NCEA & National Curriculum news
Clear and firm guidelines should be given to schools about how the four remaining NCEA Teacher Only Days are used this year. That was the view shared by many delegates at PPTA Te Wehengarua Issues and Organising seminar, held in March.
The Accord between the Ministry of Education, NZEI Te Riu Roa, and PPTA Te Wehengarua allocated eight Teacher Only Days (TODs) to be used in 2021-22 to support the implementation of changes to NCEA, and wider strengthening of curriculum, progress and achievement practice.
Get involved in TOD discussions
At the seminar, Kirsty Farrant, PPTA Te Wehengarua, Deputy General Secretary Policy, told delegates while there was some flexibility around how these remaining TODs could be used, branch chairs were strongly urged to be involved in discussions about them. “We really want to see these days being used for NCEA or the curriculum.”
Taranaki regional treasurer, Grant Collie, said rather than putting the onus on branch chairs, the Ministry of Education should be giving some clear instructions on the TODs. “We need to be making sure these days are not used for pet projects.”
Kirsty said PPTA was pleased the Minister had eventually agreed with the PPTA’s persistent and strong advocacy for a delay in the NCEA review timeline. Level 1 mini pilots will take place this year with full pilots happening next year and full implementation in 2024. Full implementation of Levels 2 and 3 will occur in 2025 and 2026.
“We’re also pleased that there seems to be a commitment from the government to align the NCEA review with the national curriculum refresh.” The curriculum refresh will involve all learning areas following a similar design, standard and process – understand, know, do - to help bring some clarity and coherence to how important learning and progress are described.
Curriculum matters at all secondary education levels
There has historically between a disconnect between curriculum and secondary education, said Kirsty. “Curriculum matters were regarded by some people as important for secondary only up to Year 10, but the NCEA is based on the curriculum so it is very relevant at all levels of secondary education.”
At an initial national forum on the curriculum refresh, there were only two people representing secondary education in a large room of people. “There is now far more secondary education representation in the various forums that are working on the curriculum refresh, thanks to PPTA’s agitation.”
Student-centred curriculum fundamental
Louise Ryan, a PPTA Te Wehengarua national executive member from Tāmaki Makaurau, who represents PPTA in several curriculum groups, said it was fundamental for all students to be able to see themselves in the curriculum.
Mike Waller, national executive member for Nelson / West Coast and PPTA representative on the Curriculum Voices Group, likened the plans for a student-centred curriculum to going uniform shopping with kids instead of for them. A much better fit was guaranteed.
He was pleased the curriculum refresh would see students’ genuine learning experiences, such as karate lessons, being included in their record of learning. “This gives a much better picture of the student.”