Curriculum at Nelson Central School

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A Ministry of Education statement [1]sets out the government's vision for New Zealand children: "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."

Our school statement is:A passion for life-long learning. The outcome of this vision will be future learners who have the characteristics to approach their future in a positive frame of mind and with the willingness and capability to continue to their learning every day.


Our approach to visioning for a learner who graduates from our school has been informed by several references including the Ministry of Education statement on the Key Competencies

   * thinking
   * using language, symbols, and texts
   * managing self
   * relating to others
   * participating and contributing

and the International Baccalaureate Organisation's learner profile. [2] the key elements of which are that students will be:

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open-minded
  • Caring
  • Risk-takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective

We subscribe to the Ministry of Education aspiration for learners who are:

  • Confident
  • Connected
  • Actively involved
  • Lifelong learners

We also have a vision for students for whom Te Marautanga Maori is the curriculum:


The Board of Trustees expectations for student achievement are fourfold:

  1. that students will be life long learners in ways that are consistent with their interests, skills and aspirations
  2. that each year all students will improve their levels of achievement in the school curriculum from the previous year
  3. that students will be in receipt of a curriculum that is balanced in terms of academic, cultural and social content
  4. that students will learn through the use of innovative teaching pedagogy


School Statement:To inspire excellence in everyone


We subscribe to the Ministry of Education statement on values [3]

Our school statement also confirms our commitment to these priority values:

  • Doing our best
  • Making good choices
  • Getting along with others
  • Looking after our world


We subscribe to the Ministry of Education statement on principles [4]that embody beliefs about what is important and desirable in school curriculum – nationally and locally. They should underpin all school decision making. These are:

  • High expectations
  • The Treaty of Waitangi
  • Cultural diversity
  • Inclusion
  • Learning to learn
  • Community engagement
  • Coherence
  • A Future focus


Some key statements in the Ministry of Education document [5]and to which we subscribe include: The New Zealand Curriculum is a statement of official policy relating to teaching and learning in English-medium New Zealand schools. It sets the direction for student learning and provides guidance for schools as they design and review their curriculum.

A parallel document, Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, will serve the same function for Māori-medium schools.

Both start with visions of young people who will develop the competencies they need for study, work, and lifelong learning and go on to realise their potential. Together, the two documents will help schools give effect to the partnership that is at the core of our nation’s founding document, Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi. The New Zealand Curriculum applies to all English-medium state schools (including integrated schools) and to all students in those schools. Schools that also offer Māori-medium programmes may use Te Marautanga o Aotearoa as the basis for such programmes.


Ministry of Education statement [6]

Competencies help us to live, learn, work and contribute to society. They are more than skills and involve knowledge, attitudes and values that result in action. Competencies are critical in all areas of our being.

We concur with the Ministry of Education statement, “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”.

Our work with children includes personal goals, other people, community knowledge and values, cultural tools (language, symbols, and texts), and the knowledge and skills found in different learning areas.

We intend that children should have opportunities to develop the full range of key competencies and to make these practices part of their own identity and expertise. Learning contexts at school will be designed to challenge and support children as they develop their competencies.


Ministry of Education Statement [7]


Ministry of Education statement [8]



School Goals for 2006-2011

  • To maximize learning outcomes for all students.
  • To strengthen the partnership between home & school.
  • To value diversity.
  • To be a vibrant sustainable Nelson City School.


Ministry of Education statement [9]

2009 CURRICULUM TARGETS Data gathered in 2008 indicates the need for a continued focus on Reading, Writing, Mathematics and Inquiry Learning:

  1. Reading - Raise achievement in reading with understanding for all children through the following sub targets:
    1. Students in Years 1-3 will be reading at expectations as per the Literacy Learning Progressions.
    2. Students in Years 3-6 will be at typical or above range on STAR Sentence Comprehension. Paragraph Comprehension and Vocabulary.
  2. Writing – Raise achievement in writing for all children through the following sub-targets:
    1. All students will be writing at or above expectation using Exemplars and/or AsTTle writing in the identified domains (surface & deeper features).
    2. All students in the Year 4-6 age group will improve at least one sub level in the use of surface and deeper features using the Asttle writing assessment tool.
  3. Mathematics - All students will be working at or above the expected Numeracy strategy level for their year group.
  4. Inquiry Learning – All students will improve the quality of their questioning by improving the percentage of relevant inquiry questions


DISCIPLINARY Knowledge, skills, understandings within one learning area MULTIDISCIPLINARYLearning a topic across several learning areas simultaneously INTERDISCIPLINARYTransferring the methods, models, processes or forms of logic from one learning area & applying these within another(eg applying math equation to calculate an ecological footprint) TRANSDISCIPLINARY(word coined by Jean Piaget 1970)Focus on issues across learning areas, between them & beyond them, for the emergence of new & broader perspectives & for deeper understanding of the inter-relatedness of complex issues. Enables new possibilities & potentialities. by Joy de Leo

The transdisciplinary evolution of learning by Basarab Nicolescu



Ministry of Education statement [10]

Our thinking about effective pedagogy is informed by the Ministry of Education statement on the subject. In addition, other sources have been consulted, including the material on productive pedagogies that originated in Queensland.



Approaches to assessment used in various areas of the curriculum.

  1. Transdisciplinary units

Assessment requirements will be met through a series of ‘performances’ or ‘rich tasks’ associated with each sub theme. The rich tasks are stated in each unit of work. There may be some minor variation on these depending upon the level of the school children are working at.

  1. Inquiry learning

For the period 2007-2009 inquiry learning will be measured through Trevor Bond's stages of questioning

  1. Literacy
    1. STAR testing
    2. Running records
  2. Writing
    1. AsTTle testing
  3. Numeracy
    1. NUMPA