Writing/Tuhituhi: primary schooling

What We Have Found

National Standards results show that 71.2% of Year 1 to 8 students are achieving at or above the National Standards in writing in 2016: a slight decrease of 0.3 percentage points from 2015. The proportions of Māori and Pasifika that are reaching the standards are lower than the overall proportion of students reaching the standards.

Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori Tuhituhi results show that, in 2016, 58.0% of students achieved either manawa ora or manawa toa for tuhituhi.

Date Updated: August 2017

Indicator Description

This writing/tuhituhi indicator draws on two sources of information:

For state and state-integrated schools that use the New Zealand Curriculum, a summary of the National Standards writing results are used. National Standards results are based on Overall Teacher Judgements (OTJs) about whether students in Years 1-8 are achieving at a level 'well below', 'below', 'at', or 'above' the national standard in writing for their year level.

For state and state-integrated kura and schools that use Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (mainly Māori medium education schools), the Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori results in the tuhituhi (writing) skill area are used. Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori are the Māori medium equivalent of National Standards.

Where other related indicators have international comparisons based on international education studies, writing was not a specific focus area in Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) or Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) from which the international comparisons for the mathematics/pāngarau and reading/pānui indicators were taken.

Why This Is Important

In 2017, the Government set a target of 80% of Year 8 students will be achieving at or above the National Standard in writing, or at Manawa Ora or Manawa Toa in Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori tuhituhi.

Written language is a vital medium for communication, accessing information, developing cultural, social and personal identity, national awareness, and for understanding other perspectives. Students encounter a range of written language forms in a variety of settings; in the home, school, and community.

Writing enables students to gather, process, and present information, as well as to express themselves creatively. When students have opportunities to write for an audience, they can communicate across time and location, enabling wider participation in society and the global community. Moreover, reading and writing are foundation literacy skills critical for students to have in order to meet the demands of almost all learning areas in the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Progress Against Target

The Government set a target of 80% of Year 8 students will be achieving at or above the National Standard in writing, or at Manawa Ora or Manawa Toa in Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori tuhituhi.

In 2016, 69.2% of students at the end of year 8 were achieving at or above the National Standard in writing, or at Manawa Ora or Manawa Toa in Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori tuhituhi. This is an increase of 3.9 percentage points since 2012. Limited progress is being made towards this target, but faster improvement is required to reach it by the end of 2021.

Figure 1: Proportion of students 'At'/'Above' or 'Manawa Ora'/'Manawa Toa' in Writing/Tuhituhi

National Standards: Writing

2016 was the fifth year that schools which use the New Zealand Curriculum were required to report their National Standards results. Students can achieve at, above, below or well below the standard for their year level. The 2011 year saw the transition into National Standards data collection, and the data from that transition year has been excluded from analysis in this indicator. Of the 2,081 schools with Year 1-8 students which used the New Zealand curriculum in 2016, 2,063 provided National Standards data for writing.

How We Are Going

In 2016, the proportion of students that were achieving at or above the National Standard in writing for their year level was slightly less than in 2015 (71.2% in 2016 compared with 71.5% in 2015).

Since 2012, Girls are consistently achieving much higher than Boys and Māori and Pasifika are the lowest of the ethnic groups.

Figure 2: Proportion of students achieving at or above the National Standards for writing (2012-2016)

Footnote

  1. Statistics that include the 2011 National Standards results can be found under the National Standards section of the Education Counts website.

Ethnic Group

In 2016 European/Pākehā students had the highest proportion of students learning at or above the writing standard (77.1%), which was 2.8 percentage points higher than Asian (74.3%). Māori (61.6%) and Pasifika (60.5%) had the lowest rates.

These proportions have decreased slightly across all ethnicities since 2015. The proportion of Māori, Pasifika, Asian and European/Pākehā at or above the standard has decreased by 0.2, 0.1, 0.5 and 0.3 percentage points respectively since 2015.

Figure 3: Proportion of students achieving at or above National Standards for writing, by ethnic group
(2013-2016)

Gender

The proportion of Year 1 to 8 male students achieving at or above the standard in writing is lower than that of female students. In 2016, 79.4% of females achieved at or above the standard compared to 63.4% of males. This gender difference (16.0 percentage points) has increased slightly by 0.5 percentage points on the difference in 2015.

Figure 4: Proportion of students achieving at or above the National Standards for writing,
by gender (2012-2016)

Decile

Decile provides a measure of the socio-economic status of a school’s student body: the lower a school’s decile is, the lower their school community’s socio-economic status is. There is a clear relationship between school decile and National Standards achievement; as decile increases so does the proportion of students achieving at or above the standard for writing. In 2015 and 2016 the same general trend from lowest to highest decile is seen. The difference between decile 1 (54.9%) and decile 10 (81.5%) in 2016 was 26.6 percentage points.

Figure 5: Proportion of students achieving at or above the National Standards for writing, by decile
(2015-2016)

Year Level

National Standards information is collected after a student has been at school for one year, after two years’ attendance, after three years’ attendance, and then annually for students in year levels four to eight. Because of differing assessment criteria and assessment tools for the different year level standards, direct comparisons of performance between year levels are fraught. Comparisons within year levels, across time, do not carry the same issues.

Between 2015 and 2016, there has been a decrease in the proportion of students at or above standard in writing within the first four years of schooling by 0.1 to 1.4 percentage points.

Figure 5: Proportion of students achieving at or above the National Standards for writing, by year level
(2012-2016)

Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori: Tuhituhi

The 2016 year was the fourth year for which kura and schools using Te Marautanga o Aotearoa reported their results for Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. Due to a large difference in the sample of schools that supplied data over the previous years and an update in assessments, only figures from 2014 onwards are included in this indicator.

Ngā Whanaketanga Tuhituhi (writing) students can be assessed as:

Manawa Toa
Kei runga noa atu. The student is progressing and achieving higher than expected for particular learning areas.


Manawa Ora
Kua tutuki Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. The student is progressing and achieving as expected for particular learning areas.


Manawa Āki
E whanake tonu ana kia tutuki Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. The student is progressing but requires further support to assist their achievement for particular learning areas.


Manawa Taki
Me āta tautoko kia tutuki Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. The student requires in-depth support to assist their achievement for particular learning areas.


Of the 202 schools and kura with Year 1-8 students that taught using Te Marautanga o Aotearoa in 2016, 131 provided Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori data. Of these, 126 kura and schools provided data about students assessed for tuhituhi in 2016.

How We Are Going

In 2016, 58.0% of students assessed for tuhituhi achieved either manawa ora or manawa toa. This is a decrease of 1.8 percentage points since 2015 (59.8%).

Figure 7: Proportion of students achieving manawa ora or manawa toa in Ngā Whanaketanga for tuhituhi (writing) (2014-2016)

Ethnic Group

Over 99% of students that are assessed under Ngā Whanaketanga are Māori. There are only small absolute numbers of non-Māori assessed using Ngā Whanaketanga. For this reason ethnic groups have not been separated out for comparison.

Gender

The Ngā Whanaketanga gender difference for tuhituhi runs in the same direction as the National Standards gender difference for writing.

Kōtiro (girls) were more likely to be assessed as achieving either manawa ora or manawa toa than tama (boys) for tuhituhi (65.7% compared with 50.0%; a difference of 15.7 percentage points). Both kōtiro and tama have had a decrease in achievement since 2015 by 1.9 percentage points.

Figure 8: Proportion of students achieving manawa ora or manawa toa in Ngā Whanaketanga for tuhituhi,
by gender (2014-2016)

Quintile

Decile provides a measure of the socio-economic status of a school’s student body: the lower a kura or school’s decile is, the lower their school community’s socio-economic status is. Due to the smaller number of schools (and therefore students) that are assessed using Ngā Whanaketanga, there are some deciles that have no students being assessed. To provide a better indication of socio-economic spread of achievement in tuhituhi, deciles have been grouped into quintiles, with quintiles 4 and 5 grouped together. There were 89 kura or schools in quintile 1 (deciles 1 and 2), 24 in quintile 2 (deciles 3 and 4), 8 in quintile 3 (deciles 5 and 6) and 5 in quintiles 4 and 5 (deciles 7 to 10).

When grouped in this way, proportions of students achieving manawa ora or manawa toa appear to increase with quintile given the 15.1 percentage point difference between quintile 1 and quintiles 4 and 5. However, given the uneven spread of the kura and schools amongst quintiles, care should be taken when interpreting results. The relationship between quintile and the proportion of students achieving manawa ora or manawa toa for tuhituhi is not as clear-cut as the relationship seen between decile and National Standards for writing.

Figure 9: Proportion of students achieving manawa ora or manawa toa in Ngā Whanaketanga for tuhituhi,
by quintile (2015-2016)

Whanaketanga Level

Rather than examining Ngā Whanaketanga results by year level, Ngā Whanaketanga is split up into Whanaketanga levels, much like how deciles are grouped into quintiles. Whanaketanga 1 includes Year 1 and 2 students, Whanaketanga 2 includes Year 3 and 4 students, Whanaketanga 3 includes Year 5 and 6, and Whanaketanga 4 includes Year 7+.

Drawing conclusions about the achievement of students in one Whanaketanga level compared to another within the same year is not advisable because of how assessment standards may differ from Whanaketanga level to Whanaketanga level. Comparisons within Whanaketanga levels, across time, do not carry the same issues.

Between 2015 and 2016 all Whanaketanga levels have shown a decrease in the proportion of students achieving manawa ora or manawa toa. Decrease in achievement ranged from 0.3 percentage points in Whanaketanga level 2 to 4.3 percentage points in Whanaketanga level 1.

Figure 10: Proportion of students achieving manawa ora or manawa toa in Ngā Whanaketanga for tuhituhi,
by Whanaketanga level (2015-2016)

References

Evidence about what works for this indicator can be found in:

  • Caygill, R., Kirkham, S. & Marshall, N. (2013). Year 5 students' mathematics achievement in 2010/11: New Zealand results from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Wellington: Ministry of Education.
  • Chamberlain, M. (2013).  PIRLS 2010/11 in New Zealand: An overview of national findings from the third cycle of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).  Wellington: Ministry of Education.
  • Ministry of Education (2007). The New Zealand Curriculum. Wellington: Ministry of Education.
  • Ministry of Education (2008). Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. Wellington: Ministry of Education.
  • Mullis, I.V.S., Martin, M.O., Foy, P. & Arora, A. (2012). TIMSS 2011 International results in mathematics. Chestnut Hill, MA: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Boston College. http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/timss2011/international-results-mathematics.html
  • Mullis, I.V.S., Martin, M.O., Foy, P. & Drucker, K.T. (2012). PIRLS 2011 International Results in Reading. Chestnut Hill, MA: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Boston College.


The Ministry of Education has established an Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis Programme to systematically identify, evaluate, analyse, synthesise and make accessible, relevant evidence linked to a range of learner outcomes. Evidence about what works for this indicator can be found at: What Works Evidence Hei Kete Raukura BES (Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis) Programme.

The Ministry of Education also reports on results from the National Standards School Sample Monitoring and Evaluation Project 2010-2013, a three year project on National Standards implementation in a representative sample of schools. Recent results can be found in the National Standards: School Sample Monitoring and Evaluation Project 2011 publication.

Summaries of the National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori data that includes the years that were transitions into collection are available at: National Standards/Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori on Education Counts.

Regional and territorial authority data on current year educational measures, including National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori, are available at: Know Your Region

School level data for individual schools, including National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori information, can be found at: Find a School

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