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Designing learning for school context

Supplementary support and resources should:

  • be designed for the school context
  • build on previous learning
  • enhance what schools are already doing well
  • provide evidence of improvement. 

A single high impact practice, resource, or supplementary support cannot address all elements of professional learning required for improving system outcomes. Therefore, system supports should be viewed as a coherent and cumulative learning process to enhance what schools are already doing well.

The system provides targeted and supplementary supports that are triggered by student achievement data. The trigger highlights that a different response is needed. 


These tools support schools to design learning for their own context.

Inquiry and coherence for sustained improvement

PDF icon. Inquiry and coherence for sustained improvement (PDF, 443 KB)

This tool provides guidance to identify what works already in a school and for whom.

Overview of BES findings/He Tirohanga ki ngā kitenga o He Kete Raukura

PDF icon. Overview of BES findings tool (PDF, 3 MB)

A guide for decision making focusing on identifying what works fastest, why, and how. 

Selecting readymade commercial packages

This tool guides decisions about whether a readymade commercial package is appropriate for meeting the identified need.

PDF icon. Integrating readymade commercial packages (PDF, 42 KB)

Indicators for success

School outcomes include:


More teachers and leaders are able to apply the BES dimensions to their own context, for example:

  • year level
  • content/curriculum
  • student capabilities and interests
  • environment.

Being clear about what each improvement inquiry has contributed to school capability.

  • What practices, processes and structures, which improve both student outcomes and equity, are worth embedding in school culture?
  • What monitoring processes are necessary so that previous improvements are not ‘harmed’ by the next improvement inquiry?


More students achieving at or above the agreed curriculum signpost descriptors (signposts are both national and school based).

Being clear about the use of signpost information to trigger a different response for students not achieving as expected.

  • How is achievement information to improve capability and performance used?

Improved response to learner needs

More students than ever before achieving at higher levels, on a broader range of capabilities, with less inequity of outcomes.

Being clear about where improvement has happened, for which students and why, and refocusing the next improvement inquiry on improving outcomes for students who did not experience this success.

  • What are the strengths and needs of the students we have not made a positive impact on yet?
  • What are our goals for these students during the next improvement inquiry?

School goals

All students achieving the school outcomes - based on the school curriculum’s ideas of learning and achievement. 

The school curriculum has clear pathways for all students to reach these tangible goals.

  • Are we clear about the pathways that lead to accelerated progress at particular times in a student’s career?
  • Do we have the capability to provide those pathways?

System supports

System supports include:

The BES Quality Schooling Dimensions

The BES Quality Schooling Dimensions

A coherent set of dimensions that map the relationships and interdependencies across high impact teaching, leadership, and PLD practices.

Using the dimensions to map the school improvement plan.

Key guiding documents

The national documents describe the improvements needed for all to achieve – to remove inequity:

  • Vision and curriculum
  • Strategies for equity
  • Research that tells us what works, why, and how

New Zealand Curriculum Te Marautanga O Aotearoa

Ka Hikitia

Pasifika Education Plan

Success for All

Best Evidence Synthesis (BES)

Checking with these documents, especially if underachievement in the school relates to Māori students, Pasifika students, or students with special education needs.

Using the expertise in the community (family/whānau/hapu/iwi/specialists) to ensure the response to student need will be effective.

Supplementary supports

For “achievement for all” to be a reality the system provides targeted and supplementary supports that are triggered by student achievement data. The trigger highlights that a different response is needed. Available for students, teachers, leaders, and whole school.

Checking that the support:

  • can be contextualised for your needs
  • will build from and strengthen school capability
  • is explicit about the links to the BES QSD and school improvement plan.

Updated on: 26 Aug 2013