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Literacy across the curriculum

Welcome to The New Zealand Curriculum Update

Curriculum Updates support school leaders and teachers as they work to design and review their school curriculum in line with the New Zealand Curriculum and with current knowledge and understandings about effective classroom teaching.

Curriculum Updates are published in the Education Gazette and are available online.

This Update focuses on the languages, texts, and literacy practices of the different curriculum learning areas.

Two students conversing.

Literacy is the ability to understand, respond to, and use those forms of language required by society and valued by individuals and communities.

The New Zealand Curriculum affirms that language is central to learning and identifies using language, symbols, and texts as one of the five key competencies.

The New Zealand Curriculum, The Literacy Learning Progressions, and the reading and writing standards position the language forms of reading and writing as “interactive tools”. Effective teaching throughout years 1–13 enables students to develop these tools and use them independently to build knowledge.

For literacy across the curriculum, students need to become familiar with and find out how to use the languages, texts, and literacy practices of each learning area.

For each area, students need specific help from their teachers as they learn:

  • the specialist vocabulary associated with that area
  • how to read and understand its texts
  • how to communicate knowledge and ideas in appropriate ways
  • how to listen and read critically, assessing the value of what they hear and read.

The New Zealand Curriculum, page 16

Understanding and using the languages, texts, and literacy practices of a learning area can widen students’ horizons as they learn to “think in different ways” or to “see their world from new perspectives”

(The New Zealand Curriculum, page 16).

Download the full print version: Issue 23: July 2012 (PDF, 1 MB)