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This section draws together research, digital resources, and examples to support schools as they consider the coherence principle.

School examples

These stories provide examples of ideas and approaches some schools are using to enact the coherence principle. The stories are sorted under the three components of coherence – connections, transitions, and pathways.


Clear pathways for literacy learning
Students moving through the Mount Roskill campus have consistent understandings of learning progressions in literacy and share a common language of learning thanks to the collaborative efforts of teachers.

Howick College – The innovation stream
Learn how teachers at Howick College have adopted a new integrated approach to learning in a mainstream secondary setting.

Alfriston College – Theming the curriculum
When Alfriston College in Manurewa, Auckland, opened its doors in 2004, the year 9 teachers decided to establish their programmes by collating and categorising learning around conceptual themes. 

Tracking students' progress in technology
In this video from Technology Online, Cheryl Pym discusses how to track students' progress within technology programme planning.

Our inquiry framework
Sylvia Park's inquiry planning team support all teachers to develop authentic, connected, and engaging learning for their students. Learn what inquiry looks like in their school and how planning and curriculum delivery are kept consistent.

Vertical curriculum planning
Sarah Hynds, teacher from Laingholm School, explains how whole-school planning increases collegiality, ensures smooth transitions between curriculum levels, and increases teachers’ understandings of learning progressions.

Cross-curricula and personalised learning
The context of Samoan Independence Day is used across the curriculum to help Pasifika students build on what they know and make connections between learning areas.

Queen's High School – A common language
Learn how staff and students at Queen's High School in Dunedin have developed a common language across the school for talking about the key competencies.

Planning for a coherent programme in primary
Science and technology teacher Shannon Maloney shares how she works collaboratively with teachers to integrate technology into their inquiry programmes.

Raising achievement in years 7–10 technology
The technology staff at St Peters in Gore have developed new programmes to improve integration and coherence between technology disciplines.

Breaking down the notion of a subject based curriculum at Logan Park High School
Paul Enright discusses a way to create connected senior school courses. He describes an environmental studies course that links geography, education for sustainability, and earth science, making an assessable course at three levels.

Passionfruit – a curriculum integration project
Sam Cunnane, head of the arts faculty at Fraser High School, talks about the curriculum integration project Passionfruit – an experiment in cross-curricular teaching at secondary school level. For more information, you can read this related snapshot.   

Whangarei Girls' High School: Education for Enterprise
At Whangarei Girls' High School, Education for Enterprise is embedded across the whole school, providing a vehicle for curriculum integration and helping students make connections across learning areas.


Building a shared vision between primary and secondary
This video from Technology Online shows that by sharing a vision, two schools have created a clear pathway for their students.

Involving families in transitions
John Robinson, head of learning support at Onslow College, discusses how involving parents in the transition of students with special needs has eased the transition process for both the school and student.

First steps in transition programme
Associate principal Mark Whitford describes Glen Eden Intermediate’s transition programme and how this approach has built positive relationships with contributing schools, families, and the wider community.

Other transition components
In the second part of the Glen Eden Intermediate series, Mark Whitford details the school’s transition programme from term 4 into the new school year.

Leading cross school professional learning
Staff at the Mt Roskill campus are working to provide coherent pathways for their students through the various schools. Learn how they joined forces to ensure smooth transitions and support greater student achievement.

Transitions: Students at the centre
Staff at the Mt Roskill campus create positive transitions between schools by getting to know their incoming students and building on their strengths and interests.

Smooth transitions for students with special education needs
Students with special education needs experience positive transitions at the Mt Roskill campus thanks to the collaboration and close relationships between teachers, support staff, therapists, and parents.

Engaging whānau through Māori graduation
Growing an educationally powerful partnership with whānau has been a key priority across the Mt Roskill campus. This story explains how the development of Māori graduation ceremonies has led to deeper community connections and growing pride in students' educational journeys.

Effective teaching for Pasifika students – Transitions
School leaders and teachers share strategies on how to support the continuity of Pasifika students’ learning as they move from and into different learning environments.

Invercargill schools collaborate
A single transition form for the whole of Invercargill has replaced the individual forms that each secondary school used to collect with information from contributing primary schools. Learn how the quality of transition for staff, students, and the wider community has improved.


Choosing your own path through NCEA
Kristan Mowat, head of media studies at Logan Park High School, describes how her school empowers students to set goals and make choices. Students can select their learning pathways through flexibility with NCEA internals and externals, and the standards that match their interests and needs.

The Catlins Area School
Students at The Catlins Area School are working towards exciting new career opportunities in the aviation industry. A community consultation had seen the need to develop engineering related opportunities for students, so aviation training fitted nicely into this larger picture.

Pathways at Lincoln School
Staff at Lincoln School share how they have worked with students and their whānau to help students identify future career opportunities and make better choices to meet their goals.

Tomarata School – Developing our leavers’ profile
Learn how the community of Tomarata School has created a school leavers’ profile by exploring and defining what a future oriented learner looks like.

Learning pathways
Learn how Amuri Area School has expanded pathways for students by partnering with Canterbury Trade College (CTC) and radically re-organising their timetabling for the senior school.

Tairawhiti Schools Trades Academy @ EIT
Tairawhiti secondary schools and Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) have partnered to form a trades academy that introduces students to a wider range of vocational pathways.

Next – Resources

Updated on: 20 May 2019