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Curriculum context


“It [the IEP process] is about writing students into The New Zealand Curriculum rather than writing students out.” Principal quote, 2011

Teaching and learning for all students in New Zealand schools, including those with special education needs, takes place within the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

These curricula are the basis of the IEP process and the criteria for judging the quality of all teaching and learning.

The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa

The New Zealand Curriculum: applies to all English-medium… students… irrespective of their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, belief, ability or disability, social or cultural background, or geographical location. (New Zealand Curriculum, 2007, page 6)

Every aspect of the curriculum, including its vision, principles, values, and key competencies, is important.

A key vision is to equip all students to be “confident, connected, actively involved, and lifelong learners” (New Zealand Curriculum, 2007, page 8)

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa states: Through the school working together with its community, whānau, hapū, and iwi, graduates of Māori-medium schools will … reach their full potential … be confident to pursue their own lifelong learning pathways … participate positively in the community … live successful and fulfilling lives. Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, 2008, pages 2 and 3 of online English version, page 8 of printed te reo version

Balanced programmes

Two primary age children lining up in the playground

Schools need to design balanced programmes for all students.

They should explore “the natural connections that exist between learning areas and that link learning areas to the values and key competencies.”(The New Zealand Curriculum, 2007, page 16).

Making such links will bring out the best ways to support students’ learning and help them to reach their full potential.

Adaptations and differentiations to the school and classroom curriculum

For information on using “adaptations and differentiations” to make the curriculum more accessible to students with special education needs (see Adaptations and differentations to the school and classroom curriculum). 

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