From term 1 in 2025, all state schools will teach reading using the structured literacy approach. This approach is called a Better Start Literacy Approach and the project was funded by A Better Start E Tipu e Rea. We are so pleased to see it being offered to tamariki nationwide from next year.

The approach was developed by our Better Start Literacy Approach team specifically for our New Zealand educational and cultural context and controlled research trials have proven its effectiveness. It includes the systematic teaching of critical phonological awareness skills and letter sound knowledge skills through fun, games-based activities, activities making explicit links to the reading and spelling context, and structured small group reading sessions using the new Ready to Read – Phonics Plus early readers series.

In addition, the approach includes explicit teaching in vocabulary skills and in building children’s oral narrative and listening comprehension skills through quality children’s story books. The Better Start Literacy Approach follows a structured phonics scope and sequence that is used in the class and small group reading teaching.

Amazing work from the team at the University of Canterbury, Professor Gail Gillon, Professor Brigid McNeill, Dr Amy Scott and Associate Professor Alison Arrow.

Click here to view the Newshub story

“Structured Literacy is about getting back to basics and teaching children to read by using sounds and phonics to understand words,” Erica Stanford Minister for Education said when making the announcement.

Structured literacy is an approach that explicitly teaches systematic word identification and decoding strategies, teaching phonics, syllable patterns, vocabulary, and writing structure.

Paddy Gower Has Issues revealed in May 2023 that a structured literacy approach has shown substantially better results for tamariki learning to read and write in English.

To learn more about a Better Start Literacy Approach visit the website. 

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