The early years of primary school are a critical time for children. This is when they learn the reading and writing skills they need to engage with all aspects of The New Zealand Curriculum. When children start school, each child’s literacy experience and knowledge is different. How well this experience and knowledge is recognised and used in their education on a daily basis is, to a large extent, in the hands of their teacher.
This Education Review Office (ERO) evaluation focused on how effectively reading and writing was taught in the first two years of schooling, and on how well teachers used assessment information to plan and evaluate their teaching. ERO was also interested in how school leaders and boards of trustees set and monitored achievement expectations to ensure children were progressing and achieving appropriately, and how this information was shared with parents.
ERO collected evidence for this evaluation from 212 primary schools having an education review during Term 1 and Term 2, 2009. The schools in this study included full primary schools, contributing primary schools and composite schools of varying sizes and deciles in urban and rural locations.