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The curriculum sets the direction for teaching and learning in New Zealand schools and guides schools as they develop local curriculum for the learning needs of their students. Teachers will be able to use the National Standards as they design and review school curriculum.

The national curriculum consists of The New Zealand Curriculum for English medium (NZC) and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa for Māori medium (TMoA).

The vision of the NZC is for our young people to be ‘confident, connected, actively involved, life-long learners’. The masthead of TMoA is ‘Kia tū tangata to ākonga — students achieving their full potential’.

The National Standards will help by setting clear expectations for the reading, writing, and mathematics knowledge and skills students need to achieve at each level of the curriculum.

By making these demands specific, the standards will assist teachers, parents, whānau, and communities to make clear judgments as to whether students’ competence in reading, writing, and mathematics is enabling their learning across the full curriculum, and whether they are making the expected progress.

While working on improving reading, writing, and mathematics it is important to also focus on increasing students’ capacity to learn. The key competencies in the NZC are designed to help students develop a positive disposition towards learning, as well as the ability to think critically, manage themselves, set goals, overcome obstacles and work with others. These will impact on how successful students are in literacy and numeracy and in ongoing learning.

The standards will provide teachers with clear learning goals and information about students' progress. Teachers will use this evidence to help make decisions to support student learning. Literacy and numeracy teaching is effective when it is taught in engaging contexts that connect to students’ lives. Teachers will be able to draw on the learning areas to provide these contexts for teaching literacy and numeracy.

They will also be able to clearly identify the literacy and numeracy demands of the learning areas and plan to assist students to achieve. This information will contribute to raising achievement standards in reading, writing, and mathematics and across the curriculum as a whole.

The New Zealand Curriculum provides direction and opportunity for schools to develop their own school curriculum to meet the learning needs of their students. National Standards will provide schools with valuable evidence to more fully understand those learning needs and to make decisions about curriculum planning, implementation and review. This ongoing curriculum planning and review will ensure achievement in literacy and numeracy and across the curriculum is improved.

Published on: 10 Nov 2009