Literacy Support

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Literacy AT KTS

What is English?

Learning English encompasses learning the language, learning about the language and learning through the language. The English language is the medium for most learning in the New Zealand Curriculum, helping us to make sense of our world and express our understanding.

English is the study, use, and enjoyment of the English language and its literature, communicated orally, visually, and in writing, for a range of purposes and audiences and in a variety of text forms.  The aim is for our students to become increasingly skilled and sophisticated speakers and listeners, writers and readers, presenters and viewers.

Why study English?

The study of New Zealand and world literature helps us to understand our identity, heritage and connect with the world around us. It enables us to conceptualise our thinking and present ourselves to the world in an articulate and intelligent manner.

By understanding how language works, students are equipped to make appropriate language choices and apply them in a range of contexts. Students learn to deconstruct and critically interrogate texts in order to understand the power of language to enrich and shape their own and others’ lives.

As teachers at KTS, we aim to foster a love of language and literature, which brings our students pleasure and helps them to communicate and express themselves.

Home/school partnership resource for parents / National Standards / all year groups

Research suggests that parent involvement is the number one predictor of early literacy success and future academic achievement. This section of our website aims to help you access ideas that you can use at home as you support your child in their literacy learning.


Here are some strategies for beginning and seasoned readers' literacy success:

  • Point to each word on the page as you read. This beginning literacy strategy will assist children with making print/story/illustration connections. This skill also helps build a child's tracking skills from one line of text to the next one.
  • Read the title and ask your child to make a prediction. Beginning and seasoned readers alike need to make predictions before reading a story. This will go a long way to ensure that a child incorporates previewing and prediction in his or her own reading practices both now and in the future.
  • Take "picture walks." Help your child use the picture clues in most early readers and picture books to tell the story before reading.
  • Model fluency while reading, and bring your own energy and excitement for reading to your child. Both new and seasoned readers struggle with varying pitch, intonation and proper fluctuations when they read aloud. Older readers will benefit from shared reading (taking turns).
  • Ask your child questions after reading every book. Reading comprehension is the reason we read – to understand. Help your child explain his or her understanding of any given story in comparison to another. Have your child share a personal experience similar to a problem or theme within a story. Higher-order thinking skills (critical thinking) are skills children are expected to use in both written and oral assessments in school. There is no way for a teacher to ask every child to use a critical thinking skill every day. Parents can.
  • Connect reading and writing if possible. The connection between reading, writing and discussion should be incorporated with daily literacy practice. Have a young child dictate to a parent who writes in a journal or on a sheet of paper. Modeling the formation of sentences aligned with the words of a story is crucial for a child to begin making a neural interconnectedness between reading and writing. A child's process of drawing pictures brings his or her personal creativity toward the story. Sharing these illustrations of experiences and individual interpretations related to the sentence he or she has created on the page is yet another step toward this early balanced literacy approach. Into the Book – this is an excellent website that focuses on the different aspects of reading comprehension. There are stories to read and activities to complete that tap into the concept “reading to understand”. ESL Games – this website is full of games that promote literacy learning for people whose first language is not English.

Struggling to find books to engage your sons in reading? Here is a list of fantastic titles that might provide some inspiration:



Essential Spelling Lists  - levels 1 - 7 This site has fun ideas for getting started on writing a creative story at home.

This is a great website with lots of interactive games to practise reading and writing skills.