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Ministry of Education.

Dyslexia resource kete

These resources promote a range of options for helping students living with dyslexia to learn in ways that work best for them. They will support dyslexic learners to be recognised and to access the curriculum through reasonable accommodations. Over time, further resources will be made available to support neurodiverse learners.

About Dyslexia – Supporting Literacy in the Classroom

This resource is for teachers, learning support coordinators, literacy leaders and school leaders in primary and secondary schools with students who show signs of dyslexia. About Dyslexia supports the teaching and learning of literacy, and provides practical, strengths-based approaches for:

  • identifying students who show signs of dyslexia
  • planning targeted teaching strategies that support literacy learning
  • building supports, accommodations, and modifications into learning programmes to reduce barriers to learning and cognitive overload
  • establishing a whole-school approach to understanding and meeting the needs of learners who may have dyslexia.

This update replaces the Ministry of Education’s 2008 About Dyslexia resource, with a greater emphasis on practical strategies and approaches for educators to respond effectively to learners with dyslexia.

All schools, Resource Teachers Literacy and Learning Support Co-coordinators (LSCs) have been sent a copy of About Dyslexia: Supporting Literacy in the Classroom to help support children and young people living with dyslexia, and ultimately lift their literacy outcomes.

How to support a child with dyslexia

This Ministry of Education page provides information on how parents and whānau can support their child at home and at school. It gives guidance for identifying the signs that a child might have dyslexia, practical tips for helping at home, how school can help; who they can talk to and seek support from, and how to actively take part in their child’s learning.     

Tīpaopao: Dyslexia – Māori medium

Tīpaopao – Kauwhata Reo

The Tīpaopao brochure is an introductory resource for supporting ākonga with dyslexia in Māori medium settings. It contains key ideas and strategies (including a learning support plan) that teachers, whānau, and support personnel can use to enhance learning conditions for children who may have specific literacy needs in Māori medium. It is supported by two videos outlining effective literacy teaching and support in Māori medium kura.

All kura and kohanga reo in Māori medium settings will receive the Tīpaopao resource. This useful resource has been designed to raise awareness and understanding of tīpaopao (dyslexia) for kaiako and whānau.

Tools for identifying dyslexia

The New Zealand Dyslexia Handbook has been selected to be used as an interim tool for monitoring learners’ progress while further, more comprehensive resources to support all learners are developed. The handbook provides various assessments suitable to use in identifying dyslexic-type traits, as well as other underlying issues in literacy progress. All schools, Resource Teachers Literacy and Learning Support Co-coordinators (LSCs) have been sent a copy of the New Zealand Dyslexia Handbook.

There will be further work to develop:

  • tools to assist with the early identification of dyslexic-type traits
  • school entry assessments and learner profiles
  • resources to map progress across the curriculum.

Non-Ministry resources to support students

A selection of non-Ministry resources that can be used to support ākonga with dyslexia are listed below. Please note that teacher input is necessary with all software as dyslexic children require responsive, sounds-based teaching that is delivered by someone who can listen to and respond to their errors and identify the reasons for their errors.

These resources were reviewed in 2022 against criteria that were developed in consultation with a range of dyslexia stakeholders. The kete will be periodically reviewed to ensure that the resources continue to meet the criteria.

This selection of resources is not exhaustive. We know there are many other high-quality resources that benefit learners with dyslexia in the market. You can use the review criteria to assess resources that have not been included in this selection.

Recommended resources

Agility with Sound and Wordchain

Agility with Sound

Audience: Teachers

Years: 4–10

Description: A structured approach to literacy with decodable books for older students. Can be used with 1:1 interventions, small groups, or as a whole class activity. Organised into eight levels, each kit contains a teacher manual, decodable readers, and practical material for teaching activities. Learners progress through levels at their own pace. From the Agility with Sound website, access:

  • Free assessment tool – use to determine the appropriate start for each learner
  • Scope and sequence – describes the content and skills to be taught and the order to teach them; this aligns with the levels in each kit 

Wordchain is recommended for use in conjunction with Agility with Sound for practice and reinforcement.


Audience: Teachers, students

Years: 2–10

Description: Wordchain is a series of online learning games for reinforcing phonological skills through word building and phoneme manipulation. The games are designed for use with Agility with Sound but can be used as a standalone support within a literacy programme. Originally designed as a series of apps which run on iOS and Android devices, from February 2022, Wordchain for the Web enables users to access the games via a browser from any device and save progress. Wordchain for the Web uses a browser-based admin platform that allows educators or parents to monitor progress, set recommended levels and other preferences, and group students. Demonstration versions of all the Wordchains are on the website.

The New Zealand Dyslexia Handbook

The New Zealand Dyslexia Handbook

Audience: Classroom teachers, SENCOs, LSCs, school-based intervention teachers working with learners who have dyslexia, and parents

Years: 1–13 

Description: Practical, researched approaches for teaching school-aged learners with dyslexia. A range of assessments are included to identify learning needs and monitor progress, along with lesson plans and printable resources. Accompanying videos that demystify dyslexia and illustrate practical classroom approaches for teachers are accessible from NZCER. The text aims to bridge the gap between research on dyslexia and school and community understanding.

iDeaL Learning Approach

iDeaL Learning Approach | Learning Matters

Audience: Classroom teachers, SENCOs, LSCs, and school-based intervention teachers

Years: 0–8

Description: This online teaching and learning platform provides educators with the knowledge, appropriate assessments, reporting systems, and multisensory resources to explicitly teach foundation literacy skills using a systematic and cumulative evidence-based approach. It is for use in both mainstream classes and intervention settings.

Leap into Literacy

Leap into Literacy | Learning Matters

Audience: Parents, classroom teachers

Years: 0–8

Description: These 12 freely accessible videos describe “bite sized” and practical foundational literacy skills and activities based on the Building Blocks of Reading Success. They were developed to support learning at home. It is recommended that the videos are viewed in the progressive order that they are listed. Each video has supporting resources available through the Learning Matters website.

Phonics Handbook

Phonics Handbook | Tom Nicholson

Audience: Classroom teachers, SENCOs, LSCs, and school-based intervention teachers

Years: 1–13

Description: Taking a phonological approach, the book is set out in the form of lesson plans for teaching phonics skills sequentially. It begins with the basic alphabet sounds through to blends, digraphs, syllable breaking, and decoding Latin and Greek words. Each lesson is followed by a worksheet for students.

Diagnostic assessments of phoneme awareness, basic decoding skills, word reading, spelling, writing, and attitudes to learning are included. Teachers can use these assessments to establish learner needs and evaluate whether teaching has been successful at the end of the programme.

Additional teaching strategies are given to reinforce spelling and assist reading comprehension. Strategies for students experiencing learning difficulties and information on reporting to parents are included, incorporating research on effective tutoring methods.

Sort Out Your Syllables

Sort Out Your Syllables | Joy Allcock

Audience: Classroom teachers, SENCOs, LSCs, and school-based intervention teachers

Years: 5–13

Description: Use Sort Out Your Syllables for teaching ākonga how to decode, pronounce, and spell multisyllabic words using their knowledge of phonemes and the alphabetic code. The resource consists of a teacher manual, a student practice book, and a desktop card/poster of English vowel patterns.  

The programme starts with two short assessments that identify the gaps in skills for reading and spelling unfamiliar multisyllabic words, followed by a series of 10-minute lessons that have been designed to close the gaps. The strategies are designed to make it easier for ākonga to read and write multisyllabic words, which in turn promotes growth in reading and writing.

Sound Walls for Aotearoa

Sound Walls for Aotearoa | Emma Nahana, Sound Foundations for Literacy

Audience: Classroom teachers, SENCOs, LSCs, and school-based intervention teachers

Years: 0–13+

Description: A sound wall supports learners to connect speech with print, helping them make sense of the alphabetic code they are working in. This resource supports the teaching and learning of NZ English and te reo Māori speech sounds (phonemes), and the letters (graphemes) used to represent them in writing.   

The teacher manual explains how to use sound walls effectively to:

  • help learners identify and discriminate between phonemes
  • feel and see the articulatory movements when saying the phonemes
  • see and write the corresponding graphemes. 

The resource can be used for classroom teaching and tier 2 and tier 3 interventions. 


StepsWeb | The Learning Staircase

Audience: Classroom teachers, school-based intervention teachers, parents

Years: 0–13/Adult

Description: StepsWeb is an online programme designed to support literacy learning. It can be used with the whole class, groups, or individuals with specific learning needs, such as dyslexia. A support site provides information and guidance for using StepsWeb and some specific information about supporting dyslexic learners using StepsWeb.

Diagnostic assessments and screening tests are provided for identifying learner needs, where to begin in StepsWeb scope and sequence, and to measure progress.

StepsWeb has its own detailed scope and sequence.

StepsWeb is customisable – individual activities and resources can be used to reinforce any research-based literacy approach. Teachers can create and customise their own chosen literacy progression and schools are able to build entire banks of resources specifically for their school.

The StepsWeb programme includes individual workbooks and printable resources and games. It is strongly recommended that Foundation Level learners and older learners who are struggling with literacy are on the workbooks as well as the online activities. Boxed sets of supporting games are available for group teaching with higher-need learners.

The Code

The Code | Liz Kane Literacy

Audience: Classroom teachers, SENCOs, LSCs, RTLits, RTLBs, and school-based intervention teachers

Years: 1–8

Description: The Code provides a systematic and cumulative literacy approach for teaching spelling. It includes: 

  • assessments in both Phonological Awareness and Spelling to identify areas that require explicit teaching
  • tracking sheets for these assessments to record initial data and monitor student progress
  • a scope and sequence beginning with the initial code and progressing to the more complex code
  • lists for each year level that have an explanation/definition to support explicit teaching
  • a lesson sequence with examples of lessons for each year group
  • multisensory teaching activities.

Updated on: 03 Jul 2023