What is different and why?

This extract from the MoE website is a very clear explanation of the shifts in focus in the revised NZ Curriculum and offers an insight into why we are running parent curriculum workshops and community surveys at this time.

What’s different?

The New Zealand Curriculum aims to support today’s students to learn in a way that will prepare them for the world of tomorrow.


* includes a set of common values

* places more emphasis on themes relevant to today’s society

* contains five key competencies for students

* raises the profile and status of learning a second language

* raises the profile and status of statistics within mathematics

* makes the Treaty of Waitangi explicit in the overview, purpose, principles and values

* recognises the need for schools to work closely with communities to design relevant learning programmes.

The curriculum also provides greater clarity for teachers, students and trustees by providing clear and simple statements about priorities, expectations and outcomes for each learning area. It also details the type of teaching that brings out the best in students.

It recognises English, te reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Language as official languages. These may be studied as first or additional languages, or used as the medium of instruction.

There are two partner documents in the new curriculum: The New Zealand Curriculum for English-medium teaching and learning, and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa for Māori-medium teaching and learning.


In 2002, the Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Stocktake Report identified that while many students were achieving at world-class levels, there are disparities among some groups.

The new curriculum contributes towards all students having a strong foundation for learning, high levels of achievement, and a lifelong engagement in learning. It encourages schools to put personalising learning into practice and support the aims of the government for students to stay at school longer, and attain higher levels of achievement.

What does the New Zealand Curriculum consist of?

There are two partner documents: The New Zealand Curriculum for English-medium teaching and learning, and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa for Māori-medium teaching and learning. This reflects the partnership embodied in the Treaty of Waitangi.

The New Zealand Curriculum includes and explains:

* the vision for young people who are confident, connected, actively involved lifelong learners.

* the principles that guided the curriculum’s development: high expectations, Treaty of Waitangi, cultural diversity, inclusion, learning to learn, community engagement, coherence and future focus.

* the values that will be developed and modelled through teaching and learning: excellence; innovation, enquiry, and curiosity; diversity; equity; community and participation; ecological sustainability; integrity and respect.

* the key competencies – the capabilities people need in order to live, learn, work, and contribute as active members of their communities. They are: managing self; relating to others; participating and contributing; thinking; and using language, symbols, and texts.

* the eight learning areas: social sciences; arts; technology; science; mathematics and statistics; health and physical education; English; and learning languages. The new curriculum explains the rationale and the structure of each of these learning areas.

* effective pedagogy, reinforcing the importance of effective teaching and learning and providing guidance for teachers.

* the designing and planning sections to provide guidance to schools on working with their communities to design and implement the curriculum, to plan for clear learning objectives and to assess for learning. Schools are advised on how to incorporate significant themes such as sustainability, citizenship, enterprise, globalisation, and financial literacy into their teaching programmes.

Farewells and Welcomes

The end of every school year sees staffing changes.

This year we are bidding a fond farewell to Jo Anderson who is retiring from her job as librarian and to teachers Rob Stent and Pete Johnson.

There will be opportunities for the staff and community to thank these people for their contributions to our school. Keep an eye on the newsletters and this blog.

In 2009 we welcome to the teaching staff Kate Webster and Libby Jackson.

What are these teachers doing?

This is a shot of one of the meetings we have to make sure we put together the best possible class compositions for 2009. What you can’t see in this shot is that every child in the school is represented by a strip of paper. On each strip is their name, academic details, social and emotional considerations, parental requests and comments, special needs notes, gifted & talented notes, english language needs and any other specific considerations.

The large sheets of paper represent each class, we spend hours putting together the best match between teachers and other children.

We still have at least another week of work to do on this project but you will know your child’s 2009 class before the end of term.

Surfing Sam Sands

Great news, Samuel Sands won 2nd place in the under 12 section of the 2008 South Island Grommet Series. A great achievement Sam. I am sure you can make him out if you look closely at the picture.

Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 10:11 AM
We are very proud of you Sam! Is that you surfing in the picture?

From Room 15

Lunch Music

Some of our senior students entertained the lunchtime crowd at school this week. They were busking to raise money for planting in the area of garden they have adopted near their classroom .

A great combination of their musical skills, enterprising attitude and care for our school environment. Well done team.

The Engine Room

Today the 2009 junior teaching team (picture above) welcomed a large group of new Waimairi parents. Our orientation meeting was for parents of children who are starting school in the next few months. Carol, Liz, Lynley and Adie are talented and dedicated teachers who are the engine room of our school. If this team doesn’t get it right the rest of us are at a considerable disadvantage.

The parents who attended the orientation meeting were given the essential information on the transition to school and a taste of the passion we have for teaching. We love our jobs and regard educating your children as a genuine privilege.

Also worthy of mention are the 11 Year 6 students who acted as tour guides for our new parents. You were excellent examples of the attributes we seek to build in all of our students. The parents you guided around the school thought you were amazing.

So, welcome new parents. We are looking forward to a great partnership over the next six years.