The National Curriculum sets the direction for learning in New Zealand. It starts with a vision of young people developing the competencies they need for study, work and lifelong learning, so they may go on to realise their potential.
This document makes it clear that education in New Zealand puts learners at the centre of teaching and learning, asserting that they should experience a curriculum that engages and challenges them, is forward-looking and inclusive, and affirms New Zealand’s unique identity.
The National Curriculum further establishes that learners will be encouraged to value:
Extensive research has proven that students learn best when they are:
New teaching approaches have evolved from this knowledge. Traditional approaches to teaching and learning are no longer enough on their own to give children the best education to prepare them for life. Along with strong foundations in reading, writing, mathematics and other learning areas, young people need other skills such as digital fluency, complex problem-solving and the ability to work with others both in person and virtually. Professional learning and development can help teachers prepare for transitioning into this environment.
Innovative learning approaches have not replaced familiar teaching approaches. Rather, they have expanded teaching and learning practices to suit today’s learners.
Fairfield School has developed a curriculum designed to cater for student needs and interests, and community values. The diagram below displays the community kete (basket) and highlights the links between learners, teachers, and whanau.
The basis of this curriculum development can be found in a slideshow via this link.
Schools are required to report to parents on the progress of their children twice a year. Reports must be written and in plain English, and reflect student achievement against levels of the NZ Curriculum.
Teachers are required to make 'overall teacher judgements' when determining a child's level of achievement that take into account multiple sources of information.
NZ Curriculum levels are detailed below. There is, of course, an expected variation across a child's educational journey and these are merely indicators of expected levels.
Student achievement is communicated to parents through learning conferences (parent-teacher meetings), written reports and informal chats.