Better Start Literacy at Rangikura School in Years 1 - 3

LEARNING TO READ ​​​​​​​in the Junior School -

New Entrants to Year 3

At Rangikura School in 2022 we are implementing the Structured Literacy Approach within our New Entrant to Year 3 classrooms. This is because we want to support every child with the ability to read, and to read well and to develop a love of reading.

Learning to read is a complex skill. When we learn to read we need to develop our ability to 'crack the code'. This means children need to understand the alphabet through gaining knowledge of letters and their related sounds. Once a child understands this, they are able to apply this knowledge to words by blending the sounds together.

Better Start Literacy: Structured Literacy

New Entrant/Year 1: All children starting at Rangikura School will be part of the Better Start Literacy Approach. We believe that in order for our children to become successful readers we need to support the children’s understanding of letter-sounds and how to use these to decode words. The children are supported with this by learning within small structured reading groups with their teacher. This approach has been developed in New Zealand by a team of experienced researchers from the University of Canterbury, following years of research on the best ways to support children’s early reading, writing and oral language success. In class the children have the opportunity to share exciting story books, poems and rhymes as well as learning to play games that will support and develop the children’s understanding of sounds within words.


Year 1/2/3: Many of our early readers within Year 1 - 3 will be working with both the Ready to Read Phonics books or the Sunshine decodable readers. These are books that only include words that the children can decode (sound-out) according to the skills they have been taught. This ensures the child is given the opportunity to practice their phonics (letter and sound) skills and be successful in their ability to read the words on the page.


Your child will not bring home a book every night to read however there are many ways to support your child's early reading development

  • Read picture books together and talk about the story

  • Practice reading the poem that child brings home.

  • There may be a sound/letter of the week sent home with your child to practice.

  • Having library books read with them.