Better Start Literacy

At St Brigid's our Year 0-2 children take part in the Better Start Literacy Approach developed by the University of Canterbury. 

This approach provides our learners with a solid foundation of literacy skills which gives them the best start to their literacy learning journey. 

The Better Start Literacy Approach is an integrated classroom literacy approach. The approach is based on several years of research trials investigating the most efficient and effective methods to support children’s early reading, writing and oral language success. It incorporates vocabulary development using quality children’s storybooks, structured teaching of critical phonological awareness skills and letter-sound knowledge through fun, game-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. The Better Start Literacy Approach follows a phonics scope and sequence that is used in the class and small group reading teaching.

The Better Start Literacy Approach also incorporates carefully designed monitoring assessments focused on critical early skills known to influence reading success. This includes letter-sound knowledge, phonological awareness, oral language, word reading and spelling, and connected text tasks, specifically designed to monitor children’s literacy growth in their first year of school, and provide specific direction for teaching at the class and individual level.

Whānau engagement is a critical component of early literacy success. The Better Start Literacy Approach also includes whānau workshop materials and other supporting content such as weekly letters to parents and strengths-based reporting, to facilitate whānau-school partnerships and maximise children's opportunities for early literacy success.