St Mary’s School – Structured Literacy and Mathematics

Structured Literacy

What is Structured Literacy?

Structured literacy focuses on both How we teach: explicitly, systematically and cumulatively, and what we teach: Phonemic Awareness, Orthography (the spelling system, Morphology, Vocabulary, Syntax and Grammar, giving children the skills, they need to read, spell and write with confidence.

Structured literacy is an approach to teaching reading that is based on the science of reading and years of research into how a child’s brain acquires and processes information. As a result, structured literacy avoids assuming a child will identify or discover patterns in words to efficiently read and spell. Structured literacy hinges on a well-developed, systematic and cumulative curriculum that directly teaches students phonology, sound-symbol association, syllables, morphology, syntax, and semantics in an explicit and diagnostic manner.

What does Structured Literacy look like at St Mary’s Northcote?

At St Mary’s School we follow the scope and sequence of Little Learners Love Literacy (LLLL). LLLL is an Australian program which was brought to New Zealand by Liz Kane, one of New Zealand’s leading education professionals who brought Structured Literacy to New Zealand.

The LLLL program teaches

  • Phonemic awareness and phonics for reading and spelling
  • Morphology for spelling and comprehension
  • Handwriting
  • Vocabulary & oral language skills

Additionally to the LLLL program we also teach spelling using The Code spelling program. The Code is a resource to support teaching Structured Literacy from Year One through to Year Eight. Structured Literacy includes explicit and systematic teaching of phonological awareness, the alphabetic principle, syllable types and morphology, and The Code encompasses these.



Maths — No Problem! is different. Using a mastery approach to learning, MNP is changing the way children learn mathematics. Based on the research of influential educational theorists, maths mastery first gained popularity in Singapore where pupils rank among the highest worldwide in maths education. Now, it’s your child’s turn.

How it works:

  • Structured maths lessons

Lessons build upon previous learning in a spiral structure, revisiting prior concepts to encourage essential connections and deeper understanding.

  • Research-based approach

Children learn using methods proven to help them develop a better understanding of abstract concepts: the CPA approach, bar modelling, journalling.

  • Whole-class teaching

Everyone learns at the same pace, and no one gets left behind. Content is differentiated by depth to support struggling and advanced learners alike.

  • Peer to peer learning Collaboration is key

Children are encouraged to work through problems in pairs or groups, promoting teamwork and building resilience