learning environment for ALL students based on the principle of inclusion. It focuses on preventing problem behaviour, developing social skills, reinforcing desired behaviour, consistent management of inappropriate behaviour and using data-based assessment and problem solving to address concerns.


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 (NZCER). They include reading comprehension, reading vocabulary and mathematics for Years 4‑10 and listening comprehension for Years 3‑10.

Rainbow Reading

Rainbow Reading has 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 in 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.

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.

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(c) and (d). It includes a base amount plus per-student funding.

Steps to Literacy

Steps to Literacy is a remedial literacy course designed for pupils aged 8 years and over with a reading/spelling age of 7‑10 years.

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 ORRS 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.