Learning Support

St Mary’s is committed to ensuring every child is able to learn and progress in the breadth and depth of the New Zealand Curriculum. We track and monitor the learning of all students and particularly those with high learning, health and behaviour needs. We work closely with all families whose children are identified as having extra needs that may impact their learning.

As well as liaising closely with the Ministry of Education and other learning support services, we also run a number of support programmes within school. These are funded by both the school and the Ministry of Education and are responsive to the particular needs of our learners.

Reading Recovery

We have a part time Reading Recovery teacher who works in the junior school each morning. She works 1:1 with individual students for a ten week period. This intensive reading support program has had great success in supporting Year Two learners to make accelerated progress in their reading.


The Quick60 programme is a prevention / intervention program designed to bring groups of up to five struggling students to the expected curriculum level for their age in reading in 60 quick lessons or fewer. We have a number of Quick 60 groups running for learners from Year Two to Year Four.

Early Words

Early Words is a programme of one-on-one systematic five minute word-focused lessons. During the five minute lesson, children are taught, or retaught, a high frequency word at both word and sentence level. A teacher aide runs the Early Words programme in our junior classes four days per week. This is 1:1 support for learners who are identified as needing extra literacy support.


A teacher aide runs phonics groups in the junior school four days per week with learners identified by classroom teachers. They work through the Yolanda Soryl phonics programme.

“Children with phonological awareness are aware of the sounds in speech. They have the ability to hear and discriminate the sounds around them. They can hear rhythm, rhyme and alliteration and understand that spoken words have parts.” Yolanda Soryl


A teacher aide runs maths support groups across the school four days per week with learners identified by classroom teachers as needing support in their maths learning.