Free Webinar: The Better Start Literacy Approach - A National Success Story Unfolding

19 May 2023

Don’t miss out on this fascinating Webinar showcasing the exciting outcomes of our talented junior school teachers across the country who are implementing a Better Start Literacy Approach.

  • Better Start kids 2

In this week's Paddy Gower Has Issues programme, the Minister of Education strongly endorses the Better Start Literacy Approach developed by Professors Gail Gillon and Brigid McNeill and their team of researchers within the UC Child Well-being Research Institute. Their research informed approach to early literacy instruction is now being implemented in over 800 primary schools across the country. The programme report features Professor McNeill and the successful Better Start literacy Approach.

Free Webinar

Join Professor Gail Gillon and Professor Brigid McNeill from the University of Canterbury and the Better Start National Science Challenge to hear about their latest data highlighting the success of the Better Start Literacy Approach.

Data from over 16,000 5-year-old children who have been receiving the Better Start Literacy Approach across all regions in New Zealand will be shared. The data suggest when junior class teachers and literacy specialists are well supported through quality professional learning and development they are rapidly developing children’s foundational skills in areas critical for reading, writing and oral language success.

The data highlight how the Better Start Literacy Approach is working for children from diverse backgrounds and across socio-economic groupings. Māori and Pasifika tamariki as well as children who are English Language Learners are showing a strong response to Better Start Literacy Approach teaching.

Co-hosts for the webinar Jen Smith (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi) UC Senior Lecturer in Māori Education and Dr Susie Stevens (UC Senior Lecturer, Child Well-being Research Institute and School of Teacher Education) will interview Prof Gillon and Prof McNeill. The interview style will ensure the data can be shared with a wide audience. Teachers, researchers, whānau, community leaders and all those interested in uplifting children’s early literacy achievement will enjoy this webinar.

Dallas Wichman (Principal St Anne’s School, Christchurch) will comment on the data from his leadership perspective.

Mark Tulia (MoE Pasifika programme co-ordinator, Advisor to Science Challenge Pasifika research engagement) will also provide commentary on the data

Questions can be posed during the webinar and leaders within our Better Start Literacy Approach Team including Dr Amy Scott, Dr Megan Gath, and Dr Andy Vosslamber will all be poised to help answer your questions.

Click here to register: limited to 1000 registrations.

Date:   Tuesday 30 May

75minute Webinar: 3.30pm to 4.45pm 


For more information contact:

Sally Hundleby
Institute Manager

Media contact:

  • Email: Ph: (03) 369 3631 or 027 503 0168
Earthquakes can change the course of rivers – with devastating results. We may n

Earthquakes can change the course of rivers – with devastating results

On The Conversation UC PhD student Erin McEwan discusses her new research to determine how floods and earthquakes can occur at the same time.

UC Connect

UC talk: Could nutrition help solve the mental health crisis?

What if we’re looking for solutions to mental health problems in some of the wrong places? What if we changed what we eat and how we feed our brains?