Better Start Literacy incorporates vocabulary development using quality children’s story books, structured teaching of critical phonological awareness skills and letter-sound knowledge through fun, game-based activities, activities making explicit links to the reading and spelling context, and structured small group reading sessions using the new Ready to Read – Phonics Plus early readers series. The Better Start Literacy Approach follows a phonics scope and sequence that is used in the class and small group reading teaching.
The Better Start Literacy Approach also incorporates carefully designed monitoring assessments focused on critical early skills known influence reading success. This includes letter-sound knowledge, phonological awareness, oral language, word reading and spelling, and connected text tasks, specifically designed to monitor children’s literacy growth in their first year of school, and provide specific direction for teaching at the class and individual level.
Whānau engagement is a critical component of early literacy success. The Better Start Literacy Approach also includes whānau workshop materials and other supporting content such as weekly letters to parents and strengths-based reporting, to facilitate whānau-school partnerships and maximise children’s’ opportunities for early literacy success.
Ministry of Education funding is available for facilitators and teachers to complete the BSLA microcredentials.
Applications for funding through the Ministry of Education for Cohort 7 (starting Term 1 of 2024) opened 27th October 2023 and close 17 November 2023. Schools will be notified of the outcome of their applications by 1st December and successful participants will then need to enrol with the University. Enrolments close for Cohort 7 course 15th December 2023.
For more information on funding, see the Ministry of Education website.