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From the New Zealand Curriculum to school curriculum (archived)

The New Zealand Curriculum affirms and retains what is effective and worthwhile in the previous national curriculum. At the same time, taking account of social change and new understandings, it fine-tunes direction. It gives schools greater flexibility to design and implement curriculum that is tailored to the learning needs of their students and the expectations of their communities.

Schools have until 2010 to work towards full implementation. This gives time for clarification, inquiry, exploration, review and decision making and, as an integral part of these processes, full engagement with all those who have an interest in the outcomes, including the students themselves. At an early point in the two-year time frame, each school will need to decide where its developmental priorities lie.

School curriculum design and review involves more than writing a set of statements about the scope and sequence of learning. This process involves:

  • inquiring into students’ learning needs
  • inquiring into the school’s current effectiveness in meeting those needs
  • determining and reaching agreement on the conditions for learning that could strengthen the impact of the school’s programmes and practices.


This first set of materials supporting The New Zealand Curriculum is for principals and curriculum leaders. It comprises:

  • From the New Zealand Curriculum to School Curriculum (booklet, item 32631): key considerations in engaging with The New Zealand Curriculum, reflective questions, and brief examples of different approaches
  • From the New Zealand Curriculum to School Curriculum (CD-ROM, item 32632): five digital stories, a customisable presentation, and PDF files of focus material
  • Assessing Key Competencies: Why Would We? How Could We? (booklet, item 32926): a discussion of assessment and the key competencies, framed within wider questions about the purposes and outcomes of schooling and education
  • School Curriculum Design and Review (pamphlet, item 11334, and wallchart, item 11335): a planning chart and associated review questions.

You can access these on the Implementation pack for schools page.

In a separate mailing, schools have also received Learning languages (poster, item 11282): an overview of the new learning area. An accompanying pamphlet, also called Learning Languages (item 11326), describes available resources and sources of professional support.

The above materials, including the items on the CD-ROM, are also available from Wickcliffe Ltd – phone 0800 660 662.

From the New Zealand Curriculum to School Curriculum has been designed to help you review your existing curriculum and consider how to translate the intent of The New Zealand Curriculum for your particular contexts. The reflective questions can be used to give focus to this inquiry, particularly in its initial stages.

The School Curriculum Design and Review chart provides a number of useful questions for your consideration. Together, The New Zealand Curriculum and the Design and Review chart should provide points of reference for your school over the implementation period. The chart has been provided as an A4 printable file (PDF, 278.30 kB), and as a pamphlet at A3 size and as a poster at A1 size. Contact Wickcliffe Ltd for the pamphlet and poster – phone 0800 660 662.

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa

The New Zealand Curriculum is one part of a two-part project; the other is Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. The New Zealand Curriculum is the policy statement for English-medium teaching and learning in years 1–13, and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa is the statement for Māori-medium teaching and learning in years 1–13. Te Marautanga o Aotearoa has been developed in te reo Māori to reflect te ao Māori and the aspirations of Māori.

English-medium schools that also offer Māori-medium programmes may use Te Marautanga o Aotearoa as the basis for such programmes.

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, which has been following a different timeline to The New Zealand Curriculum, was published mid-November 2007 as a draft for consultation.

The Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority will be working to align the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) with The New Zealand Curriculum. This process is to be completed by the end of 2010.

Next - Determining a school's curriculum

Published on: 18 Dec 2007