The New Zealand Curriculum is a document that outlines educational requirements in schools. The everyday teaching and learning that students experience is the result of teachers weaving together the national curriculum with local context and the diverse aspirations of learners and their whānau, in ways that are responsive to individual learner progress.


In 2019 a five-year programme to refresh the New Zealand Curriculum began. Due to a the COVID-19 pandemic this timeline has become flexible with estimated completion pushed out to 2026.


A refreshed New Zealand Curriculum will support students through their education journey and beyond by creating better connections between curriculum learning at the earlier years and subject-specific learning at the later years. This will create a continuous learning experience for students to develop the foundation needed for success throughout education and in national qualifications.


The National Curriculum Refresh and the NCEA Change Programme are progressing in tandem, with changes phased in over the next four to five years. Several important changes are already being implemented but we know that meaningful change takes time. Throughout this period, we are committed to ensuring all students have fair assessments based on their learning to date.


Daily attendance at school is a key part to your child’s learning and success. We understand there have been considerable changes implemented this year in comparison to previous years of schooling. With change comes opportunity, opportunity to adapt, opportunity to change and opportunity to grow. As our world changes, so must we.

Junior Curriculum

The Junior School timetable (Year 7-10) offers students personalised and engaging learning opportunities that enable academic and personal success. It provides a range of opportunities for authentic learning across the curriculum. It is a deliberate approach to curriculum structure, scaffolding student agency and is taught through the local context.

Foundation Skills

This time is for explicit teaching sessions, targeting key aspects of Literacy and Numeracy which are foundational to students’ ability to access further education.

Foundation skills are taught in Whānau classes where possible. Year 7 & 8 Whānau teachers teach both Numeracy and Literacy. Year 9 & 10 classes are taught by teachers with literacy and numeracy expertise. An extension and acceleration class is created across the Awa. They have targeted teaching sessions at the required level.

Literacy learning through total immersion in Te Reo Māori is an option for all learners.

Students work towards NCEA literacy and numeracy credits by the end of Year 10.

Integrated Modules cover at least three curriculum/subject areas. All Modules will be related to the ‘big idea’ which is the term focus across the Junior school.

Curriculum/subject areas include Science, Social Science, The Arts, Technology, Digital Tech, Aōtearoa Histories, Te Reo Māori, Health and Physical Education.

Over the year students must cover all curriculum areas to ensure they experience the full breadth of the curriculum.

Modules are co-constructed learning experiences. The teacher is responsible for ‘setting the scene’ and guiding the learning journey. Students are responsible for collecting evidence of learning using a Digital Portfolio.

During this time students lead their own project work that links to the ‘big idea’. They develop a project/initiative that positively contributes to the community in some way. This could be within the school community or across the wider local community. Students will either; be supported to establish Community based projects; work within existing projects; or they will be given agency to lead their own initiative.

Community Contribution provides students with choice and control over their learning context and direction. Teachers support students to develop, plan and organise themselves and their initiative, as well as capture teachable moments as they arise. Students are responsible for gathering evidence for their digital learning portfolio during this work.

In the Junior School students have two blocks of Flexi Time each week. This is teacher supported learning. Students will complete work in progress, specialist studies and work identified by teachers. Extension Programmes will be offered in this learning block.

Students begin and end their day in their Whānau class. This will become their base. Whānau teachers are the first point of contact for students and whanau. Whānau teachers know their students very well and are able to support them as needed.
During Whānau hui, students and teachers will say Karakia, mark attendance, read the notices and are led through our school values – learning Te Paepae o Aotea values.


Individual Learning Programmes are planned and reviewed at this time. Students also work through the Social and Emotional Curriculum by completing activities to support their wellbeing and personal growth. Junior students who are using school issued devices will store these safely for charging overnight in their Whānau classroom. Students will collect and return devices during Whānau hui.

Students will often have Awa hui on Monday morning prior to Tuakana-Teina time.


Our timetable has changed to ensure we prepare our students for the 21st century workforce and their future lives within an ever-changing world. To meet these needs, we have created a timetable that allows for specific curriculum subjects to be taught along with the specific soft skills employers are looking for.

These skills are taught through The Social Emotional Learning Curriculum which is the key focus for 45 mins of the Monday morning Block 1 period. It is designed to explicitly teach students key skills and competencies such as good decision making, self-awareness, problem solving, self-management skills, working collaboratively and conflict resolution, to name a few, so our students become effective communicators and agile and adaptive learners in an ever-changing world.

Soft skills are a combination of people skills, developing attitudes, social and emotional intelligence, self-management, problem solving and much more and are vital in preparing our students for the 21st century workforce. The assessments which make up the remainder of the period link to this curriculum and are relevant and purposeful to what they are learning in class.

Block 3 on a Friday also known as Tuakana Teina is the time when these soft skills can be practically applied within school through a variety of initiatives that cover four key areas: Academic, Community, Cultural and Sport. These initiatives also see groups work collaboratively with younger members of our school which will help them develop their character, competence and belonging to school.

We ask parents, whānau and caregivers to support this vision for change by encouraging your child to attend these periods at school. These skills will benefit them greatly throughout their lives and prepare them for any pathway they choose to follow when they leave school. Many employers will teach job specific skills, but future employees need a willingness to learn, a positive attitude and show resilience when faced with challenges if they are to be employment ready when they leave their education journey.

Senior Curriculum

Learning Programmes for senior students (Year 11-13) at Te Paepae o Aotea are divided into two semesters, similar to a university programme structure. Semester One begins in February and Semester Two in late June. Courses of study are called Modules and centre around topics of interest for our senior students. Modules encourage and allow exceptional learning and educational outcomes.

Modules meet New Zealand curriculum requirements and offer relevant assessments to meet student academic and vocational needs. Students gain credits towards NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3 (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) and can work towards and achieve University Entrance by the end of Year 13.

Vocational courses include trades courses (in conjunction with WITT), Build a Bach, PITO (Primary Industry Training Organisation) and Agriculture.

Students select four modules each semester. Modules run over one semester, or both, depending on the chosen pathway. Modules include either single subject content, or integrate two or more subject areas. Integrated Modules allow students to make connections across multiple subjects, using similar concepts and experiences. The information and skills are transferable. This approach increases engagement, interest and improves student learning and outcomes.
Course endorsement is achievable where there are at least 14 credits offered in the module, regardless of which curriculum area the standards come from.
Year 11 students will begin their NCEA journey in 2024 using new standards developed through the NCEA change programme. Each subject has four standards (two internal, two external).

Numeracy and Literacy are co-requisites that students can sit when ready from Year 9.

Year 13 students can work towards achieving University Entrance by studying modules that include 14 credits in three approved subject areas.
The Learning Programme/timetable for a senior student is planned at an Individual Learning Programme (ILP) meeting with the student, whānau and the Whānau teacher. This meeting ensures that students are able to attain their learning and vocational goals.

Students develop essential life skills through relevant and practical experiences in Enrichment modules. This learning assists students beyond school and encourages lifelong learning. Students choose a different Enrichment module for each term. Enrichment focuses on completing assessments across different curriculum areas.

Students begin the day in their Whānau class. Their Whānau teachers are the first point of contact for students and whānau. Whānau teachers know their students very well and are able to support them as needed.


During Whānau hui students and teachers will say Karakia, mark attendance, read the notices and are led through our school values, learning Te Paepae o Aotea values. Individual Learning Programmes are planned and reviewed at this time.
Students also work through the Social and Emotional Curriculum by completing activities to support their wellbeing and personal growth.


Each Whānau Class in the Senior School has a Junior Whānau Class buddy within their Awa.


At the start of each week, during Tuakana-Teina time, students from across the school connect to develop their Awa identity and culture and learn Te Paepae o Aotea values. Senior students lead, mentor and support juniors to support their wellbeing.