This national evaluation report presents findings from the third stage of ERO’s investigation into schools’ readiness to give effect to The New Zealand Curriculum.

Since 2008, schools have been preparing to give full effect to The New Zealand Curriculum, using a range of support materials and resources to guide their progress. In two previous reports, ERO evaluated the extent to which schools had considered vision, values, key competencies, learning areas and principles as part of their own curriculum review and design. In 2008 many schools had already started to implement aspects of The New Zealand Curriculum. From the beginning of 2010, however, all schools’ curricula are expected to align with The New Zealand Curriculum.

This report presents the findings from ERO’s investigation under two main headings:

  • School leaders’ progress with preparations for giving effect to The New Zealand Curriculum – What aspects were going well and what schools had done to move toward implementation; what aspects were slower to develop and what factors were impeding preparation?
  • Teaching to promote student learning – In the schools where all or most teachers were aligning practice to The New Zealand Curriculum, what were they doing particularly well and what factors contributed to effective implementation; in the schools where teacher actions had yet to reflect The New Zealand Curriculum, what were the barriers faced?

In contrast with ERO’s previous two reports on The New Zealand Curriculum, this third evaluation presents findings from primary and secondary schools together, rather than separating and comparing them. In taking this approach, ERO recognised that all schools were expected to be implementing The New Zealand Curriculum by February 2010. It was therefore less useful to compare the two sectors. Differences, moreover, were less apparent than in the previous studies. Where there were contrasts or important differences between primary and secondary, these have been incorporated into the findings as appropriate.

This report focuses on the effective teaching and learning found in the schools studied, and on the associated factors that contributed to or hindered full implementation of The New Zealand Curriculum. These factors included activities undertaken to reflect community priorities in schools’ own curricula, as well as leaders’ progress with reviewing existing frameworks and designing curricula aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum.