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CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK 
 





Vision

What we want for our young people

Our vision is for young people:

  • who will be creative, energetic, and enterprising
  • who will seize the opportunities offered by new knowledge and technologies to secure a sustainable social, cultural, economic, and environmental future for our country
  • who will work to create an Aotearoa New Zealand in which Māori and Pākehā recognise each other as full Treaty partners, and in which all cultures are valued for the contributions they bring
  • who, in their school years, will continue to develop the values, knowledge, and competencies that will enable them to live full and satisfying lives
  • who will be confident, connected, actively involved, and lifelong learners.

 

Confident

Vision globe image from NZC.

Positive in their own identity
Motivated and reliable
Resourceful
Enterprising and entrepreneurial
Resilient

 

Connected

Able to relate well to others
Effective users of communication tools
Connected to the land and environment
Members of communities
International citizens

Actively involved

Participants in a range of life contexts
Contributors to the well-being of New Zealand – social, cultural, economic, and environmental

Lifelong learners

Literate and numerate
Critical and creative thinkers
Active seekers, users, and creators of knowledge
Informed decision makers


Capabilities for living and lifelong learning

The New Zealand Curriculum identifies five key competencies:

People use these competencies to live, learn, work, and contribute as active members of their communities. More complex than skills, the competencies draw also on knowledge, attitudes, and values in ways that lead to action. They are not separate or stand-alone. They are the key to learning in every learning area.

The development of the competencies is both an end in itself (a goal) and the means by which other ends are achieved. Successful learners make use of the competencies in combination with all the other resources available to them. These include personal goals, other people, community knowledge and values, cultural tools (language, symbols, and texts), and the knowledge and skills found in different learning areas. As they develop the competencies, successful learners are also motivated to use them, recognising when and how to do so and why.

Opportunities to develop the competencies occur in social contexts. People adopt and adapt practices that they see used and valued by those closest to them, and they make these practices part of their own identity and expertise.

The competencies continue to develop over time, shaped by interactions with people, places, ideas, and things. Students need to be challenged and supported to develop them in contexts that are increasingly wide-ranging and complex.

Thinking

Thinking is about using creative, critical, and metacognitive processes to make sense of information, experiences, and ideas. These processes can be applied to purposes such as developing understanding, making decisions, shaping actions, or constructing knowledge. Intellectual curiosity is at the heart of this competency.

Students who are competent thinkers and problem-solvers actively seek, use, and create knowledge. They reflect on their own learning, draw on personal knowledge and intuitions, ask questions, and challenge the basis of assumptions and perceptions.

Using language, symbols, and texts

Using language, symbols, and texts is about working with and making meaning of the codes in which knowledge is expressed. Languages and symbols are systems for representing and communicating information, experiences, and ideas. People use languages and symbols to produce texts of all kinds: written, oral/aural, and visual; informative and imaginative; informal and formal; mathematical, scientific, and technological.

Students who are competent users of language, symbols, and texts can interpret and use words, number, images, movement, metaphor, and technologies in a range of contexts. They recognise how choices of language, symbol, or text affect people’s understanding and the ways in which they respond to communications. They confidently use ICT (including, where appropriate, assistive technologies) to access and provide information and to communicate with others.

Managing self

This competency is associated with self-motivation, a “can-do” attitude, and with students seeing themselves as capable learners. It is integral to self-assessment.

Students who manage themselves are enterprising, resourceful, reliable, and resilient. They establish personal goals, make plans, manage projects, and set high standards. They have strategies for meeting challenges. They know when to lead, when to follow, and when and how to act independently.

Relating to others

Relating to others is about interacting effectively with a diverse range of people in a variety of contexts. This competency includes the ability to listen actively, recognise different points of view, negotiate, and share ideas.

Students who relate well to others are open to new learning and able to take different roles in different situations. They are aware of how their words and actions affect others. They know when it is appropriate to compete and when it is appropriate to co-operate. By working effectively together, they can come up with new approaches, ideas, and ways of thinking.

Participating and contributing

This competency is about being actively involved in communities. Communities include family, whānau, and school and those based, for example, on a common interest or culture. They may be drawn together for purposes such as learning, work, celebration, or recreation. They may be local, national, or global. This competency includes a capacity to contribute appropriately as a group member, to make connections with others, and to create opportunities for others in the group.

Students who participate and contribute in communities have a sense of belonging and the confidence to participate within new contexts. They understand the importance of balancing rights, roles, and responsibilities and of contributing to the quality and sustainability of social, cultural, physical, and economic environments.

Values

To be encouraged, modelled, and explored

Values are deeply held beliefs about what is important or desirable. They are expressed through the ways in which people think and act.

Every decision relating to curriculum and every interaction that takes place in a school reflects the values of the individuals involved and the collective values of the institution.

The values on the list below enjoy widespread support because it is by holding these values and acting on them that we are able to live together and thrive. The list is neither exhaustive nor exclusive.

Students will be encouraged to value:

  • excellence, by aiming high and by persevering in the face of difficulties
  • innovation, inquiry, and curiosity, by thinking critically, creatively, and reflectively
  • diversity, as found in our different cultures, languages, and heritages
  • equity, through fairness and social justice
  • community and participation for the common good
  • ecological sustainability, which includes care for the environment
  • integrity, which involves being honest, responsible, and accountable and acting ethically

and to respect themselves, others, and human rights.

The specific ways in which these values find expression in an individual school will be guided by dialogue between the school and its community. They should be evident in the school’s philosophy, structures, curriculum, classrooms, and relationships. When the school community has developed strongly held and clearly articulated values, those values are likely to be expressed in everyday actions and interactions within the school.

Through their learning experiences, students will learn about:

  • their own values and those of others
  • different kinds of values, such as moral, social, cultural, aesthetic, and economic values
  • the values on which New Zealand’s cultural and institutional traditions are based
  • the values of other groups and cultures.

Through their learning experiences, students will develop their ability to:

  • express their own values
  • explore, with empathy, the values of others
  • critically analyse values and actions based on them
  • discuss disagreements that arise from differences in values and negotiate solutions
  • make ethical decisions and act on them.

All the values listed above can be expanded into clusters of related values that collectively suggest their fuller meanings. For example, 'community and participation for the common good' is associated with values and notions such as peace, citizenship, and manaakitanga.

Principles

Foundations of curriculum decision making

The principles set out below embody beliefs about what is important and desirable in school curriculum – nationally and locally. They should underpin all school decision making.

These principles put students at the centre of teaching and learning, asserting that they should experience a curriculum that engages and challenges them, is forward-looking and inclusive, and affirms New Zealand’s unique identity.

Although similar, the principles and the values have different functions. The principles relate to how curriculum is formalised in a school; they are particularly relevant to the processes of planning, prioritising, and review. The values are part of the everyday curriculum – encouraged, modelled, and explored.

All curriculum should be consistent with these eight statements:

High expectations 

The curriculum supports and empowers all students to learn and achieve personal excellence, regardless of their individual circumstances.

Treaty of Waitangi

The curriculum acknowledges the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the bicultural foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand. All students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga.

Cultural diversity

The curriculum reflects New Zealand’s cultural diversity and values the histories and traditions of all its people.

Inclusion 

The curriculum is non-sexist, non-racist, and non-discriminatory; it ensures that students’ identities, languages, abilities, and talents are recognised and affirmed and that their learning needs are addressed.

Learning to learn

The curriculum encourages all students to reflect on their own learning processes and to learn how to learn.

Community engagement

The curriculum has meaning for students, connects with their wider lives, and engages the support of their families, whānau, and communities.

Coherence

The curriculum offers all students a broad education that makes links within and across learning areas, provides for coherent transitions, and opens up pathways to further learning.

Future focus

The curriculum encourages students to look to the future by exploring such significant future-focused issues as sustainability, citizenship, enterprise, and globalisation.