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The inclusion principle

Welcome to The New Zealand Curriculum Update

Curriculum Updates support school leaders and teachers as they work to design and review their school curriculum in line with the New Zealand Curriculum and with current knowledge and understandings about effective classroom teaching.

Curriculum Updates are published in the Education Gazette and are available online.

This Update focuses on inclusion. It highlights presence, participation, and achievement as key aspects for success for all students, in particular those with special educational needs.

Three students painting.

How inclusive is your school?

Inclusion means valuing all students and all staff in all aspects of school life. It involves removing barriers to presence, participation, and achievement. It is one of the eight principles set out in The New Zealand Curriculum and should underpin all school leadership and decision making.

The curriculum is non-sexist, non-racist, and non-discriminatory; it ensures that [all] students’ identities, languages, abilities, and talents are recognised and affirmed and that their learning needs are addressed.

NZC, page 9

The Government’s vision of a fully inclusive education system by 2014 has at its heart confident schools, confident families, and confident students. The inclusion principle applies to all students, but it is particularly important when considering the achievement of Māori and Pasifika students and students with special educational needs.

Ka Hikitia and the Pasifika Education Plan guide schools on how to support Māori and Pasifika students. Similarly, Success for All – Every School, Every Child helps schools to consider how they support the presence and participation of students with special education needs so as to lift and monitor their achievement.

This Update emphasises the importance of high expectations for all learners, recognising that the resulting outcomes will reflect individual differences. Research has shown that effective teaching approaches create a supportive learning environment that is effective for all students. However, inclusive practice may also require a more specialised response.

There are resources and supports available to schools on inclusive education; they are listed at the end of this Update. By using these resources and working collaboratively with others, schools can improve how they respond to the needs and celebrate the strengths of all their students.

Download the full print version: Issue 18: March 2012 (PDF, 2 MB)