Teaching tools

First three tools in Local Curriculum Design Toolkit available in Term 4

The first three parts of the Community of Learning |Kāhui Ako Local Curriculum Design Toolkit will be released to all Kāhui Ako in Term 4 2017.

The Design Toolkit is made up of five tools. These combine to help communities to build a shared local curriculum, focused on supporting children and young people across the entire 0 to 18 education pathway. Three will be available in Term 4; the final two will be available before the end of 2017.

Combined, the five tools will:

  • Help Kahui Ako teachers plan a local curriculum focused on the needs of all their students, and to develop personalised learning pathways across all age groups.
  • Assist members in a Kāhui Ako to learn from each other across their early learning, schooling and tertiary pathways
  • Allow Kāhui Ako to develop, and to share, collaborative inquiry projects, in order to raise the quality of teaching capability and learning by sharing innovative practices
  • Ensure Kāhui Ako consider te ao Māori, te reo and tikanga Māori in their local curriculum. 
  • Enable Kāhui Ako to develop their curriculum with help from parents, iwi, employers and communities, to meet the needs of their students

Tools available in Term 4

Kāhui Ako leaders and teachers have ‘tested’ the first three tools, before release. They have given valuable feedback in the process, and are enthusiastic about the potential of these sections of the Design Tool to support inquiries into how teacher best practice can help lift progress and achievement.

The three tools scheduled for release in Term 4 are:

Te Whare Wānanga

Te Whare Wānanga promotes a Māori approach to curriculum development, teaching and learning, working together, and to building relationships. This tool can be used in a Māori or English medium settings and by any Kāhui Ako if this is the pathway that they choose.

The goal of Te Whare Wānanga is Rapua te ara tika or Seeking the right pathway. Te Whare Wānanga encourages deep and aspirational thinking as a prerequisite for developing curriculum. It helps guide Kāhui Ako decision making in curriculum design that reflects who the ākonga is, why that matters, and how curricula could be delivered in more authentic and meaningful ways.

Collaborative Inquiry Tool

This tool provides a sustainable digital system for establishing strategic focus areas, developing inquiry proposals, monitoring progress, and sharing findings. It helps you to notice and respond to variations in teacher practice and ākonga outcomes, including both the ‘hard spots’ and the pockets of excellence.

Relationships for Learning Tool

This tool helps Kāhui Ako focus on the community relationships that can support their vision. It describes the key people and groups a Kāhui Ako may choose to work with to support learning. It is built on the recognition that children are born into a community. When a child learns from and with their community, they come to understand how their community works socially, politically, economically, and culturally. And they also learn how they can contribute to, and help shape their community.

Tools available by the end of 2017

The final two tools will be available before the end of 2017. These are:

Coherent Pathways Tool

This tool will help Kāhui Ako ensure that their learners experience learning continuity as they move from early childhood through to the end of their secondary schooling. It guides Kāhui Ako so they develop and capture statements at key transition points and also share the capabilities they community believes are important.

Planning Rich Opportunities for Learning Tool

This tool helps Kāhui Ako draw on their environment and their community relationships to design meaningful learning opportunities that build the capabilities they wish to prioritise. It enables Kāhui Ako to design opportunities for their learners to contribute to their communities in ways that build on and strengthen both community and learner capabilities.

Regional support

The project team has been training Regional Office staff so they can assist Kāhui Ako to explore and to use the Toolkit. Expert Partners will also be providing support to Kāhui Ako on using the Toolkit, tailored to their needs and stages of development.


The project team is making a video (in te reo Māori and English) introducing the Tools, including an explanation on how using Te Whare Wānanga can facilitate a process for deep inquiry into shared areas for improvement. These videos will be here, and on the Toolkit website.

In the interim, the concept video below provides an overview of the Toolkit.

Further information

If you want to know more about the Local Curriculum Design Toolkit, or arrange a demonstration for your Kāhui Ako of the three soon-to-be released tools, email us at: Curriculum.design@education.govt.nz

Learning Progressions Framework

The Learning Progressions Frameworks in reading, writing and mathematics show the significant steps that learners take as they develop in reading, writing and mathematics from Years 1–10. The frameworks now clarify the expected knowledge and skills that students need to develop in Years 9 and 10, to support success in NCEA and beyond. 

Communities of Learning can download the Learning Progression app from the Apple and Google Play stores or access the framework online (external link) . 

Progress and Consistency Tool

The Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) supports consistent judgments of student progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in Years 1–8. The Learning Progressions Frameworks are a key part of PaCT. 

PaCT supports the New Zealand Curriculum, prompts teachers to notice what students know and can do, and can help Communities of Learning share consistent data on learner progress.

Read more and get set up in PaCT (external link) .

Te Waharoa Ararau

Te Waharoa Ararau (TWA) (external link) is an online system that kura in Communities of Learning can use to collect and report individual student achievement information in relation to Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. It is available to all schools with Year 1-8 students. 

TWA collates and reports overall teacher judgments in one place, so that teachers and kura can build a picture of how student achievement is progressing in relation to te reo matatini (literacy) and pāngarau (numeracy).

Positive Behaviour for Learning

Positive Behaviour for Learning School-Wide (PB4L-SW) is an evidence-based framework that provides schools with a process for teaching social and behavioural skills to support learning, engagement and retention at school. 

The principles underpinning PB4L-SW can be applied in individual schools and across Communities of Learning. In a Community of Learning, working together and using data and evidence supports team-based problem solving that contributes to meeting the achievement challenges. 

Read more about PB4L-SW (external link) and other positive behaviour approaches.

Teacher-led Innovation Fund

This fund enables groups of teachers (including those in Communities of Learning) to carry out innovative projects and develop new practices to improve progress and achievement for children and young people. 

Teachers are encouraged to collaboratively develop their project proposal by working together across early childhood education services, schools and kura, depending on the project.


Projects are categorised according to their cost: less than $40,000, $40,000–$75,000 and more than $75,000.

The innovative projects will:

  • inquire into ‘puzzles of practice’ to find ways to help learners succeed
  • work in partnership with experts – academics, researchers, community and cultural leaders, innovation experts
  • spread what works to other Communities of Learning.

Find examples of previous projects in this NZCER report (external link) .

Application dates

Application rounds 4 and 5 open in November 2017 and 2018. Round 3 closes on 13 April 2017 for early childhood educators. Applications for Years 1–13 closed in March.

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