What is Literacy about?

Literacy is about learning to use, create and enjoy the English language in all its forms – oral, written and visual communication. Reading in the younger years is about learning the mechanics of reading whereas as they get older, it's about reading to learn. The skills for reading, spelling and writing are all inter-connected.

What does literacy look like at Ahutoetoe?

At Ahutoetoe, we believe that ALL ākonga are capable of learning to read, write and spell. Our literacy lessons are based on teaching the Science of Reading through a Structured Literacy approach.  All ākonga from New Entrant to Year 6 receive explicit, systematic instruction in reading, writing and spelling.

Our youngest learners learn that letters are pictures for sounds. They learn to listen for the sounds that make up words and to put them together to read and write words. Heart words/sight words/high frequency words (words that can not be phonetically sounded out) are taught as part of these daily literacy lessons. 

Our older students still receive explicit literacy instruction based on The Code but their reading is focussed more around their inquiry topics and comprehension.

The Better Start Literacy Approach is a structured approach to literacy instruction for Year 0 to Year 2 classrooms, to support children's early reading, writing and oral language success. It has been developed by our 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. 

We recently held an early years literacy workshop. You can view the presentation here

Better Start Whānau Workshop.pptx.pdf

How to support your child in early literacy

-Play i spy with letter sounds rather than letter names

-Visit the public library

-Read stories to your child to develop a love of books. You can also discuss characters, vocab or get children to retell the story in their own words.

-Listen to your child read the readers sent home (if tired do a page each or only read half the book)

-Point out and read signs and labels

-Make/write birthday cards for family members

-Play card or board games as a family

-Listen to audiobooks in the car- these can be downloaded from the public library

-Cook together following a recipe

-Read rhyming books or play games coming up with a word that rhymes with a particular word, for example what rhymes with cat? fat and sat

-Introduce unusual or more descriptive words into your everyday language 

-At dinner time take time to talk about your day, share jokes etc

-Practice writing letters out of playdough, chalk or in sand

-Allow your child to write the shopping list

-Write little texts to a loved one

-magnetic letters on the fridge for heart words

-use playdough to make words or water and a paintbrush outside on the deck

Connect ... Nurture ... Inspire

Hono ... Poipoi ... Hiringa

Day Schedule

Gates open: 8.15am

School day: 8.45am – 2.45pm

Learning Session 1: 8.45am - 10.45am

Learning Session 2: 11.15am – 12.35pm

Learning Session 3: 1.20pm – 2.45pm

Ahutoetoe School

Maryvale Road





Term 1  
Wednesday 1st February - Thursday 6th April
Waitangi Day – observed 6th Feb 

Good Friday – 7th April
Easter Monday – 10th April

Term 2
Monday 24th April - Friday 30th June

Anzac Day – 25th April
Queens Birthday – 5th June

Matariki  – 14th July

Term 3
Monday 17th July - Friday 22nd September

Term 4
Monday 9th October - Friday 15th December
Labour Day – 23rd October



Phone: 09 242 8100