Taranaki kids score better in reading

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 28/07/2014

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Taranaki pupils are reading better than their peers but are slightly behind in numeracy and writing.

Data published by the Public Achievement Information showed that 78.2 per cent of Taranaki students were achieving at or above the national standards in reading, with 72.1 per cent in maths and 68.5 per cent in writing.

Nationally, 77.9 per cent of pupils were at or above the national standards in reading, 74.6 per cent in maths, and 70.6 in writing.

National standards came into effect for Year 1 to 8 schools in 2010, giving national expectations of student knowledge, progress and achievement across all areas of curriculum.

New Plymouth Principals' Association president Roz Miller said the percentage differences were not significant and parents should not panic about the results.

Teachers were always looking to raise the achievement of their children, but it was difficult to make a valid comparison between one region and the next.

"I don't think we're comparing apples with apples."

Effective teaching was key in raising students' achievements, Miller said.

"Teachers do this in a number of ways. We look at each individual student and teachers work out a plan of what the student can do, what their next step is and how that can be achieved."

But there were also a variety of things that could negatively impact on a child's performance.

"Changes in family circumstances, changes of school, the effects of socio-economic status can affect student achievements," Miller said.

"We know there is quite a clear link between poverty and student achievement."

Parents concerned about their child's achievements should talk to their teachers.

"They always talk about education like a three-legged stool. It needs the parent, the child, and the school to work together to the greatest benefit of the student," Miller said.

Education Minister Hekia Parata said the Public Achievement Information showed that three quarters of the 400,000 children tested throughout the country are at or above national standards.

Otago pupils are leading the country in reading, maths and writing achievements.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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