By the end of year 7
You play an important part in supporting your child's learning.
To help you do this here is information about the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics and how they work in a school context, and tips on how you can support your child’s learning during year 7 at school through interactive, fun, easy, everyday activities that you can do at home, and while out and about.
The New Zealand Curriculum: Reading at school
If your child is meeting the Reading Standard by the end of year 7 they will be working towards reading at curriculum level 4.
Your child will be able to find, think about, and bring together information and ideas within and across a range of books and articles. As they do this they will be able to think of their own questions and be able to answer questions they are asked across all curriculum areas.
To meet the standard your child will be learning to:
- read a wide range of stories including both fiction and non-fiction, and with a number of layers of meaning including complicated plots, difficult themes and ideas
- recognise most words automatically and work out more difficult words using a range of strategies. For example, letter-sound knowledge, inferring what they don’t know from what they already know about parts of words and letter patterns
- choose the best strategy – from a whole range they know – to help them understand what they’re reading
- recognise and use features of grammar to support understanding of more difficult words
- use their judgment to work out their personal response to what they are reading and think about the strengths and weaknesses of what they are reading, using a wide range of information.
Reading at home
Make reading fun
- Play card and board games and do complicated puzzles.
- Help your child to follow a recipe and cook for the family.
- Encourage your child to read and follow instructions for playing a game, making or using a piece of equipment, completing a competition form or for completing tasks for pocket money.
- Remember their reading doesn’t have to be a book – it could be a magazine, comic, newspaper or something from the Internet.
TIP: Talk a lot to your child while you are doing things together. Use the language that works best for you and your child.
Talk about it
- Ask your child to talk about parts of a story they liked and why.
- Talk about the key facts, characters, plot, setting, theme and author’s purpose.
- Have them retell the main ideas or describe characters, events or facts they were interested in.
- Ask them to show you where the story supports their thinking.
- Be a role model. Show you read for a variety of reasons; eg to compare products advertised in brochures, to be informed on current issues, to find a phone number or a bus timetable, to relax etc.
- Try reading the same book as your child so you can talk about it together.
- Talk about the TV show you are watching. What were the main ideas? Talk about the order events happen in – practising this skill is important as children can find this difficult to learn. What did they like/dislike and why?
TIP: Encourage your child to read every day. Make reading fun and praise your child’s efforts, all the time.
TIP: Help your child to link stories to their own life. Remind them about what they have done when a similar thing happens in the story.
Read to your child
- Just because your child can read doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy listening to someone else reading. It could be a non-fiction book on a topic they like, a magazine, a newspaper, a short story or a longer book read in instalments. It could also be a more difficult book/article that your child needs your help to read and understand.
- You could also listen to audio stories together – you can borrow these from the library or download from the Internet.
- Encourage your child to read the lyrics to their favourite songs, waiata or haka. Talk about why the composer wrote the song. What were they trying to say? Search the Internet for more information.
TIP: Keep the magic of just listening to a good story alive by reading either made up, retold or read-aloud stories – with lots of excitement through the use of your voice!
Keep them interested
- Find books or magazines about your child’s interests. Reading about their favourite sport, player, team or kapa haka group or an issue they are interested in will help them to be an expert on a particular subject.
- Find books that relate to TV shows or movies, or the area they come from. Knowing some of the ideas, characters or ancestors/tīpuna before you start reading can make it easier to understand a book. Talk about how the book differs from the TV show or movie or builds on what they already know.
- Join the library and visit regularly to help your child choose books that interest them – you may want to encourage your child to read different types of books including non-fiction stories.
- If you don’t have a computer or access to the Internet.
TIP: Be positive whenever your child is reading, no matter what they are reading. Respect your child’s opinion as it shows they are thinking about what they read.
The New Zealand Curriculum: Writing at school
If your child is meeting the Writing Standard by the end of year 7… they will be working towards writing at curriculum level 4.
To meet the standard your child will be learning to:
- write for particular audiences and purposes using appropriate, clear and logical structures
- carefully plan their writing projects using a variety of strategies
- use paragraphs that link main ideas and supporting details, within and between paragraphs
- write in grammatically correct sentences using a range of language features and complex punctuation; eg rhetorical questions, metaphors, semicolons
- use correctly-spelt words, using a range of strategies. For example, letter-sound knowledge, spelling rules and conventions, meaning and spelling of word parts and word origins, letter patterns show they are revising and editing as well as proof-reading as they write.
Writing at home
Make writing fun
- Encourage your child to listen for and use interesting words. Having a wide range of words will help your child create stories which will increase in complexity.
- Use technology. Text messages and emails are a form of writing even if the language is not always standard English.
- Use computers if your child isn’t keen on writing. They don’t have to think about the presentation of their work and editing does not require a complete re-write. Spell-check helps, too.
- Play card and board games and complete difficult crosswords and word puzzles.
- Create a message board. This could be done with magnetic letters and words or a whiteboard/pinboard. The messages might be instructions, reminders or praise for a job well done, as well as examples of work. Encourage your child and other family members to respond with messages, too.
TIP: Make writing fun and use any excuse you can think of to encourage your child to write about anything, any time.
Talk about writing with your child
- Talk with your child about their day. Talking helps to organise your thinking and is an important first step for any writing.
- Talk about new words your child is not familiar with, using a dictionary to find out more – there are dictionaries online.
- Be a positive audience for your child. Always respond to the effort behind the message and the message content first (regardless of how the message is written) and the presentation second. Keep in mind what your child is currently learning to do and comment just on that.
- Keep a holiday journal. Before the holidays ask your child to write a list of possible activities they want to do that keep to your budget and get them to draw up an activity plan. Remember to include any events or activities you have to attend; e.g. school camp, noho marae, church, doctor, sports training, family/whānau reunion. Your child could write a list of what to pack.
TIP: Talk about what your child writes. Be interested. Use it as a way of starting conversations. Listen to your child’s opinion, even if you don’t agree with it.
Keep them interested
- Encourage your child to read. Reading and writing are linked and success in one is likely to lead to success in the other.
- Buy interesting stationery for your child to use. Coloured pens and pencils can be an incentive to write together with special paper or books. Give a diary, book or notebook as a present.
- Plan for them to be able to use a computer for writing – at home or the library.
- Look for real reasons for writing. Encourage your child to read and write letters, messages, postcards, invitations, lists, rosters, thank-you notes, recipes, emails. Start with postcards to family and friends, if your child only wants to write a few sentences – encourage your family to write back.
- Make lists for a particular reason; eg shopping, jobs to be completed, family members who especially like to hear from your child.
- Encourage your child to write on their own. Poems, songs, waiata, short stories or a diary – on paper or on the computer – can be ways for your child to keep track of their thoughts, ideas or a particular interest. For example, keep a journal of their sports training, kapa haka practice or compile favourite recipes.
- It might be fun to write to a favourite author or kaumātua to ask what helps them to write their stories and compositions.
TIP: Be a role model. Show your child that you write for lots of reasons, eg replying to an email, writing a shopping list, invitation or letter, writing for your work or your own study. Use your first language – this helps your child’s learning, too.
The New Zealand Curriculum: Mathematics at school
If your child is meeting the Mathematics Standard by the end of year 7 they will be working at early curriculum level 4, solving realistic problems using their growing understanding of number, algebra, geometry, measurement and statistics.
They will be solving problems using multiplication and division that use decimals, fractions and percentages. They will have a range of thinking strategies to help them investigate mathematics.
To meet the standard your child will be learning to:
- solve problems involving decimals, using addition and subtraction
- use a range of multiplication methods to solve problems using whole numbers and fractions
- investigate and justify mathematical rules to see if they are always true
- create tables, graphs and rules for repeating patterns
- sort 2D and 3D shapes and discuss their similarities and differences
- measure time and objects using standard measures
- find perimeters, areas and volumes of shapes
- identify and describe how objects have been moved within patterns
- use grid references, simple scales, and points of the compass to describe a given location
- investigate, sort and display information in different ways and identify patterns and variations in the information
- explore probability through experimenting and comparing actual results with expected results.
This is a small part of the skills and knowledge your child is learning in order to meet this standard. Talk to the teacher for more information about your child’s learning.
Focus on number
During year 7, 40–60 per cent of mathematics teaching time will focus on number learning.
Mathematics at home
Talk together and have fun with numbers and patterns
Help your child to:
- talk about sales in town – 25% off, 30%, 10%, half price. Look for the best value and make a game of calculating the savings on items your child is interested in
- identify and describe how 2D shapes have been moved within kōwhaiwhai and tukutuku panels, and how 3D shapes have been moved in carvings
- budget pocket money and/or plan ahead to open a savings account. Talk about earning interest and investigate which bank account will give them the best return for their money
- talk about current prices for items that interest your child and investigate which store offers the best price.
TIP: Being positive about mathematics is really important for your child’s learning – even if you didn’t enjoy it or do well at it yourself at school. Encourage your child to find out more about mathematics at the library and on the Internet.
For wet afternoons/school holidays/weekends
Get together with your child and:
- play games – find a new board or card game that uses strategy
- plan and budget the family holiday (or a day trip) – look at the best transport method in terms of time and money, accommodation, and activities to do. Use the Internet for finding out information
- guess how many times you use your cell phone a day/week/month and predict the cost. Work out the best price, pre-paid versus a plan
- play travel games – invent mathematics games to play walking with friends, travelling in the car, at the park
- plan for a family event, like a dinner. What is the cheapest option – cooking at home or getting takeaways?
- make bead necklaces and friendship bracelets – calculate the cost of the materials needed and the time needed to make them. Is it cheaper to just buy them already made?
- play outdoor and indoor games – frisbee, touch rugby, netball, kilikiti, cricket, soccer, bowls, snooker and darts
- build a fort – plan, design, collect the materials and build.
TIP: The way your child is learning to solve mathematics problems may be different to when you were at school. Get them to show you how they do it and support them in their learning.
Use easy, everyday activities
Involve your child in:
- cooking – explore recipes and amounts of food and costs within a budget when catering for larger numbers eg school camp
- revising times tables – check with your child/their teacher which tables you could help your child practise
- investigating which supermarket offers the best deal on petrol eg 4 cents off a litre.
TIP: Talk with your child’s teacher to understand what they are learning about in mathematics and what the learning is in the homework they are doing.
Support your child
As parents and whānau you play a big part in your child’s learning every day, and you can support and build on what they learn at school too.
Help support your child’s learning by building a good relationship with your child’s teacher, finding out how your child is doing and working together to support their learning.