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Approaches (archived)

The New Zealand Curriculum document suggests (Pg 37):

Individual schools will shape and present their curriculum in ways that reflect their intentions, preferences, ideas and understandings.

Some schools will emphasise integrated or enquiry approaches to programme design, teaching and learning, whereas others might choose to give individual areas their own distinct place and focus.

Some will fuse values, key competencies and learning areas together at every point, while others might give separate treatment to particular aspects.


School experience shows:

  • It's important to just start - exploring one part of the curriculum invariably leads to thinking about the other parts
  • A starting point for schools may be to review programmes in light of the curriculum and make necessary changes
  • Build on current effective professional practice
  • Existing pragrammes, and aspects of these, are quite likely to still be relevant
  • Teachers need time to explore and reach a shared understanding of the curriculum
  • Strategic leadership is vital

Read more

New Zealand Curriculum update (21 September) to link

Schools are able to determine the way they approach the development of their school curriculum. There are many ways and entry points - identifying school priorities and strengths may provide a strong foundation for building on.

Identifying and linking current foci such as professional development or ongoing reviews also could determine a starting point for your school.

Whatever the approach, everyone should be familiar with the section in the New Zealand Curriculum The School Curriculum: Design and Review (pages 37-42)

School starting points

Many schools and their communities have explored the vision, principles, values and key competencies of the NZC and agreed to how these will be enacted in their school, as their starting points.

Some schools have started by re-focussing on learning in light of the learning area essence statements, while others have explored effective pedagogy and what that means in their school.

Leading curriculum change, a resource sent to all schools, suggests that those schools that have started with the vision, principles, values, or key competencies rather than the learning areas or achievement objectives have found that this has encouraged a whole-school, holistic approach to the curriculum.

Whatever the approach, it is important to ensure that the aspects of the NZC are inter-woven to create a school curriculum - all are important.

Curriculum tools

More information and support can be found in the resource for principals and curriculum leaders sent to all schools.

Published on: 21 Mar 2009