Recently I was lucky enough to listen to Lester Flockton talk about the development of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). This is a world class document, mandated in 2009, the same time as the National Standards. The effect of this was the NZC didn’t get the energy, focus or rightful place that it deserved.

It is a carefully crafted document made rich through research and consultation. It brings together vision, values, principles, key competencies and learning areas in a coherent and integrated manner. The intent is that local communities are guided by this document to create a more localised curriculum.

Principles: High expectations, Treaty of Waitangi, cultural diversity, inclusion, learning to learn, community engagement, coherence, future focus.

Values: excellence, innovation, inquiry, and curiosity, diversity, equity, community and participation, ecological sustainability, integrity, respect.

Key Competencies: thinking, using language, symbols, and texts, managing self, relating to others, participating and contributing.

Learning Areas: English, the arts, health and P.E., languages, mathematics, science, social sciences, technology.

To date, themes have emerged through our consultation process. Science, technology, sustainability, problem solving and creativity will be woven into the approach used at Ararira Springs Primary. An approach widely favoured is for learning to be developed around broad concepts such as; globalisation, innovation, change, conflict, connection, structure. These themes are embedded to learning and from them we focus on related problems and issues.

Shortly we will invite you to collaborate with us on curriculum development for our school through workshops and a survey. The NZ curriculum is a rich starting point that strives to develop our young people into confident, connected, actively involved, and lifelong learners. Its focus is on the development of soft skills rather than acquisition of knowledge.

As we prepare to share our thinking we need to consider; what skills, qualities, values and capabilities we would like our children to have when they leave school and what does powerful learning look like?

We look forward to meeting with you to start the conversation in the next few weeks. The date for this will be posted after our Board meeting on Wednesday.

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