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Essential considerations for programme planning

Work through the following steps as you start your learning programme design.

Use them as a checklist to ensure that you have used The New Zealand Curriculum at the appropriate level, along with any achievement standards to assess learning.

1. Identify the curriculum resources you will require:

2. Ensure that the programme:

  • enacts the department’s vision and philosophy for the learning area and the school’s vision and goals
  • meets the learning pathway needs of all students, building on students’ prior knowledge, skills and/or practices
  • is relevant to the students, their whānau and their communities
  • is guided by the vision, values, and principles of The New Zealand Curriculum (pages 8–10), the outcomes from the learning area intent (pages 22–23), and the HPE achievement objectives.

3. Ensure that the content and resourcing cover:

  • student learning needs
  • teaching as inquiry to improve outcomes for learners
  • teacher experience and needs
  • community expertise
  • possible contexts and curriculum-related resource material.


4. Consider assessment:

  • for improving learning (The New Zealand Curriculum, pages 39–41, and Assessment Online):
    • opportunities to assess
    • prior knowledge
    • monitor learning process
    • next step learning steps
  • for qualifications:
    • achievement standards.

5. Use the focusing inquiry to develop:

  • potential pathways (school vision and strategic plan, HPE department annual plan, year programmes)
  • evidence of prior learning (using diagnostic information)
  • literacy capacity
  • pedagogical content knowledge
  • long-term overview and units of work
  • assessment tasks.

6. Reflect regularly on your practice (teacher inquiry) and hold teacher-student learning conversations to ensure needs and intent are met. Consider:

  • effective pedagogy
  • ongoing assessment, feedback, feedfoward.

7. Conduct a learning inquiry for teacher and student reflection on programme outcomes, including:

  • units of work/topics
  • overall evaluation of the programme using credible data such as NCEA results, as well as student and teacher reflection and feedback from the community (for example, through questionnaires).

Last updated June 10, 2022