Leadership for curriculum

Teaching practices were inclusive and respectful of Pacific values and beliefs. Parents and families contributed to the curriculum and enhanced teachers’ professional knowledge. This meant that programmes better reflected children’s culture, values and beliefs. Teachers were receptive to feedback from families, other teachers, local schools and the wider Pacific community.


What’s important?

What does good practice look like?

For example:


The Pacific language of the service was consistently used in conversations and was evident in planning documents and assessment records. Most staff spoke the Pacific language fluently. Rituals and routines such as prayers and songs incorporated Pacific values. In some services, the children were confident in leading these sessions.

All the teachers were fluent speakers of the service’s Pacific language. Providing the curriculum in the Pacific language and the commitment by the teachers to constantly lift their practices was the main reason this service was able to provide a culturally relevant curriculum despite having undergone some organisational changes.

Community engagement

Teachers took time to get to know the children and their families. The families understood the values and stories used by the service. Children’s portfolios were inclusive of and meaningful to their families. Families’ ‘voices’ were sought and visible in the children’s learning and, in some services, in planning documents.

The centre used the Ara (pandanus tree) for planning and assessment because the children’s parents understood it, which helped the teachers with explaining the children’s learning. Parents also used the Ara to share their aspirations for their children.

Linking curriculum to

Te Whāriki

The curriculum was child-focused, giving children the freedom to choose where, when, and who they played with. Teachers knew the children well, provided programmes that engaged and extended their learning, and were responsive to their cultural contexts. The curriculum reflected the services’ commitment to bicultural learning.

Teachers used open-ended and interesting questions to prompt children’s thinking and curiosity. They encouraged children to ask questions. Teachers knew of the cultural tensions that can exist with this approach, so they supported children to be respectful and responsible when asking questions.

Partnerships for Learning

Leaders understood and put into practice genuine collaborative approaches for working with Pacific parents and families. Where they had previously gathered parents and families’ ideas, they now make decisions together. Parents and families were involved in setting goals and discussing their child’s progress.

This centre has well-established networks with other Pacific services and teachers were encouraged to share ideas and learning. Children were invited to perform at local community events, which helped to build their confidence.