Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy

Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti launched the Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy and Hei Raukura Mō te Mokopuna at the National Library of New Zealand on Friday, 25 March.

Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy and Hei Raukura Mō te Mokopuna

Speaker: Hon Jan Tinetti – Associate Minister of Education

Location: The National Library of New Zealand, Friday 25 March 2022

I want there to be joy in teaching. I want there to be joy in the teaching and learning of literacy, communication, maths, te reo matatini and pāngarau for every student and teacher in this country. They are such important foundational skills and when kids aren't enjoying their learning or don't feel like they're succeeding, it can impact on how they feel about school or even wanting to come to school at all. And when we look at the statistics and the learning outcomes, there are clear signs that change is needed to achieve equity and excellence, particularly in our English language pathways. And I'm excited to be able to tell you today that we have reached an important milestone.

Today I am announcing two strategies which will shape actions over the coming years to strengthen the teaching and learning of these foundation skills as students move through their early learning and schooling. What these strategies do is that they make clear the changes and support we are looking to put in place over the next few years to support literacy communication, maths, te reo matatini and pāngarau.

Specific changes need to be designed with people, and of course putting in place all of these supports will take time.

Hei Raukura Mō te Mokopuna, the strategy for te reo matatini and pāngarau seizes an opportunity to reclaim the original intent of these terms. The goal is better to support tamariki and rangatahi to achieve success as Māori within Māori language education pathways. Recognising the importance of ensuring all mokopuna get the teaching and learning they need to achieve in their aspirations and become confident leaders of tomorrow within te ao Māori and the wider world.

The Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy is for English language education pathways. It sets out to shape early learning and schooling pathways to deliver equity and excellence in literacy, communication, mathematics & statistics, and numeracy teaching and learning. So every child and young person gains the foundational skills they need to achieve their aspirations and thrive in our changing world.

And unlike some attempts in the past to lift performance, these strategies have been developed by drawing on a range of research and evidence, alongside conversations with groups and individuals from the education sector and wider communities. These are ambitious strategies, and they should be. Our young people deserve no less. They guide action across a range of system settings because we know that to make a genuine shift on improving outcomes, we cannot depend on a single initiative or action.

There has been a particular emphasis on those being least well-served by our system, because these strategies need to help us progress in our journey towards a genuinely inclusive education system. One where every child feels like they really belong, are present and participating, make progress, and where their well-being is safeguarded and promoted.

How we teach literacy, communication, maths, te reo matatini and pāngarau is such an important part of achieving that vision and making early learning services, schools and kura a place where students want to attend each and every day. Our education system can be reimagined to support kaiako, teachers and leaders better. To make it easier for places of learning to provide teaching and learning that fits each learner and their whānau and to access additional support for learners when they need it.

Detailed plans are coming, which will set out how the strategic actions indicated in the strategies will be progressed. Design and implementation of the actions is something Te Poutāhū | the Curriculum Centre, will work together on with our wider education community.

We have already started with some of the most important initial actions, in particular the refresh of our national curriculum for schooling and NCEA changes. The refresh of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa is founded on Te Tamaiti Hei Raukura, the foundation statement for the refresh reflecting holistic view of learners and recognising mokopuna as raukura, leaders for tomorrow. This privileges a Māori world view promoting, uplifting and valuing the essential place of te reo matatini and pāngarau in education.

As the New Zealand curriculum is refreshed, literacy & communication and numeracy demands will be explicitly woven across all learning areas so that all teachers are supported to be effective teachers of these foundation skills across the curriculum.

I am grateful for the open and generous involvement of all of those who have engaged in the process of developing these strategies. Our shared commitment to quality, teaching and learning for every learner and their whānau is clear. I'm really excited about the opportunity ahead of us to work together to realise a curriculum which is equitable, inclusive and future focussed for all ākonga and their whānau and I hope that you are too.

For more information on the strategy for strengthening te reo matatini and pāngarau in and through te reo Māori, see Hei Raukura Mō te Mokopuna - Kauwhata Reo(external link).

On this page you will find details about the Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy.

Detailed action plans are coming. They will set out how the recommendations indicated in the strategy will be progressed in collaboration with the education sector, experts and the community. Keep an eye on this web page for updates as our engagement plans for that process are finalised, including your opportunity to register your interest in participating.

Strong literacy, communication, and numeracy skills provide a foundation for learning for Aotearoa New Zealand’s tamariki and rangatahi, so they can enjoy full and meaningful lives secure in their languages, cultures, and identities, in our rapidly changing world. These skills help sustain their wellbeing and that of their whānau and communities. They are critical factors in the learning journey from early learning right through to the end of secondary education and beyond.

You can download a PDF of the Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy [PDF, 3 MB].

There is also a report here on the evidence, engagement and emerging themes gathered to provide insight, experience and expertise to the strategy’s development. Download a PDF of that report: Insights that informed the Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy. [PDF, 2 MB]

Papers commissioned to contribute to the development of the strategy may be found on this website at: Research papers and other supporting material.

For questions and comments: Literacy.Communication.Maths@education.govt.nz

Why we need the Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy

We want to make sure every child and young person experiences success in their learning and that their progress and achievement are responded to and celebrated. The strategy’s focus is about addressing equity and lifting achievement because the way things are is not working well for all learners and we are trying to make it work better.

Literacy & communication and maths are foundational areas of learning from early learning through to senior secondary school. This strategy’s focus emphasises more explicit attention to literacy and numeracy in learning across the curriculum, which supports learners to better access its richness. We don’t want a focus on these foundational skills to lead to a narrowing of the curriculum.

Implementation of the strategy will inevitably bring with it some changes in how we approach teaching and learning to achieve the results we are aiming for. Throughout the process we will be working collaboratively with the education community and there will be clear and timely communication along the way.

What you need to know

For early learning services

Our journey has already started through the Early Learning Action Plan and its focus on better supporting children to develop capabilities that are valued by their whānau and community and support them to be competent and confident learners. We have already released Te kōrerorero – Talking together. We are also working with kaiako on Kowhiti Whakapae, which will help kaiako strengthen formative assessment and teaching practice for foundational learning in Te Whāriki.

The strategy’s common practice model will guide teaching and learning that is appropriate to different stages and phases of learning, so it will include separate, distinct components (such as Kowhiti Whakapae) for early learning that are within the bicultural, inclusive and holistic framework of Te Whāriki. Support will be available through Te Whāriki Online(external link).   

For Primary teachers and leaders

The strategy confirms and aligns with the overall direction we are already putting in place through the refresh of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).

A lot of what will be implemented will help you to work more effectively with the refreshed NZC, with a range of updated and new supports signalled in the strategy. Some of these improvements to our supports are already underway, such as the Early Literacy Approach(external link) page on TKI website.

The strategy will introduce a common practice model developed in collaboration with the education community. ‘Common’ does not mean creating one-size-sits all approaches, rather it is about creating greater national consistency around the quality of practice by providing clear and practical guidance alongside a range of resources, tools and professional learning.

For Secondary teachers and leaders

The NCEA Change Programme already includes a focus on strengthening NCEA literacy and numeracy. The Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy will help secondary school teachers support learner progress in these foundational skills across different subjects. This will also support learners to be successful with the new literacy and numeracy co-requisites, but recognises that a focus on literacy & communication and maths remains important right up until year 13. Improvements to teaching and learning earlier in the pathway will mean that learners enter secondary school well-placed for success.

A range of updated and new supports is signalled in the strategy, including the introduction of a common practice model right through until the end of year 13.  This will be developed in collaboration with the education community and include clear and practical guidance alongside a range of resources, tools and professional learning that is appropriate to different stages and phases of learning.  

For PLD providers

There is no immediate change for PLD providers.

Schools and kura seeking PLD support under the regionally allocated PLD fund can still use the facilitator search tool on the PLD website(external link) to search for facilitators across literacy & communication and maths within the priorities such as Local Curriculum Design and Assessment for Learning.

The strategy will introduce a common practice model to support more consistent literacy & communication and maths teaching, assessment and learning approaches. ‘Common’ does not mean creating one-size-sits all approaches, rather it is about creating greater national consistency around the quality of practice by providing clear and practical guidance alongside a range of resources, tools and professional learning.

The common practice model will be developed in collaboration with the education community, including PLD providers. PLD providers delivering professional learning will be required to align with the common practice model to help embed it across the system and ensure that teachers get more consistency in terms of approaches supported by our PLD facilitator workforce and their alignment to the refreshed curriculum.

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