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A possible pathway for curriculum review

The New Zealand Curriculum identifies a number of values that have widespread community support. These values are to be encouraged and modelled, and they are to be explored by students. Schools need to consider how they can make the values an integral part of their curriculum and how they will monitor the effectiveness of the approach taken.

Review tools

Review questions you may consider for your school community

  • Have we identified and agreed on a set of values that we believe are important for everyone involved in the life of our school?
  • How do we encourage, model, and explore the values identified in The New Zealand Curriculum?
  • Do our own school values support and complement those in The New Zealand Curriculum?
  • Have we considered what values are integral to digital citizenship?
  • Which values could we embed further to help us address our school's priorities for learning?

Discussion tool

The New Zealand Curriculum identifies a number of values that have widespread support. These values are to be encouraged, modelled, and explored by students. Some schools and their communities add further values; others identify fewer values that may not match the wording of the NZC but encompass the intent of the values noted in the curriculum document. 

This list of notions, concepts, and ideas associated with The New Zealand Curriculum values can be used by schools to deepen understandings. Your school and community, in association with local iwi and hapū or other cultural groups in the school, may wish to add further notions, concepts, and ideas to the right-hand column that are consistent with the values or value clusters of the curriculum.

Value or value cluster
Some associated notions, concepts, and ideas



For example: achievement; excellence; doing your best; perseverance; resilience; striving; competition

Innovation, inquiry, and curiosity


For example: inquiry, curiosity; truth; wisdom; rangatiratanga; open-mindedness; critical-mindedness; flexibility; adaptability; innovation; entrepreneurship; beauty; aesthetics; creativity



For example: respect for others and their views, beliefs and cultures; dialogue; tolerance; inclusion; cultural safety; wairua; spirituality



For example: social justice; fairness; equity (race, gender, age); equal opportunity

Community and participation


For example: community; belonging; civic-mindedness; connectedness; participation; family; whãnau; peace; rangimãrie; justice; negotiation; reconciliation; unity; solidarity; common good; kotahitanga; citizenship; cooperation; hospitality

Ecological sustainability, which includes care for the environment


For example: environment; harmony with nature; conservation; guardianship; intergenerational equity



For example: responsibility; accountability; reliability; commitment; honesty; truthfulness; trustworthiness; being ethical; doing right; moral courage

Respect for self, others, and human rights


For example: human dignity; personhood; individual rights; freedom; personal autonomy; human rights; compassion; aroha; consideration; concern; empathy; self-esteem; self-respect; self-belief or self-discipline; respect for property; mana; safety; physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional well-being; hauora


Adapted by Paul Keown from the table on page 30 of P. Keown, L. Parker, and S. Tiakiwai (2005). Final Report on Values in the New Zealand Curriculum. Unpublished research report for the Ministry of Education by the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research and the Ministry of Education.

Return to possible pathways: Consider other focus areas for curriculum design and review.

Published on: 08 May 2014