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Keeping the focus on reading and writing

29 November 2007

Keeping the focus on reading and writing

A new tool to help increase students’ literacy skills was released in draft form by Education Minister Chris Carter today.

The Literacy Learning Progressions have been developed with academics, literacy experts and practitioners and are intended to help teachers identify how well students are meeting the reading and writing demands of the newly-released New Zealand Curriculum.

“Literacy really does matter and this tool will help teachers by describing the knowledge and skills students need at different points in their schooling,” Chris Carter said.

Research showed students not making good progress in reading and writing would be affected well into their teenage years and the Labour-led government was committed to keeping the focus on literacy learning as students moved through school, the Minister said.

The just-released international study Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) showed while the mean reading score for Year 5 students in New Zealand was significantly higher than the international mean, this country continued to have a broad range of student achievement.

“By international standards, New Zealand students are achieving well in reading and writing overall but we know some students do not make the necessary progress,” Chris Carter said.

“This limits their ability to make the most of the education system and we need to identify those students as early and as effectively as possible so we can help them gain the skills and knowledge they need.”

The countries with the highest overall performance in the PIRLS study were those with established literacy goals that clarify what is expected of students and that was what the draft Literacy Learning Progressions were all about, Chris Carter said.

“I look forward to feedback from teachers trying out the progressions and providing feedback during 2008.”



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