Picking up the Pace
This research project delivered concentrated professional development in literacy instruction to groups of early childhood and new entrant teachers in decile one schools in Mangere and Otara. The outcome was a substantial lift in the reading and writing achievement of new entrants. Picking up the Pace was a component of the Early Childhood Primary Links via Literacy (ECPL) Project which was part of a much broader project, Strengthening Education in Mangere and Otara (SEMO), which aimed to raise achievement significantly among students in these two communities.
Author(s): Gwenneth Phillips, Stuart McNaughton, Shelly MacDonald and Michael Keith, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: January 2002
This report is available as a download (please refer to the 'Downloads/Links' inset box, top right). This inset box also has links to related publications and information that may be of interest. Individual chapters are available as downloads (below on this web page). Please consider the environment before printing.
On the centenary of renowned educationalist Dr Clarence Beeby's birth, the success of this research brings to mind the statement he prepared for the then Prime Minister Peter Fraser in 1939. The statement said broadly that the Government's objective should be that every person regardless of their ability or whether they are rich or poor, has the right to a free education and the opportunity to realise their fullest potential.
For children to become confident learners and succeed in all aspects of life, they must gain a strong foundation in literacy in their early years. The national literacy strategy has had, and continues to have a strong focus on raising achievement in literacy for all students as well as reducing the disparities which have existed for some time between our highest and lowest performing students.
In its report to Government in 1999, the Literacy Taskforce indicated its awareness of classrooms throughout New Zealand where children who might have made low progress because they met the profile of underachieving groups, were in fact making excellent progress. The taskforce was concerned that not enough was known about the particular classroom practice that brought about this success, and recommended that more research be undertaken so that better guidance could be provided to teachers.Picking up the Pace is an example of an innovative intervention that has worked to raise the literacy achievement of children in decile one schools involved in the Strengthening Education in Mangere and Otara (SEMO) schooling improvement initiative in South Auckland. The resounding key message from this research is that low rates of progress in literacy are neither inevitable nor unchangeable for children in low-decile schools. The success of Picking up the Pace is a tribute to the efforts of the people involved. It's success has also highlighted the critical importance of families, schools and teachers having the highest possible expectations of what children can and should achieve.
The Ministry will continue to work with schools to lift the pace in literacy. Picking up the Pace demonstrates how teachers with openness and commitment to professional development can make literacy achievement happen. Principals and managers also have a key role to play in promoting high expectations for effective classroom instruction and promoting and supporting the professional expertise of their staff.
Download Individual Chapters
|Download Individual Chapters of the Full Report||File Type & Size|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 1||[MS Word 164KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 2||[MS Word 89KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 3||[MS Word 1.16MB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 4||[MS Word 128KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 5||[MS Word 271KB]|
| Picking up the Pace - Chapter 6||[MS Word 124KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 7||[MS Word 61.5KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - References||[MS Word 119KB]|
|Download Individual Figures from the Full Report||File Type & Size|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 4 Figures||[MS Excel 131KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 5 Figures 8 & 15||[MS Excel 19.5KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 5 Figures 9 & 10||[MS Excel 107KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 5 Figures 11 & 14||[MS Excel 19KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 5 Figures 12 & 13||[MS Excel 96.5KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 5 Figures 16 & 17||[MS Excel 91.5KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 5 Figures 18 & 19||[MS Excel 25.0KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 5 Figure 20||[MS Excel 16.5KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 6 Figures 22, 24, 26 & 28||[MS Excel 89.5KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 6 Figures 23 & 25||[MS Excel 108KB]|
|Picking up the Pace - Chapter 6 Figures 27 & 29||[MS Excel 117KB]|
Other Reports of Interest
- Strengthening Education in Mangere and Otara (SEMO) 2004; Viviane Robinson and Helen Timperley in association with Lorrae Ward, Lili Tuioti, Violet Tu'uga Stevenson, Sue Mitchell, School of Education, The University of Auckland.
- Shifting the Focus: Achievement Information for Professional Learning: A Summary of the Sustainability of Professional Development in Literacy - Parts 1 and 2 2003; Helen Timperley, Gwenneth Phillips, Joy Wiseman and Irene Fung, University of Auckland.
- Evaluation of Schools Support 2001; Lisa McCauley and Susannah Roddick, Research Division, Ministry of Education.
- Analysis and Use of Student Achievement Data 2004; Helen Timperley in association with Linda Smith, Judy Parr, Jennifer Portway, Sarah Mirams, Suzanne Clark, Mali Allen and Jill Page, School of Education, The University of Auckland.
Where to find out more
For more information about this publication please email the: Research Mailbox