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The reason for our Curriculum Cohesion gift

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

by Rebecca Thomas and Steve Saville




After attending various MOE Curriculum meetings over the past two weeks, it is clear there is a desire for us all to ‘socialise’ with the whakapapa and the 'why' the NZC is having a refresh.


The unique whakapapa and ‘the why’ is a heart warming taonga from Dr. Wayne Ngata and members of Rōpu Kaitiaki (a group of eminent experts in mātauranga Māori), it’s poetic, justified, and about time we have a document in Aotearoa that will unite and serve our young people and communities well into the future. If you have yet to watch the video where Dr. Wayne Ngata explains the whakapapa you can find it here.


It will be 2026 before we fully implement Mātaiaho, between then and now we are encouraged to explore, understand, and give feedback as each element is slowly unraveled. This time frame might cause a little stress and anxiety as we all want to do it justice, and other than reading the documents and watching the videos, waiting and anticipating the changes ahead, some of us feel like rising and taking action - Mātaioho.


Mātai - to observe, gaze and focus, being the prefix to all that follows.


It was at that beautiful moment of understanding and seeing how paramount it is to focus/observe on what is important Steve and I wondered what a school could do on their teacher only day that would complement this message. A task where they can take action.


Looking Inwards


We know that the front half of the curriculum will be staying the same, but this new lens and whakapapa will give us space to check for cohesion in what we have created and localised so far.


In the past creating the school vision, consulting on values, building graduate/learner profiles and inquiry models has been an ‘extensive’ piece of work for us all. Sometimes through the consultation and co construction of this work it has meant that it may have been carried out over several years.


Due to this complexity it may have meant each section has been worked on in a silo, or with different leaders, different staff, different cohorts of ākonga and whānau, even with different facilitators possibly guiding the way. Now that we have time to pause and have a TOD to come together to talk about the horizon we see ahead, do we have a strong sense of identity as a school now that this work is done?


The tool we gifted you all was a simple way to check that all these carefully designed documents are cohesive as they stand together. Do they flow and weave as we hoped? Do they match the aspirations of our iwi education plans? Do they hold up to refreshed Ka Hikitia - Ka Hāpaitia? Do they embody the NELPS? Does it serve our learners before us today?


While we wait for more messages and 2026, we can reflect, we can observe and focus (mātai), we can look inwards at ourselves. For if we have a secure identity and are confident in what we stand for as a school community we can be confident in any changes to come.


This was our why, our reason for gifting you the Curriculum Cohesion tool. We look forward to seeing and hearing you being empowered and connected, being stronger in your identity, being certain you are ready to face the changes ahead.

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