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English Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.

Students’ strengths and needs

Each learner is on a unique pathway of development. Although there is wide agreement about what they can be expected to achieve at particular points in their progress, there are always variations in students' expertise and in their routes and rates of progress. Whatever level a student has achieved, it is important that teachers recognise what they already know, and can control and build on their expertise in any given learning context.

The English learning area (p. 18), the Reading and writing standards and Literacy Learning Progressions, and the Principles, Vision and Key Competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum provide a starting point for what students are expected to be able to know and do in any particular year level.

The following questions can be used to focus our planning:

  • What knowledge and skills do the students need to meet those demands?
  • What are the students' strengths? What evidence informs this?
  • What are the students' learning needs? What evidence informs this?

Key resources

  • Dyslexia: This page provides a working definition for dyslexia and several resources to guide parents and teachers.
  • Gifted and talented: This page provides links to resources for teachers who are supporting students who are recognised as gifted and talented.



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