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Secondary education initiatives supporting implementation of The New Zealand Curriculum


Alignment of NCEA Standards with The New Zealand Curriculum (2007)

As part of an ongoing programme to improve the NCEA, the Ministry of Education (MoE) and New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) are reviewing all curriculum-based standards.

The review is aimed at:

  • aligning standards with The New Zealand Curriculum;
  • addressing issues of duplication and credit parity across all standards;
  • improving the design of all standards;
  • improving programme and pathway coherence for learners;
  • enhancing support for teacher professional practice.


The review process is based on a set of principles that all standards must reflect and that will underpin future standards development and review across the entire National Qualifications Framework (NQF). These principles address the broad issue of what constitutes a fit-for-purpose standard.

Subject associations are taking a major role in the review process. They have developed draft standards matrices that reflect the directions for learning of The New Zealand Curriculum (page 7) and are currently working to produce draft standards at levels 1, 2 and 3 by mid 2009.

Subject associations are consulting widely with and seeking feedback from teachers of senior secondary subjects on the draft matrices and standards.

Each matrix shows the proposed key assessment outcomes (titles) at each of the three levels along with the proposed credit value and assessment mode (i.e. internal or external). To view please visit: http://www.tki.org.nz/e/community/ncea/alignment-standards.php

The matrices and standards are intended to provide a framework for assessment, and are not teaching and learning guidelines.

The Ministry of Education is planning to develop appropriate assessment resources and exemplar materials for standards where there has been significant change, to ensure they are quality assured, fit for purpose and understood by secondary teachers.

These resources will be trialled in schools and feedback will be used to fine tune the resources and the standards. Student work from these trials will be developed to provide annotated exemplars at the grade boundaries of the standards. These resources will be made available on-line as they are produced.

The revised standards will be introduced progressively to allow good communication about their implementation.

Level One 2010
Level Two 2011
Level Three 2012

Reviews of generic and industry based unit standards (i.e. those not derived from The New Zealand Curriculum) will also take place.

The unified nature of the NQF means that achievement and curriculum-related unit standards cannot meaningfully be reviewed without consideration of the implications for the remaining standards on the NQF.

Industry Training Organisations and NZQA (National Qualifications Services and Māori Qualification Services) will apply the review principles to their normal review cycles.