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Waterloo Primary School invests in literacy programme

Apr 16th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News


Mr Sullivan at play with kids from Waterloo Primary School

A WATERLOO school principal says his staff  recognized that they needed to learn a  new way to teach their  students.

Graeme Sullivan  is the principal of Waterloo School, a large urban primary in Lower Hutt City that caters for students from years 1 to 6.

He has been principal for 10 years and has a staff of 50 and 538 pupils, 13% of whom are Māori.

A decade in the job has given Mr Sullivan a good view of what his catchment area needs.

“Literacy is the greatest need, even though we’re a nine decile school, we’re really  more like a decile seven,” says Mr Sullivan.

He realised he and his staff needed to involve the parents in a reading and literacy programme  to help their children.

“We employed Murry Gadd, who is a literacy guru, for six days over a two-year period.   This has certainly made a difference, particularly in reading and writing,” he says.

“ Our Māori students are achieving at levels similar to their peers in literacy and mathematics. [We got Maori parents involved because] identity counts in matters when connecting with whanau,” says Mr Sullivan.

Parents are provided with clear information about their children’s progress and achievement. Overall, the Waterloo pupils are achieving slightly above their peers nationally, he says.

When asked what he was most proud of about his school, Mr Sullivan said: “As the principal of Waterloo Primary School, I would have to say, the camaraderie of the staff.”




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