Reading and writing are the cornerstone of education at St Mary’s School. We have a strong phonics approach, using programmes such as Yolanda Sorryl and Jolly Phonics for Years 0-4. Across the year levels you will find assessment for learning based grouping, goal focused workshops, cross curricular and mixed ability groups. We have a shared focus on the importance of oral language and writing for a purpose with a clear understanding of language choices and how it relates to the audience. Online resources support digital learning and comprehension such as Sunshine Classics and ePlatform. We also seek to extend our seniors through GATE opportunities such as the NZ Lit Quiz groups where students participate in targeted reading programmes. Our goal is to create a life-long love of reading and writing for our future focused learners.
As St Mary’s Catholic School we’re passionate about reading and this is evident in our library. We run events for Roald Dahl’s birthday, celebrate poetry week with a school wide poetry writing competition and run competitions such as ‘Guess The Winner’ for the NZ Children’s Book Awards in August 2020. We have participated in the What Now Kids Pick book awards via online voting and regularly update our catalogues with best selling and award winning children’s books from around the world.
Our students have a voice in the selection of our books and the running of our library. Our dedicated team of student librarians help to create events and keep our library humming during lunchtimes on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays. Our library is a vibrant hub for reading and indoor games like draughts and chess.
Our passion for reading is perhaps most evident in the NZ Children’s Lit Quiz which will be held for the third year at our school in Term 3, 2021. We host this event and over 24 teams from Auckland schools compete for the trophy and book prizes. Our school also invites in guest authors to speak at this event, something we have also done during our much loved Book Week.
We also use an online library platform to supplement our physical library - Wheelers e-platform. Students are given logins by their teachers at the start of the year.
Lit Quiz 2019
Author Visit - Heather Haylock
Little Library User
Matariki in the Library
Book Week is the highlight of our literary calendar. You can expect to find:
Author and/or illustrator workshops
Our impressive book character parade
The Scholastic Book Fair running in the library
‘Read arounds’ between buddy classes and in-class activities supporting the week’s events such as making bookmarks and more.
Our much loved Grandparents’ mass, encouraging our wider friends and whanau to celebrate the book parade with us.