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Key competencies

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Find tools, stories, and resources to help you consider and embed the key competencies into local curriculum.

Featured resource

Key competencies and effective pedagogy 
This tool helps schools audit their progress with integrating the five NZC key competencies into local curriculum. It includes a self audit framework, engaging examples of practice, and insight into important aspects of the key competencies. 

Discussion tools

These discussion tools can help you explore the key competencies for school curriculum design and review, leadership, and effective pedagogy.

Key competencies and effective pedagogy

The key competencies and effective pedagogy project undertaken by NZCER and University of Waikato helps schools audit their progress with integrating the five key competencies into all learning programmes. Example units and lessons are included.

Self audit framework
The framework provides nine deceptively simple questions that could underpin teachers’ inquiries into how well the key competencies are being embedded into learning. 

Engaging examples of practice
A mosaic of 14 engaging examples of practice that show what this pedagogy might look like in different learning areas.

Insights into important aspects of the key competencies
These materials support in-school professional learning conversations.

Key competencies and leadership

Effective leaders create the conditions required for exploring key competencies in teaching and learning. They need to ensure that the culture, pedagogy, systems, partnerships, and networks in their school support key competency development. This section explores these ideas further. 

School culture
Effective leadership of the key competencies creates a school culture that signals that those competencies are important and valued.

Effective leaders are directly involved in evaluating teaching and learning, through regular classroom visits and formative and summative feedback. 

Effective systems such as self-review, external review, performance management, assessment and reporting, and curriculum organisationsupport the key competencies. 

Key competencies are about students applying learning in a wide range of authentic contexts – at school, at home, and in the wider community.

Key competencies and teaching and learning

Gathering student feedback
Sometimes, asking directly about what you are interested in may not be the most successful way to find out about it.

Monitoring and documenting the key competencies
Documentation should draw attention to how students' capabilities are evident as they participate with others in a specific context.

Reconsidering the key competencies
Exploring the key competencies is an iterative process. It is not something that you master and tick off. 

Key competencies and transfer
Competencies are not directly observable; they are inferred from performance in a range of contexts. 

Learning conversations
Explore aspects of the key competencies – learning conversations, student voice, de-privatising practice, and monitoring through noticing.

Key competencies and a thematic approach
A thematic approach supports the integration of knowledge, attitudes, and values – leading to action in authentic contexts.

Creating a key competencies wall
A KC wall is not just a place to put up finished work but somewhere to support the development of learners' key competencies.

Key competency planners
This discussion tool highlights some of the benefits and risks of key competency planning templates, and some possibilities for consideration.

Images and the key competencies
Explore what kinds of images could be helpful, how they could be used, and how they could be captured.

Embedding key competencies in activities
Think about how activities might be altered or adapted to emphasise key competencies.

Key competencies in teaching
The key competencies underpin everything that happens in teaching and learning.

Key competencies and teaching as inquiry

Teaching as inquiry
This tool looks at teaching as inquiry in relation to the key competencies.

Provocative questions
These questions help us think and talk about what students and teachers are likely to be doing in a key competency rich programme.

Updated on: 11 Dec 2020