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The self-review tool is one the review tools designed by schools in collaboration with the MOE to support schools to better understand what they need to achieve and what they should focus on next.
The Ministry of Education is working to implement government policy around setting National Standards for literacy in primary and intermediate schools. All English and Māori-medium schools are using National Standards from 2010. National Standards aim to lift achievement in literacy (reading and writing) by being clear about what students should achieve and by when. This is intended to help students, their teachers, parents, families and whānau better understand what they need to achieve and what they should focus on next.
Information about student performance against the National Standards will not, by itself, lead to improvement in literacy achievement. In order for literacy performance data to drive improvement, it must be built into a broader inquiry cycle that considers learning needs; learning tasks and experiences; teaching approaches, tools and additional support; analysis of their impact; and use of these insights to inform improvements and then focus further inquiry. Each of these elements appears in the inquiry cycle that is already familiar to many New Zealand educators Figure 1).
The tools developed here are designed to be used alongside the various self-review tools currently available to teachers and schools. In particular, some schools may need an intensive inquiry process focusing specifically on students achieving below curriculum expectations in literacy and how well it meets their needs; these tools will help facilitate that inquiry.
Literacy leaders from three schools in the Auckland region worked with literacy facilitators, evaluation specialists and literacy experts from the Ministry of Education to develop a set of user-friendly tools for evaluative inquiry, conduct some initial field testing and consider what else would need to sit around the tools to make them maximally useful and practical for schools.