Rotokauri School - Values: Persistence, Resilience, Integrity, Diversity, and Excellence - Vision: Together We Grow: Unity, Inclusive, and Guardianship; Together We Learn: Innovative, Happy, and Responsible. - Mission: Our positive environment will engage us all in learning


Reading Recovery


Reading Recovery is an effective early literacy intervention 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.

Reading Recovery is supported and significantly funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Education as part of the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy.

Developed in New Zealand, Reading Recovery is now widely implemented in English speaking countries throughout the world.


Raising literacy achievement

The aim of Reading Recovery is to prevent literacy difficulties at an early stage before they begin to affect a child's educational progress. Providing extra assistance to the lowest achievers after one year at school, it operates as an effective prevention strategy against later literacy difficulties. Nationally, it may be characterized as an insurance against low literacy levels.

For many different reasons the range of literacy achievement in any class, at any age level, varies widely. Effective implementation of Reading Recovery will reduce the spread of literacy achievement that any teacher has to deal with, and so improve the effectiveness of classroom teaching in the primary school. Reading Recovery is nationally implemented and monitored by the Ministry of Education. This monitoring demonstrates that it can be delivered reliably and consistently, with high levels of success and low numbers of children needing longer-term assistance.

A second chance Reading Recovery provides children beginning to fall behind in reading and writing a second chance. It identifies those children having difficulty early, before problems become consolidated, and provides specialised one-to-one assistance from a teacher trained in Reading Recovery procedures. Appropriate learning can be established in a short time.

Reading Recovery teacher training ensures that a school has expert assistance available to provide intensive, individual help, for the few children not making satisfactory progress. The intervention provides for a series of daily individual lessons, additional to the classroom programme, which continues for about 12 to 20 weeks determined by individual rates of learning. Schools decide whether to implement Reading Recovery and how many teachers they need.


At Rotokauri School, Mrs Glenda Strong takes Reading Recovery every day with 2 children (depends on funding).   She is a qualified Reading Recovery teacher who is employed every day from 11.30am – 12.30pm.

The children are identified through the 6 year net/running record. The reading recovery teacher, (in consultation if necessary with SENCO, junior team leader) will make the final decision of who will be selected for the programme based on the results.

The reading recovery teacher will communicate with the families and keep them up to speed about the programme and what their role at home will be to support the child.

The reading recovery teacher will communicate regularly with the classroom teacher of the children involved in the programme.

The reading recovery teacher will also keep the SENCO informed and will touch base regularly.

If you have a child in your class that is on the programme it is imperative that you communicate with the reading recovery teacher regularly because the new skills and knowledge a child gains from the programme should transfer in to the classroom.


Information you can give to Parents/Caregivers about Reading Recovery


Reading Recovery is an early literacy intervention that provides trained one to one teaching for children who have made slow progress learning to read and write in their first year of school. Most New Zealand schools provide this catch-up opportunity. Children's reading and writing is assessed close to their sixth birthday and the lowest scoring children come in to Reading Recovery as soon as a space is available. If you are concerned about the progress your six-year-old child is making as they learn to read and write talk with your child's teachers and school.

Why does my child need Reading Recovery? There are many reasons why a child may find reading and writing difficult at first. The children taken into Reading Recovery are those who have made least progress relative to their classmates. With one to one teaching children make faster progress because the teacher can design the lessons to suit a particular child's strengths.

How does it work? Your child will be taught in a one to one situation with a specially trained teacher for 30 minutes every day for a period of about 12-20 weeks, depending on how long is needed. In each day's lesson they will write a story and read many little books. Most children catch up quickly with the average level of their class. A small number of children are identified for further assessment and ongoing specialist help.

What can I do to help my child? 

School Attendence: Daily lessons are essential for children who have found literacy learning hard.  In Reading Recovery each day’s lesson builds on the learning of the day before so it is very important that your child attends school every day.

Home support:  After the first few lessons the teacher will begin to send home some easy books for independent reading.  By taking an interest in and discussing what your child is reading you will provide valuable extra support.  The teacher may also send home an envelope containing a cut-up version of the story your child has written that day.  It is helpful if your child puts the story together at home and reads it.

What is a Reading Recovery lesson like?

What is a Reading Recovery lesson like?

The lesson is divided into four areas

  • Reading for Fluency

These book are books that have been read in previous lessons. They can be books of the same level or slightly lower levels. They should be easy, fluent and read with phrasing and expression. One of these books becomes their homework and provides an opportunity for them to ‘show off’ at how good they are.

Another book is the new book that was read the previous day. The re-reading of this book is for the teacher to take a running record for further teaching, monitor progress and to see if the child is ready to move up another reading level.

  • Letter Identification

The goal is to develop fast recognition of letters and to develop fast searching skills to look for letters they know. Using alternate hands they have to sort magnetic letters into maybe groups of the same colour, or tall letters, tail letters, little letters, capital letters saying the letter name as they go. With fast recognition of letters, reading and writing letters becomes more automatic enabling children to process reading and writing faster. This section of the lesson can also be used to consolidate writing letters correctly and to develop word building skills.

  • Writing

Here, their sentence structure and word knowledge are develop.  Previous learnt words are consolidated and the link between reading and writing is emphasised. After pupil-teacher discussion sentences to be written are composed. Before writing the teacher and child talk about what the goal will be. From the evaluation of the previous day’s story goals are set and then re-evaluated when finished.  Strategies to solve words are shown and used, and new words are learnt. The sentence is then written on a strip of paper which is cut up into individual words and parts, as the child reads it. The child then puts it back together quickly and accurately. This activity consolidates their learning that has taken place in their writing, develops their fluency as well as building self-checking skills. This is then becomes homework for the child to glue back together in their homework book. The new word learnt in their sentence also becomes a word to learn for homework. Research has proven that the more new learning is repeated the greater chance of it becoming part of their long term memory.

  • Reading a new book.

The new book should provide just enough challenge but still be relatively easy. This will become the running record book the following day. On this second reading it should be more fluent and easier. The following day the same book becomes their fluency book, which should contain few errors, be phrased and fluent with expression. This then becomes their homework book.

While reading, previously learnt strategies are practised and new ones learnt for greater independence. Learning to recognise the punctuation marks and use them to read with expression is also covered. Prior to reading the new book, the teacher will introduce the book using words that the child will meet in the story and to foster an understanding of the story before they read it.


             You are encouraged to visit the school and see how your child and their teacher work together in a Reading Recovery lesson.  It is usual to wait a couple of weeks before visiting so that the teacher and child have got used to working with one another.  You are welcome to discuss your child’s progress at any time during their series of lessons.  Your interest and support will help your child make good progress in Reading Recovery.