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Strengthening local curriculum

The New Zealand Curriculum describes the learning all young people should experience no matter what school or kura they go to and the progress and expectations associated with this learning. It provides the framework for schools and kura to use in their local curriculum design.

This section supports school and curriculum leaders and professional learning and development providers with the process of curriculum design and review. It includes information, research, tools, suggested areas of focus, and inspirational stories to help schools make decisions about how to give effect to the national curriculum.

The animation below provides a useful introduction to local curriculum with some simple tips to get started.

School stories

Hororata Primary School - beef unit.

These stories describe how schools throughout Aotearoa have brought The New Zealand Curriculum to life.

The range of ideas and approaches in these stories reinforces the message that there is no set recipe for local curriculum design. What you do at your school will be influenced by the priorities, preferences, and issues of your unique community and people.

Use these stories as inspiration for designing a local curriculum that works for your school. 

Primary stories

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Arrowtown School – Lighting up minds through project based learning
Year 7 and 8 students from Arrowtown Primary School designed and created illuminated ski suits for a competition run by the school in collaboration with NZ Ski. Find out how this project lit up the minds of the students and the slopes of Coronet Peak.

Hororata Primary School – Discovery learning
Marty Gameson, principal of Hororata Primary, shares how discovery learning aligns with their school vision and explores how it can be applied to improve learning outcomes.

Wairakei School  – Working in partnership with Ngāti Tūwharetoa
Schools in the Taupō area, including Wairakei School, have worked in partnership with Ngāti Tūwharetoa to ensure students learn about their iwi, its history, places, and stories. 

Helping tamariki and whānau to thrive
Cultural narratives and whānau transformation are at the heart of Camberley School’s approach to learning and engagement.

Kāwhia School's learning journey
The development of Kāwhia School’s local curriculum (marau ā-kura) was a collaborative process involving input from the wider school community and reflects shared goals for learners and whānau.

Watch ...

A culturally connected curriculum
Find out how the community at Te Kura o Hiruharama worked together to create a culturally connected curriculum with strong links to the rich history of the area. 

Secondary stories

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Menzies College – Localised learning at Mimihau Stream
Year 12 students from Menzies College have been catching and tagging trout in Mimihau Stream, sharing their findings with Fish and Game New Zealand. By gaining a more accurate picture of life in this waterway, students have challenged the assertion that Mimihau Stream is dead.

Fraser High School – Curriculum integration
Teaching and learning has been revitalised at Fraser High School through curriculum integration and the use of authentic contexts.

Howick College – The innovation stream
Learn how teachers at Howick College have adopted a new integrated approach to learning in a mainstream secondary setting.

Kaitiakitanga in Waimea Inlet
Students at Nelson’s Waimea College have been working with local mentors, council and community groups to improve the habitat of an elusive wetland bird, the banded rail.

Updated on: 11 Feb 2020


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