Waitākere College Tuakana Reading Programme

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Waitākere College aims to offer challenging, innovative and future-focused programmes

Many Year 9 and 10 students at Waitākere College are struggling with literacy, and reading is a challenge for them. Findings show that this is partly due to their lack of fun and engaging books growing up, and a dislike for reading out loud. Over time this has compounded resulting in poor literacy skills overall. The same students who struggle with literacy are also very committed to supporting whānau - particularly their younger siblings and cousins.

This tuakana approach to reading with younger family members, is also a way to introduce more books and positive reading experiences across the whānau.

Teachers began to wonder what might happen if they sent some fun and engaging children’s books home with students so that they could read these to their siblings and cousins. The whakaaro behind this idea was to enable students to experience fun reading in a safe environment so that their confidence and desire for reading would increase. The idea was discussed with students first who were very positive about it and so it got underway with limited resources but lots of enthusiasm.

The partnership with EPIT is enabling more books, and more student involvement along with the support and means to track progress and build sustainability into the programme.

Impact for equity

  • Students experience the pleasure of reading and gain confidence in this
  • Students improve in their knowledge of the structure of language and skills in reading and literacy 
  • Younger whānau members have access to more books and experience the pleasure of reading 
  • Whānau learn more about early literacy and how to support children in this

About the organisation

Waitākere College is a secondary school in West Auckland with approximately 1500 students. Focused on serving the community, Waitākere aims to offer challenging, innovative and future-focused programmes to raise the levels of achievement for a diverse student population. The school vision is expressed in the three strands of the school logo Aroha (love), Manawanui (perseverance) and Mātauranga (knowledge).

Nischal Chakravarthy
12 September 2023
min read

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