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Learning programme design

How to go about planning (some sample learning programmes).

Shaping an effective learning programme

The New Zealand Curriculum provides the framework within which schools develop their curriculum.

Schools have the freedom to implement the national curriculum in ways that address the needs, interests, and circumstances of their students, and make the best use of their resources. Learning programmes should be designed to develop the key competencies at the same time as their science achievement objectives.

Curriculum design and review

This is an ongoing process because:

  • it needs to be focussed on the students who are a different group each year
  • students’ cultural and learning needs and interests must be reflected
  • topical social and community issues in their science programmes allows students to take advantage of opportunities provided by the extended whānau and extended community
  • learning programmes need to be modified throughout the year as a result of the teaching as inquiry process
  • consultation and curriculum hui with whānau may lead to changes to content, context, and activities in response to student feedback, whānau input, and teacher inquiry.

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Characteristics of effective science learning programmes

In this guide, we use three different terms for levels of planning:

Programme refers to an overview of year 9-13 science learning. It is based on The New Zealand Curriculum and describes big ideas of science important for all learners. It needs to show a progression of scientific processes and concepts that learners engage in, back-mapped from the graduate profile for a science learner at Year 13. It needs to provide pathways for different groups of learners in science.

Course refers to a self-contained sequence of learning with a specific set of objectives. A course (for example, a year 12 biology course) may comprise several topics or units of study. It is based on achievement objectives selected from the nature of science strand and the contextual strands and could combine achievement objectives from other learning areas. At level 6 to 8 this learning could be assessed by 18 to 20 credits from a range of achievement standards.

Unit refers to a shorter block of learning around a theme/context. This learning is based on achievement objectives selected from the nature of science strand and the contextual strands and may provide opportunities for assessment using one or two achievement standards.

There are some characteristics that generally apply to science planning.

Effective planning:

Effective planning for senior secondary science also:

This guide provides examples of innovative student-centred learning programmes and courses.

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Last updated August 14, 2019