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One hour a day reading, writing, and maths for years 0-8

Learn more about the one hour a day for each of reading, writing, and maths for schools using The 2007 New Zealand Curriculum.

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About this resource

This resource explains how the "hour a day" policy for reading, writing, and maths will be rolled out, and we share resources that will help schools prepare for this change.  

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One hour a day reading, writing and doing maths for students years 0-8

From the beginning of Term 1 2024, schools and kura with students in years 0-8 will spend an average of one hour a day teaching each reading, writing, and maths, pānui, tuhituhi, and pāngarau. This could be in dedicated lessons and in other learning areas as students read, write, and engage with maths in a variety of purposes and contexts.   

Teachers will deliberately and purposefully dedicate time to teaching these core skills. Teaching techniques like investigations, collaborative learning, and games will continue to be used so students stay engaged with their learning.  

This change sets a clear expectation that all year 0-8 students should receive regular, focussed instruction in these core areas. Many schools and kura are already teaching an hour of reading, writing, and maths each day.

Learning to read, write, and do maths is important in everything we do. Daily teaching has been shown to lift student progress, when coupled with a high-quality curriculum taught using evidence-informed teaching practices.    

Student progress triangle chart, each corner representing the following groups; daily teaching, quality practice how to teach, and quality curriculum what to teach.

Extended deadline for specialist schools 

Specialist schools with students in years 0-8 are expected to introduce this policy as soon as practicable but have been given an extended, Term 1 2025 deadline. This additional time recognises these schools may have additional complexities to work through relating to timetabling and resourcing.  

Supports

We have a range guidance to help teachers deliver an average of one hour a day of reading, writing and maths. These supporting materials can be downloaded at the top of the page.

Our Curriculum Lead service, Education Advisors and other specialist staff in regional offices are also available to help.

You can read the National Curriculum Statements (for the time requirements) and the Foundation Curriculum Policy Statement (for implementation detail) on this page by going to the "About this resource" section. 

Frequently asked questions

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Many schools will already be doing this amount of teaching, but from 1 January 2024 all schools and kura in New Zealand will implement one hour a day on average for each of reading, writing and maths | pānui, tuhituhi and pāngarau for students in years 0 to 8.   

Specialist schools with students in years 0-8 will introduce this policy as soon as practicable, but have been given an extended deadline of Term 1 2025. This additional time recognises these schools may have additional complexities to work through relating to timetabling and resourcing.  

Kura with students in years 0-8 run by a specified kura board have been given a Term 3 2024 implementation date. This allows time for kura and the Ministry to discuss the policy and how it can be implemented in ways suitable to these settings.   

All students need regular, deliberate teaching in reading, writing, and maths. Teachers will continue to plan for individual needs as they design learning that recognises and responds to the next learning steps and approaches that are appropriate for the learner. In some cases, planning will be supported through individual learning plans, which may include parent and specialist input.  

Specialist schools are expected to deliberately plan for and seek teachable moments across each day that allow students access to each of reading, writing and maths | pānui, tuhituhi and pāngarau for at least an hour. These learning experiences should occur in authentic, meaningful situations that meets the complex health, sensory and learning needs of the students.   

Specialist schools with students in years 0-8 will introduce this policy as soon as practicable, but have been given an extended, Term 1 2025 deadline. This additional time recognises these schools may have additional complexities to work through relating to timetabling and resourcing.  

Many area schools, composite schools, and schools with wharekura have a set timetable where students engage in a particular learning area at specific times with a teacher dedicated to that learning area.   

While English and mathematics and statistics may be learning areas that naturally access reading, writing, and maths respectively, other learning areas also have literacy-rich and numeracy-rich opportunities.   

We encourage teachers to collaborate when planning teaching programmes to ensure that students are accessing an hour of reading, writing, and maths each day and that the level of reading, writing, and maths is at the phase appropriate to the learners’ age, strengths, and needs.  For example, it would be useful when teaching social sciences to purposefully consider when statistical skills are used and to make this clear to students.  

This also applies to Te Reo Māori and Pāngarau, Tīrewa Ako that naturally access pānui, tuhituhi, and pāngarau respectively. For example, it would be useful when teaching Pūmanawa Tāngata or Te Ao Māori to demonstrate when the statistical skills of pāngarau or the literacy skills of tuhituhi and pānui can be used, so that ākonga can understand how to use these essential skills in different contexts.

A suite of practical guidance and resources can be found on this webpage. This includes examples of how a school might timetable the hour a day for each of reading, writing, and maths in a range of contexts.   

Additional resources may be needed to reflect the needs of particular schools, such as specialist schools or kura. The Ministry will work together with these schools during 2024 to develop any required guidance and resources.   

Existing supports, such as curriculum leads, education advisors, and other specialist staff in regional offices, will continue to be available.    

 We encourage school leaders to work closely with their teachers and:  

  • use the guidance and FAQs provided here to understand the changes and how good reading, writing and maths teaching can be structured,  
  • become familiar with the refreshed English and mathematics and statistics learning areas to support the planning of teaching and learning, and  
  • explore and use effective evidence-informed teaching practices.  

Teachers are encouraged to use this opportunity to consider how reading, writing, and maths can be taught during a dedicated time and where these skills can be integrated across the curriculum. During dedicated times for reading, writing, and maths, teachers will engage in a range of learning experiences, including collaborative tasks, investigations, problem solving, and games that support the aim of the lesson.  

When taught as an integrated part of the curriculum, reading, writing, and maths will be deliberately and purposefully planned.   

The teaching approach should be appropriate to the learners’ age, strengths, and needs. This means that teaching may be split throughout the day to ensure students engage in these skills in authentic and meaningful ways. 

The hour a day for each of reading, writing, and maths focuses on students in the class as a whole rather than specific individuals. However, as is currently the case, teachers will adapt their practice to suit individual students’ needs. Some will benefit from additional support and time, which may include more targeted or tailored small group or individual support where appropriate, in authentic and meaningful ways. 

Special events are enriching for students, and the intent of the "one hour a day" policy is not to detract from or limit these events. The policy allows schools to manage the average amount of reading, writing, and maths teaching time through a week. This provides the flexibility required to accommodate days where students may spend time out of the classroom.  

As part of a balanced curriculum, schools may also have a special event that may last for three or more days (such as school camp). While events like this are excluded from the "one hour a day" policy requirements, where there is the opportunity to do so, we encourage schools to plan for and integrate reading, writing, or maths learning into the event. 

All schools with Year 0 – 8 students are required to implement this policy, exemptions are not available. The policy allows schools to manage the average amount of reading, writing, and maths teaching time through a week. 

No. Schools are expected to develop a balanced teaching programme for their students based on all learning areas within the New Zealand Curriculum (see the curriculum statements for the Arts, English, Mathematics and Statistics, Science, Health and PE, Social Sciences and Technology).

Each learning area has rich opportunities for teaching reading, writing and maths skills.

See Materials that come with this resource to download: Planning-and-reflection-tool (.pdf)

This planning and reflection tool can help teachers identify opportunities to purposefully teach reading, writing or maths in a range of contexts provided by each learning area.

We encourage schools and kura to continue using their usual communication methods to help the community understand how the hour a day for each of reading, writing, and maths works in their school and for different year groups.   

 Information for parents and whānau can be accessed at One hour a day information for whānau

Rumaki and reo rua schools are already using either Te Marautanga o Aotearoa or The New Zealand Curriculum as the primary guide for their teaching and learning programmes. Settings that have selected Te Marautanga o Aotearoa will be required to teach on average an hour a day each of pānui, tuhituhi, and pāngarau. Settings that have selected The New Zealand Curriculum will be required to teach on average an hour a day each of reading, writing, and maths.