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Literacy and language learning

PLD inventory for schools

Design elements

Target for support (strengths and needs)

The special focus for this work is on raising achievement for all students and, particularly, for Māori and Pasifika students, and those with special education needs. Key focus areas for the PLD will be on supporting schools with learners’ literacy and language learning needs, in the context of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Expected outcomes

The needs the programme will meet for students and schools/kura:

  • Strengthening the quality of teacher practice in literacy and English language learning through cycles of professional inquiry focussed on:
    • leading teaching inquiry and knowledge building
    • student learning
    • assessment as a process for learning.
  • Accelerating student achievement for those groups of students achieving below expectation, including target groups of Māori, Pasifika, and students with special education needs:
    • Māori students realising educational success as Māori.
    • Pasifika students achieving as Pacific people in support of the goals of the Pasifika Education Plan.
    • Students with special education needs - allowing them to leave school equipped with the skills they need to fulfil their potential.
    • English language learners achieving at appropriate levels through acknowledgement of culture and prior learning, and support for English language learning.

Delivery design (who, how long, interactions)

The PLD is aimed at whole staff development, principals/school leaders, and teachers.

The length of the programme is dependent upon the identified need of the kura/school as determined from analysis of data, information, teaching practices, and annual plan targets.

How will the support contribute to classroom practice (tier 1) and school capability?

The support enables teachers to work with all learners more effectively in literacy and/or language learning. The support ensures that leaders and principals can direct resources and support for literacy learning where they are needed, and provide guidance in literacy and English language learning, teaching and learning.

How will the support contribute to building educationally powerful relationships with parents, whānau/family, hapu, iwi, and community?

Literacy and English Language Learning professional learning and development includes:

  • the development of teacher knowledge about the value and importance of linking learning at home with learning at school
  • a focus on ensuring that all parents and whānau are supported to understand where their children are currently at in their learning, and what their next learning steps will be
  • a focus on the importance of culturally responsive learning and teaching that values the cultures, identities, and languages of all learners and their parents, families, and whānau.

Methods of delivery and time commitment

For whole-school in-depth work, a strengths and needs analysis is completed and a flexible and tailored PLD programme is co-constructed with the school.

  • Co-construction of literacy strategic plan
  • School-wide assessment in literacy
  • Teaching as inquiry process
  • Use of student achievement data
  • Implementing processes for moderation
  • Observations, learning conversations with leaders, teachers, and students
  • Workshops
  • Cluster meetings

These in-school activities can be supplemented by online resources and networks.

How is support monitored and measured in terms of outcomes?

Changes in depth and intensity of provision are dependent on progress, and progress is reviewed regularly and linked to learner achievement.

What needs to be sustained?

Sustained teaching as inquiry with school-wide self-review is required to achieve and sustain improvements in teacher knowledge, skills, and capability in teaching and learning in literacy.

You may find these MoE resources useful

Pasifika Teacher Aide four-day and two-day professional development programmes including in-school visits
Pasifika Teacher Aide professional learning and development (PTAP) is specifically designed to help Pasifika bilingual teacher aides and any other teacher aide working alongside Pasifika learners in mainstream classrooms. The programme is focussed on approaches and methodologies to support these learners in their language and literacy development and encourage effective utilisation of their first language. Four-day programmes are offered to clusters of schools in the main centres, and two-day programmes are offered to clusters of schools in areas outside the main centres. The clusters consist of up to 10 schools with each school registering up to three teacher aides and one coordinating teacher per school. 

Schools are targeted to participate in these programmes by the Ministry. A range of activities guide this process, including:

  • a check of the number of ESOL funded students in a specific area
  • consultation with Ministry ESOL verifiers, Pasifika advisors, SAFs, ECP advisors, and Regional Offices regarding the PLD needs of this targeted list of schools to confirm that they would benefit from Pasifika-focused professional development.

Following this process, principals from the targeted schools are then asked to complete a registration of interest faxback.

If you have any questions about this professional development, please contact Susan Gamble (09 632 9354).

English Language Assistants professional development programme
The MRIE team has a contract with Auckland UniServices for project director Dr Jannie van Hees to deliver the English Language Assistant (ELA) professional development programme and train selected regional facilitators to deliver the programme throughout New Zealand.

The ELA initiative provides training and professional development workshops for teacher aides/bilingual assistants currently working in schools providing English language support to new learners of English. This highly regarded programme has been delivered to over 300 schools since 2003 throughout New Zealand, and in 2014 is being offered to a cluster of schools in Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin. It has been very positively received by the principals, teachers, and teacher aides who have participated in the programme, all of whom say it has had significant impact on school practices with individual and school wide benefits.

The training programme spans across three terms, consisting of an introductory meeting for principals and co-ordinating teachers, six full-day workshops, six in-school visits, six inter-workshop tasks for the trainee ELAs, and a final evaluation/graduation morning for participants, including a meeting of principals with the Ministry of Education programme manager.

Participant schools are targeted by the Ministry and invited to take part. Identification of potential participants are informed by:

  • a check of the number of ESOL funded students in a specific area 
  • consultation with Ministry ESOL verifiers, SAFs, ECP advisors, Pasifika advisors, and Regional Offices regarding the PLD needs of this targeted list of schools to confirm that they would benefit from English language focussed professional development.

If you have any questions about this professional development, please contact Susan Gamble (09 632 9354).

Updated on: 05 Dec 2013