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Learning Support

The vision of our Learning Support team is to develop a world-class programme that accelerates and supports the learning of students experiencing difficulties with their studies. Our staff do our utmost to support every child in a safe, caring and non-judgemental environment.

Learning Support Programme

The Learning Support programme is run by highly qualified teachers whose fields of expertise include special education needs, thinking and learning extension programmes, and student counselling. Our staff aim to build self-esteem and confidence and support students to be independent in their learning.

Reading and language support is offered for students experiencing challenges and study support is available to senior students. Support is based on individual student needs and is priority assessed.

Learning Support Objectives

Our Learning Support staff have measures in place to meet the following objectives:

  • identify all the students in the Secondary School who have significant learning delays and have programmes and support in place to assist those students;
  • accelerate the learning of students who have been identified as having learning delays and be able to precisely measure the extent of that acceleration;
  • effectively implement the direct instruction and precision teaching programmes – particularly in Years 9 and 10;
  • provide the necessary programmes and support required to ensure that learning is accelerated for those students with learning challenges and be able to precisely measure the effect of all the instructional programmes and support provided;
  • ensure students who qualify for special exam conditions get the special exam conditions they require;
  • make certain the learning and social needs of our high needs students are being met.

Learning Must Be Accelerated

St Andrew’s understands that students with learning delays must have their learning accelerated. If they don’t they will fall further and further behind academically – which is known as ‘The Matthew Effect.’ Based on careful research St Andrew’s looks to one of the most successful Learning Support programmes, called the 'Morningside Model of Generative Instruction'.

Developed in the United States, the 'Morningside Model of Generative Instruction' has proven its effectiveness in accelerating the learning of students with learning delays. This programme develops the students’ mastery of the fundamentals in mathematics, writing and reading. The 'Morningside Model of Generative Instruction' is now being used in Years 9 and 10 so students are better equipped for NCEA Level 1 in Year 11.  Click here for further information about the Morningside Programme.

Student Independence

St Andrew’s does everything possible to provide the best support possible for students with learning delays. Simultaneously we foster independence so that no child is reliant on the support provided. Our staff are aware that a culture of ‘learnt helplessness’ doesn’t support the learning of your child in the long term.

Special Examination Conditions

In regards to special examination conditions, our staff fully inform parents about the procedures which must be followed. We are successful in ensuring students who qualify for special examination conditions do receive them.

Measurable Programme Impact and Greater Accountability

We have measures in place to monitor the effectiveness of our Learning Support programmes. In 2016 a two-year study began to measure the effect of the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction in Year 9. This study is carried out in conjunction with the University of Canterbury and will provide us quantitative evidence of the impact of the programmes and the support our staff provide.

Further Information

Learning Support
For further information about Learning Support, please contact Assistant Head of Secondary School (Academic), Helaina Coote, on

Accelerated Learning
For further information about Accelerated Learning please contact Brett Clark on or Jamie Clark on