Find lots of ideas for helping your taitamaiti with reading and writing on the Ministry of Education website.

Learning to Read


When your tamariki first starts school they will learn the letters of the alphabet and the sounds that each letter makes. As time goes on they will learn the sounds that pairs and groups of letters make. At Ridgway we use the Yolanda Soryl Phonics Programme which introduces the various sounds and letter combinations in a structured way. After 2 years at school your tamariki will probably know how to spell a range of high frequency words and will be able to make phonetically correct approximations of other words they want to use in their stories.

From Year 2, your tamariki is likely to be given spelling words to learn. These may be taken from lists of high frequency words or from your tamariki personal vocabulary (i.e. words that your tamariki uses when speaking or writing). You can help your tamariki be successful in writing by helping them to learn their spelling words each week. The Essential Spelling Lists are made up of the most frequently used words in the English language and it's important that all tamariki master the spelling of these words.


Learning to correctly form all the letters of the alphabet is one of the foundation skills that tamariki learn in their first few years at school. Ask your tamariki teacher for an example of how they teach tamariki to make each letter so that you can support your tamariki to develop good handwriting skills.

Students from Year 4 - Year 8 often use Google Docs to complete their written work. They will still practice writing by hand, but will also learn some touch typing skills.

Ridgway School Library

Students can borrow books from our school library and also from the eBook Collection that we subscribe to. Go to our library page to find out how.

WCC library link

Link to the Public Library website to the kids

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