Te aromihi pouako e puta ai ngā ihu o ngā ākonga Māori

Self-review tool for schools: Focus on students achieving below curriculum expectations in literacy (years 1–8): Rubric 9

This self-review tool (Davidson, Borell, and Kaiwai, 2009) supports schools in using the inquiry cycle to meet the literacy needs of struggling readers and writers more effectively. It was developed by a team of literacy experts and tested in an exploratory study involving four Auckland schools.


The tool consists of a manual with 10 rubrics. It allows schools to evaluate how well their literacy approaches and strategies are meeting the needs of their struggling literacy learners. Each rubric has six levels for schools to use to rate their current performance. The rubrics prompt “conversations that matter” about the needs and progress of struggling readers and writers. These are conversations in which teachers and leaders reflect on their practice and on how they can make a better difference for students with the highest literacy needs.

The suggestions for using the tool emphasise the importance of taking an inquiry approach, which means that schools should not take a lock-step approach to working through the rubrics. The developers do, however, recommend beginning with Rubric 9: Accelerated progress in literacy for struggling readers and writers. Two supplementary documents, a Quick Start Guide and Frequently Asked Questions, provide support for this starting point. They state:

This will give your school a clear picture of how it’s doing overall and how urgent and serious any shortfalls might be. It’s probably the most important conversation needed to get the inquiry ball going.

pages 5 and 6

The manual includes (at the back) interview protocols and interview questions to help users include the perspectives of all those with a stake in the process: the literacy team, classroom teachers, parents, caregivers, whānau, and the students themselves.

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