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Our vision and values


To jointly create a vision for students, based on vision and values, that aligns with the vision and values of The New Zealand Curriculum by:

  • briefly reviewing your current school’s vision for its students and the shared values on which it is based (group facilitator)
  • sharing students’ own values and vision/s for their learning and their future with parents/whānau and teachers(the students)
  • learning about parents’ vision/s for their children and the values on which these are based
  • learning about teachers’ vision/s for their students and the values on which these are based
  • reading and discussing the pages in The New Zealand Curriculum about vision (page 8) and values (page 10)
  • comparing your school’s vision and values with those on pages 8 and 10 and using this information to create or revise a vision for your school, underpinned by your school’s values, that aligns with The New Zealand Curriculum.


Welcome the parents, families, and whānau. Allow time for chat and perhaps offer refreshments.

Ask a range of students talk about their own values and how these relate to their learning at school and their hopes for the future (refer to the first workshop, What is the curriculum?). Encourage the parents and teachers to ask the students questions and to show appreciation.

Suggested approach

1. Whole group

Briefly describe the purpose of this workshop, linking it to the school’s existing vision statement, copies of which may have already been given to parents and teachers (refer to the workshop What is the curriculum?). Display the key messages for this workshop and emphasise the first two and the last two bullet points.

Key messages

  • Education is a partnership. Each school shapes its own curriculum to align with the values and expectations of its community as well as with The New Zealand Curriculum.
  • The New Zealand Curriculum is a statement of government policy for schools in the 21st century. It sets the direction and guides schools as they design and review their individual curriculum statements.
  • The New Zealand Curriculum begins with a vision statement describing the kinds of attitudes and qualities that we want to see in young people graduating from our schools.
  • The New Zealand Curriculum sets out some key values to be encouraged, modelled, and explored in all schools. (“The list is neither exhaustive nor exclusive.”)
  • Because every school community is unique, each school emphasises particular attitudes, qualities, and values in particular ways.
  • Every school’s charter should include an up-to-date vision statement for the school.
  • Every school’s vision statement should align with the vision of The New Zealand Curriculum.
  • Each school’s vision statement should also reflect the vision and values that are most important to that school’s community (including the students, the teachers, and the parents).

2. Small group

Move into small groups. Teachers and parents could form separate groups. Each group will discuss the school’s existing vision statement and how far it reflects their own values and vision, including such concepts as "Māori enjoying success as Māori", Pasifika education, and special education needs. Consider gathering feedback anonymously to ensure that everyone can give their views confidently even when these differ from the majority group view. For example, individuals, pairs, or small groups could write their ideas on "stickies" and the small group could collate this information to feed back to the larger group.

Make sure everyone has a copy of the school’s vision statement. The lead parent or teacher asks the group "What do you think of our school’s existing vision statement?" "What are the values, qualities, cultural viewpoints, and attitudes that it emphasises? Are these the most important values for our school?" Start from what parents or teachers know – elicit current understandings and beliefs about the school’s vision statement and what it is for. Explain, if necessary, that a vision statement looks to the future. What words (adjectives) describe the qualities that all students will need to have when they graduate? Gather and list the qualities that the group thinks important.

Work as a group to prioritise these qualities. Decide how to feed back: will one person speak for the group, or will different group members present different parts of the feedback, for example, one quality and why it is important?

Find ways to ensure that all group members have a voice, including those who may be less confident about stating their views.

3. Whole group

The small groups report back to the larger group on what they want for the students, and their feedback is recorded.

You could use a Venn diagram to show differences and commonalities in the feedback of parents and teachers (and/or ask a lead parent to summarise the teachers’ vision/s and a lead teacher to summarise the parents’ vision/s).

Encourage the whole group to discuss any differences in content or emphasis and to reach a consensus on what all agree is of key importance. Don’t forget to include what the students themselves think is important. As a whole group, discuss how the feedback affects the school’s current vision statement.

Display What we want for our young people from The New Zealand Curriculum. Explain that this is the nationwide vision statement.

Move into small groups; these could be groups that include both teachers and parents.

4. Small group

Each group looks for links between the qualities that your school group has identified and the qualities identified in the vision of The New Zealand Curriculum. For example, they could use a chart with the headings Confident, Connected, Actively involved, and Lifelong learners, and place the relevant qualities that your school group has identified under those headings. They could then look for links to any of the other qualities in the five bullet points in the vision. Alternatively, they could use the discussion points for Vision in the major emphases.

5. Whole group

The small groups report back to the whole group on the links they have noticed between the qualities that your school group has identified and the qualities identified in the vision of The New Zealand Curriculum. As a whole group, discuss any differences in content or emphasis.

Read and display the first three paragraphs about values of The New Zealand Curriculum. As a group, discuss how your values relate to your visions for the future.

Briefly go through the bulleted list of values. Ask the group to point out links or similarities between this list of nouns and the adjectives on the vision page. Make links also to the qualities that your school group has identified.

Read aloud this sentence: "The specific ways in which these values find expression in an individual school will be guided by dialogue between the school and its community." Have the group brainstorm and record some specific ways in which the values of The New Zealand Curriculum do or could find expression in your school.

Revisit the purpose of this workshop (to jointly create a vision for our students, based on our vision and values, that aligns with the vision and values of The New Zealand Curriculum). Review the key messages.

As a group, discuss how well the school’s current vision statement aligns with that in The New Zealand Curriculum. If the group agrees on any improvements, write the agreed changes into the vision statement and display the amended version. Alternatively, the group may decide to delegate this task to a community committee to review the school’s vision statement and the identified school values in the light of the information from this workshop and from The New Zealand Curriculum. The committee could meet independently and bring a draft to the group at a later workshop.

Gather data

At the end of the workshop, invite group members to reflect on the experience. They could share:

  • their general response to the workshop
  • highlights of the workshop and issues that are priorities for them
  • matters that they would like the group or the school to consider.

Keep it short and simple – about 5 minutes is fine.

Teachers could note and discuss anything new they have learned in this workshop about parents’ values and vision for their children, and parents could do the same in relation to teachers’ values and vision for their students. Both groups could reflect on what the students themselves said.

Farewell and follow-up steps

Thank the group for coming and remind them about any further planned workshops. This may involve a whakataukī, waiata, or karakia. Convey a sense of enthusiasm and show appreciation of everyone’s input and commitment, emphasising the importance of community and school jointly affirming the students and reinforcing the same key values in interactions with them. Allow time for people to chat and share informally.

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Published on: 01 Apr 2020