Reading Recovery

Reading Recovery is just one of Owairoa Primary School’s teaching programmes for students who require extra individual teaching.
Reading Recovery provides intensive individual help to children who are not making the expected progress in Reading and Writing after one year at school. The programme has two main purposes:
To accelerate a student’s progress in reading and writing so they can work at the appropriate level after about 12 – 20 weeks on the programme
To identify students who will require further intensive support beyond the short term Reading Recovery intervention.
 All pupils at Owairoa are assessed by the Assistant Principal after they have had one year at school. Pupils who would benefit from Reading Recovery are put into the programme as soon as a place is available.
It is a highly regarded programme which originated in New Zealand and is available in many New Zealand schools and around the world. Students have an individual lesson for half an hour every day. Reading Recovery teachers undertake a one year training programme in accelerated teaching techniques.
It is a very expensive but very effective programme. The costs are funded by Owairoa Primary School by fund raising. 

Literacy Programmes

Reading and Mathematics Support Programmes
have been established to assist children who are achieving below expected levels. 
These programmes are unique to Owairoa Primary School.
The Reading and Mathematics Support Programmes have been very successful at helping those children who lack self-esteem, have switched off their learning, lack focus, or feel like they are failing.
How can the Reading or Mathematics Support Programme
help your child?
  • Your child will be carefully assessed by a Specialist teacher.
  • Each child on the programme works at a level where they can succeed.
  • The next learning steps are identified and strategies are put in place to help achieve what is to be learnt. 
  • Your child has the advantage of working in a small group with a Specialist teacher.
  • Specific resources to assist learning are provided as part of the programme.
  • Progress is carefully monitored by the Specialist Teacher. 
  • A strong link between home and school is established where the child, the parent/s and teacher work together as a team to achieve the required learning.
  • Parents are given step by step guidance by the Specialist Teacher to ensure home learning has a positive and successful outcome.

The Reading and Mathematics Support Programmes successfully help children to:

  • gain confidence
  • improve self-esteem
  • become active learners

ESOL Support

The ESOL programme at Owairoa is vibrant and alive!

Our programme targets speakers of other languages - students who enter school and who are unable to speak any English, or have limited English language skills.  It may take anywhere from six months to two years to develop Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills.  Although a child may learn to communicate in English very quickly and 'know' many words, it can take up to six years for them to obtain full understanding of academic English. 

Students work in small groups, on a class by class basis, with one 45 minute lesson per week for Year 1 and 2, and two 45 minute lessons for Years 3 - 6.

The focus for all children is on oracy:
  • communicating in English
  • learning to express their ideas in English
  • learning to have a conversation
  • learning to understand and follow directions
  • to give and receive information/exchange ideas


There are two teaching rooms -  a small one for Year 1 and 2, where children can feel secure, mix readily with each other and share ideas easily and a larger one with desks and more space suitable to meet the needs of senior students for Year 3 - 6.  Children have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities - puppets, role plays, mime, creative tasks, and research activities, all of which will enhance and extend their knowledge of the English language.

The school environment has many areas of interest for the children to visit. This encourages them to have real 'hands on' experiences and to develop an awareness of what is happening in the world around them. Other experiential learning activities provide a wonderful opportunity to extend their vocabulary by learning and using new words.


International Day is an annual event here at Owairoa Primary School, where students have the opportunity to celebrate their own culture. All students are invited to dress in their national costume or in something in a colour which represents the country they identify with.
All students have the opportunity to make a flag and can wave this proudly in the 'grand parade' around the school grounds. All students then have the opportunity to participate in a concert to showcase music, dance and other items from their ‘other’ country.