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.

Literacy support

In each hub, we have allocated a teacher aide during literacy blocks. With teacher guidance, the teacher aide supports or stretches learners under the umbrella of structured literacy. The teacher aide usually works with small groups of children in the hub or classroom space, to reinforce the learning that is happening in literacy with the teacher. Small groups will take place at the same time as literacy is being taught by the teacher. As such the children have access to both teacher and teacher aide time each lesson.


A teacher aide runs maths support groups across the school five days per week. Learners who attend the support groups are identified by classroom teachers, depending on their maths learning needs.

The Perceptual Motor Programme (PMP)

The PMP programme is a language based, developmental programme catering for the needs of Year 0/1 children.

It helps children to refine gross motor skills to prepare the brain for formal classroom learning. Through movement it develops motor skills that are related to the child’s own needs, in the areas of eye/hand, eye/foot coordination, locomotion and balance and fitness (including stamina, flexibility, and strength).

English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) Programme

The main focus of the ESOL support programme is on developing language and written skills for children for whom English is a second or other language. The skills taught include; sentence structure and cohesion, oral language skills, listening skills (including working memory and attention) and language features. The ESOL teacher designs her programme around the learning that is taking place in hubs across the school.