Strengthening curriculum, progress and achievement

Issue: Volume 98, Number 19

Posted: 8 November 2019
Reference #: 1HA27y

Plans are underway to make sure all ākonga get the learning they need to live, learn and thrive.

Recommendations of the Curriculum, Progress and Achievement Ministerial Advisory Group aim to make sure every student learns and progresses through a curriculum that values their identity, language and culture, their strengths and aspirations, and those of their whānau.

The Advisory Group’s advice provides a clear direction for the future of curriculum, teaching and learning. There are separate recommendations for Māori and English medium settings that reflect differences in the aspirations and contexts of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and The New Zealand Curriculum

“We’ve heard very clearly from Kōrero Mātauranga and the Advisory Group that we need to make some changes to the way we use our national curriculum,” says Pauline Cleaver, Associate Deputy Secretary Curriculum, Pathways and Progress. 

“We know teachers and kaiako are looking for more clarity about the learning that every ākonga needs and should not be left to chance. Significant learning steps also need to be clearer so teachers and kaiako can respond to the progress ākonga are making across the curriculum.

“Parents and whānau have told us they want a more holistic view of progress across a range of learning – including social and emotional learning – and a broader definition of success.” 

Parents want to be partners with teachers and kaiako to support their child’s learning, says Pauline, and to be involved in shaping the local curriculum or marau ā-kura at their child’s school or kura.

“We need to make it easier for teachers to work with their communities to provide a rich curriculum that includes learning from the national curriculum that every child needs, as well as what’s important to learners and their whānau at the local level.”

Next steps

The Ministry will collaborate with teachers, leaders, Māori, Pacific, learners and their whānau to progress the Advisory Group’s recommendations, starting with four initial actions: 

  • Develop a process for updating our national curriculum to make sure it’s fit for purpose. 
  • Develop resources to help teachers recognise and respond to each student’s progress across a broad range of learning, including literacy and numeracy, pāngarau and te reo matatini, as well as social and emotional learning from  The New Zealand Curriculum and holistic learning from across Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.
  • Develop a common approach to records of learning that travel with students throughout their learning journey.
  • Create a trusted environment for using information about student progress that benefits all children and young people’s learning.

Collaborative approach

Over the coming months the Ministry will collaborate with teachers, leaders, Māori, Pacific, learners and their whānau to progress the initial actions and recommendations to strengthen leadership, networks and capability, and to improve access to resources through a new online portal to replace TKI. 

Working groups with representation across these groups are being formed to contribute to advice on progressing the initial actions, and on plans for wider engagement in 2020. 

“There will be opportunities for people right across our education system to be involved in designing, testing, refining and implementing the changes we need to make,” says Pauline.

“These changes won’t be rushed, because it’s important that we get this right.”

Ministerial Advisory Group Chair Mary Chamberlain says she hopes the changes will lead to more clarity and agreement about the things every child is entitled to learn, no matter where they go to school.

“I hope there will a stronger focus on the whole child and their progress in things that matter to them, their whānau and community.”

“Our understanding of what learners need to know and be able to do, different ways they need to be able to think, learn and relate is changing,” says Advisory Group member Hineihaea Murphy.

“The challenge we are faced with is being able to front foot those changes through education. Are we brave enough to let go of things we have always done in order to meet that challenge? It’s not about doing more, but about doing different!” 

Supporting teachers and leaders

Ensuring teachers and leaders are well supported now and in the future is a priority.

The Ministry will continue to develop new curriculum resources and supports for teachers and leaders, including further guidance on local curriculum and information sharing. 

“We recently launched Pūtātara, a global citizenship and sustainability resource, and we’re piloting a challenging racism resource,” says Pauline. 

“We’ve also developed guidance for schools and kura on reporting to parents and whānau, to make sure reporting practices support student learning and that schools and kura aren’t over-reporting.”

More information, including the Advisory Group’s full report, is available on the Education Conversation(external link) website.


BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:22 am, 8 November 2019

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