The National Standards came into effect in 2010 for English-medium schools with Years 1 to 8 students. They describe the achievement that will enable all students to achieve success across The New Zealand Curriculum and have been designed so a student who meets them is on track to succeed at National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 2.

In the publication, National Standards Information for Schools,1 the Ministry of Education stated:

In this first year of implementation, schools will:

  • help students understand the standards and their goals in relation to them
  • assess students’ progress and achievement in relation to the standards, using a range of assessment methods
  • ensure that students understand their progress and achievement and what the next steps are in their learning
  • provide at least two plain-language reports to parents, family and whānau about their child’s progress in relation to the standards
  • support parents, family, and whānau to understand the process and format of reporting and how they can work with schools to support their child’s progress.

The National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) require schools to report to parents and students progress and achievement in relation to National Standards. From February 2010, schools have been required to report to parents in writing and in plain language, at least twice a year, about how their child is progressing and achieving in relation to the reading, writing, and mathematics standards. The focus of the mid-year report is expected to be on progress towards meeting the standards, with the end‑of‑year report to summarise individual students' progress and achievement in relation to the standards.

Schools were expected to set targets in their 2011 charters that would enable them to report in their 2012 annual report on:2

  • the numbers and proportions of students at, above, below or well below the standards, including Māori, Pasifika and by gender (where this does not breach an individual’s privacy)
  • how students are progressing against the standards as well as how they are achieving.

This report provides good practice examples of how selected schools implemented National Standards. The eight schools included in this report were selected from those reviewed during the 2011 National Standards evaluation. These schools were identified as working well with the National Standards.