Introduction

Principles in The New Zealand Curriculum

The New Zealand Curriculum enables all schools to design their own learning programmes to meet the needs of their communities and students. Every school’s curriculum should be a unique and responsive blueprint of what they and their community consider is important and desirable for students to learn. The vision, values, principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum provide a framework for stakeholders to engage in discussion about the kind of people they want students to be, and the best means to support students to develop their potential.

The eight principles of The New Zealand Curriculum are the foundations of curriculum review, design and practice in schools.[1] The principles apply equally to all schools and to every aspect of the curriculum. The eight principles are as follows:

High expectations: The curriculum supports and empowers all students to learn and achieve personal excellence, regardless of their 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 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 future 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.