Learning to Read
For a number of reasons students can fall behind when they are learning to read and write. Whether this is due to dyslexia, missed learning, a second language spoken, or any other reason, our teachers have the skills and knowledge to meet the learning needs of these children. We have highly trained teaching specialists working with students who are struggling to make sense of the written word.
While we do use games to reinforce learning and a range of short activities to help with engagement, the focus is on deliberate acts of teaching which match with the way the learner's brain works. Lessons are multi-sensory and focus on understanding what sounds letter and letter patterns represent. These patterns are used to help to both decode (read) and encode (write) words. Students spend time on letter formation, phonological awareness, decoding words and reading texts, writing with a focus on a sound or spelling pattern and personal writing.
- A full initial assessment is necessary for all students learning to read, as it ensures that the exact decoding and encoding skills can be taught to your child.
- There is homework to do which supports the learning that has taken place. Parents are encouraged to sit in on some or all lessons to further support their child at home.
- Lessons are conducted at optimal learning times for your child. Learning to read and write are essential life skills which require full engagement in the lessons.
Primary and Intermediate Literacy
Literacy lessons for Primary (Years 1-6) and Intermediate (Years 7-8) students are closely aligned to the New Zealand Curriculum, and all lesson planning is based on assessment information. Lessons include spelling, writing and reading components.
All students are assessed to see which spelling patterns and rules they are familiar with. From here, students begin lessons focusing on an area of spelling or grammar that they are developing. This is to allow for consolidation of learning, to see whether learning is being transferred into their written work and to introduce new patterns.
Students write across a range of genres including personal recounts, character and place descriptions, narratives, speeches, instructions, reports, explanations and arguments. This is done to ensure that students have a good grounding across curriculum in preparation for high school studies. Ideally, these genres are taught at the same time they are being studied at school. Time is spent developing students’ understanding of structure, grammar, punctuation and writing features which apply to each genre.
Models of writing are used to allow students to understand what they are aiming for when it comes to meeting the expectations of their goals. Once a piece of writing has been completed, feedback and goals for the next piece of writing are shared with the student and their family.
Where necessary, letter formation is taught. This is picked up as the student works by their teacher and corrected with practise, pen grip and modelling.
Often students want to work on their reading comprehension, this is done using short texts, looking for key words, clues in the text and vocabulary development. Students who are just learning to read follow a different lesson format and this can be found under 'Learning to Read'.
Secondary English - Years 9 and 10
Our secondary programmes are designed to align with the content and texts taught in the learner's English classroom, or offer a traditional model of English education to learners from Innovative Learning Environment Schools. All lessons are based around the objectives set out in the New Zealand Curriculum and the exemplars. Junior high school students spend their time developing their creative writing, formal writing and essay writing skills.
- Students practise how to write essays about both the novel and the film they are studying in class. Tutors personally make themselves familiar with the novel or film your child is studying. This is in order to support your child to prepare for end of year exams.
- Creative writing, formal writing, speeches, static image and response to text are all taught over the course of the year too.
- Considerable time is also spent on growing students’ understanding of unfamiliar texts, as this comprises of a large portion of assessments at this level.
- Students coming from Innovative Learning Environment Schools can either follow a traditional State School model or teaching can be aligned with what is happening at their school.
- NCEA and Cambridge English
Our secondary programmes are designed to align with the content and texts taught in the learner's English classroom, or offer a traditional model of English education to learners from Innovative Learning Environment Schools. Senior high school students’ learning mirrors what is happening for them in class, including support in NCEA assessments throughout the year.
- Tutors familiarise themselves with your child’s studied written and visual texts, allowing them further opportunities to discuss areas such the ideas, themes, relationships, motifs, plots, characters and major events.
- We request up to date details on course outlines, and assessment information to ensure students work on the same standards in tutoring that they are working on at school. Time is spent developing the range of writing techniques required for each standard, so that when they sit the assessment at school students feel confident with what is expected.
- We assist students in refining their essay writing techniques, help develop their understanding of unfamiliar texts and practise writing skills which are being internally assessed.