Post by Dr Mala Nataraj; Te Kareti o Herewini – Selwyn College

At this years HOD day, Esa Samani, Manager New Zealand Curriculum Refresh, shared with us where we are in this mahi, what it means for the mathematics and statistics learning area of the curriculum, and how teachers can be involved.  We had record numbers of participants attending this year, with over 200 HODs and Unit Holders from not only Tamaki Mākaurau, but also from other parts of the country.

Esa shared with us discussion questions which we had the opportunity to discuss on the day and a Google feedback form  that can continue to be filled over the next couple of weeks. Both the questions and the form may be found here along with the presentation slides. This is an opportunity for our voices to be heard.

HODs/Unit holders are encouraged to have a conversation with their colleagues in their mathematics learning areas around these questions and feedback to the Ministry via the Google form.


Key messages from Esa’s presentation:

  1. The National Curriculum is being refreshed and the aim is to design a curriculum that provides all ākonga with the opportunity to thrive at school
  2. What we know is that ākonga want a curriculum that is meaningful to them and their whanau with a strong focus on their wellbeing, identities, languages and cultures. Teachers, parents and whanau want more clarity on what ākonga will be learning at school and Kura
  3. The NZC will be refreshed so it is bicultural & inclusive (including the rights of ākonga with disabilities and other learning support needs), clear, easy to use
  4. Mātauranga māori, key competencies, literacy and mathematics woven throughout the curriculum
  5. The curriculum will be available digitally with links to supporting resources
  6. The NZC will be refreshed over 5 years
  • 2021- Social Sciences
  • 2022- English, Mathematics and Statistics, Science
  • 2023- Health and PE, Languages, Technology and Arts
  • 2025- All schools using refreshed curriculum

Progress outcomes will replace achievement objectives and will be based on ‘phases of learning’ and on a model of “Understand, Know and Do” with coherence across the curriculum


What are the priorities?

  • Access to the right teaching and skills at the right time
  • Clear expectations for teaching and learning
  • People understand learners’ progress
  • High quality curriculum resources

In the next five years, there will be opportunities for everyone across Aotearoa | New Zealand to be involved in the design, test, and implement stages of the refresh through a collaborative approach.


Esa’s keynote left me with  these thoughts and questions

  1. Can the NCEA changes (Achievement Standards, Literacy and Numeracy Standards) and the curriculum refresh be discussed together?
  2. How can the ‘Understand, Know and Do’ and coherence model translate to the mathematics and statistics learning area?
  3. Teachers and leaders, students and whanau would like to have greater clarity on what is to be learnt at each “phase of learning” in all the strands of mathematics and statistics
  4. What core knowledge of foundational concepts, skills at each phase of learning will enable greater access to the curriculum and coherent pathways for ākonga?
  5. Professional learning and development for teachers on content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge – a vital aspect
  6. Curriculum resources – it is crucial that resources on key concepts, skills, authentic cross curricular learning, bicultural and multicultural themes, assessments and practice assessments that support teaching and learning are available for students and teachers, kura and whanau to use.
Watch Esa’s session

View the slides

Feedback on the Curriculum Refresh


HOD day was full of many thought provoking ideas and useful resources shared by the presenters. You can find these linked on the event site 
There were opportunities for networking, catching up with friends and to browse the trade display stands over kai.

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