Reading Recovery

Boy in reading recovery

Reading Recovery is an effective early literacy intervention funded by the Ministry of Education. It is designed to significantly reduce the number of children with literacy difficulties in schools.

Reading Recovery provides daily one to one teaching with a specially trained teacher for children making the slowest progress in literacy learning after a year at school. It is supplementary to classroom instruction.

See the Reading Recovery New Zealand website

What is Reading Recovery?

Reading Recovery is a well-researched, effective early literacy intervention. It operates in many New Zealand primary schools and is supported and funded by the Ministry of Education.

Reading Recovery:

  • can dramatically reduce the number of children having reading and writing difficulties in a school
  • provides a second chance for six year old children who are not getting underway with literacy learning
  • provides individual, daily intensive teaching for the lowest achieving readers and writers in a school at six years of age
  • lifts children’s achievement in a short time to an average level with their classroom cohort
  • builds on each child’s strengths through individually designed lessons
  • affects change across a series of lessons according to individual needs of children.

Why does it work?

Reading Recovery works because:

  • highly trained teachers work intensively with individual children each school day
  • lessons are planned to build on the knowledge and strengths of each child.

Training Teachers in Reading Recovery

When selecting a training teacher there are some expectations around what is required for this to happen.

  • A teacher with several years of recent, successful, junior school experience is the ideal trainee. Give us your best teacher and we will give you the very best Reading Recovery teacher.
  • The training time is 0.44 of a full time teacher equivalent. (The teacher is expected to teach four children in Reading Recovery daily and to attend fortnightly in-service training sessions.)
  • The training takes a full school year.

We have training groups in Christchurch every year. Training is on the West Coast in 2018 and planned for South Canterbury in 2019 and Blenheim in 2020.

Literacy Seminar - Do we pay enough attention to structure

This seminar will focus on the need to teach for shifts in control of oral language. We will consider why language structure is so critical for early literacy learning and some factors that might lead us to underestimate its importance – or neglect it in our teaching.  We will also explore how we can use Reading Recovery teaching procedures to foster better access to structural information in reading and writing.

Guest Presenter: Dr Ann Ballantyne

Ann has been involved with Reading Recovery for 30 years as a teacher, Tutor and Reading Recovery Trainer. She has worked in New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and in several American universities, mostly recently as the Director of the Reading Recovery project at New York University. Ann’s research interests include child development, literacy and education policy formation and change.

Who is this for?

Reading Recovery Teachers and Primary School Educators. (Currently practicing Reading Recovery Teachers will have priority placement for the seminar when they register)


Friday 1st June 2018

9.30 am – 12.30 pm


Free for currently practicing Reading Recovery Teachers, $100 for any other Educators

Registrations closed.


Funding for Reading Recovery Teachers

Applications for Reading Recovery funding for the following year are received at the Ministry of Education Regional Office by the end of Term 3 each year. For application forms and more information visit the TKI website

Reading Recovery Tutors

Reading Recovery Tutors are skilled literacy practitioners who train Reading Recovery teachers and provide ongoing professional development and support for trained teachers. Our Tutors support the Canterbury, West Coast, Tasman, Nelson and Marlborough Regions.

Reading Recovery Tutors:

  • consult with and advise Reading Recovery school teams on matters affecting the quality of school’s Reading Recovery implementation
  • have an educative role in the community and liaise with other literacy professionals
  • teach individual children with literacy difficulties
  • belong to national and international Reading Recovery communities.

The Observation Survey and Running Records

If your staff would like professional development around The Observation Survey or Running Records please contact one of the Tutors. Reading Recovery Tutors provide this on a school by school basis for years 1 to 3 classroom teachers.

Each year Reading Recovery Tutors hold seminar days for The Observation Survey and Running Records. Schools are notified of this opportunity by email.


Raylene Sutherland

Reading Recovery Tutor
Reading Recovery Centre-29 Tower St Hornby
Internal Phone: 92122

Ngahiraka Marsh

Reading Recovery Tutor
Reading Recovery Centre-29 Tower St Hornby
Internal Phone: 92123

Ali Alder

Reading Recovery Tutor
Reading Recovery Centre Nelson - Victory School
Internal Phone: 95071