Literacy Programmes

Reading Recovery

Students are tested at 6 years and some students are selected for our Reading Recovery programme.  This is an intensive short-term daily programme, taken by a specialist teacher, Alison Tannock. Generally this intervention early in a child’s schooling achieves and maintains normal levels of progress. Reading Recovery is in addition to the normal classroom programme, and there is a close consultation between the Reading Recovery teacher, parents, and the classroom teacher.

Rainbow Reading

This CD Assisted Reading Programme is for children at Kilbirnie School in the Matairangi and Whataitai Hubs. 

This programme targets children who demonstrate developed skills as readers and are ready to target increased speed and fluency as their next learning step. The children focus on these skills by reading along to audio recordings of high interest fiction and non-fiction stories. They also work through reading comprehension activities. Children attend ½ hour sessions four times a week on a term by term basis.


Smartwords is a spelling support programme for senior children at Kilbirnie School (rooms 7, 8, 9, and 10). This programme is for those who we believe would benefit from a weekly intensive session of spelling, punctuation, and grammar activities in a small group situation.  

Each child has their own workbook that they complete during their weekly session. 

The children focus on strategies to thoughtfully attempt unknown words as well as increasing their bank of known spelling words. Each week the students work with a group of words that feature a different spelling pattern or blend of letters. The words will become their spelling words for the week.  The children work on the programme once a week for approximately 1 hour.  

This programme is most successful when students work consistently for an extended period. They are likely to work on Smartwords throughout the year.


The STEPS programme is for ages 6 years and up. It is a New Zealand based and designed computer based programme that has activity books for the various levels. Children can be selected from all school areas and are supported by the teacher and/or a teaching assistant. Although the programme was designed with dyslexic learners in mind, all children enjoy using and learning through this media.