Te Poutāhū Curriculum Centre Early Learning Update
Te Poutāhū Curriculum Centre Early Learning Update
Kua mahuta mai rā a Hinetakurua
Takurua whare ana
Takurua upoko pāpā
Nau mai Takurua nau mai
I ngā pō tūtanga nui o Hōngongoi
Nau mai, haere atu taku karere
Te karere a Te Poutāhū
Ki runga ki te mata o te whenua
Hinetakurua rises above the eastern horizon
Takurua (Sirius) rising from its abode
Takurua of the bitter cold
Welcome Takurua welcome
In the long cold nights of July
Welcome also my message and depart
The message from Te Poutāhū
Moving over the face of the land
It breathes, it lives!
Welcome to the Te Poutāhū | Curriculum Centre Early Learning Update
Kia ora koutou,
This is the first edition of a regular update for teaching staff of early learning service providers in response to sector feedback to have dedicated curriculum channels.
Produced by Te Poutāhū | Curriculum Centre, it will cover early learning curriculum news including how to access supports and resources, along with opportunities to get involved.
We encourage you to share this with colleagues so they too can subscribe to it. Feedback is welcomed so we can evolve the newsletter into a useful tool for you and your colleagues.
Hautū (Deputy Secretary)
Te Poutāhū | Curriculum Centre
Gazetting the curriculum framework of Te Whāriki
The Ministry is currently engaging with kaiako and leaders on a proposal to expand the legal curriculum framework of Te Whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa early childhood curriculum to include the goals and learning outcomes. It currently includes only the principles and strands.
This is one of the actions from He taonga te tamaiti – Every child a taonga: Early learning action plan 2019–2029. You can find out more about the plan at Kōrero Mātauranga.
What is Te Whāriki?
Te Whāriki (2017) is Aotearoa New Zealand’s early learning curriculum. Te Whāriki (2017) includes two documents in one, which share a common kaupapa of principles | ngā kaupapa whakahaere and strands | ngā taumata whakahirahira.
- Te Whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa Early childhood curriculum (referred to as ‘Te Whāriki’), and
- Te Whāriki a te Kōhanga Reo for ngā kōhanga reo affiliated with Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust.
Te Whāriki provides a bicultural curriculum pathway that supports services to design and implement a local curriculum to reflect their own distinctive character and values. It includes:
- Principles | ngā kaupapa whakahaere,
- Strands | ngā taumata whakahirahira,
- Goals describe the characteristics of facilitating environments and pedagogies that will support children’s learning, and
- Learning outcomes are broad statements of valued learning, which inform curriculum planning and evaluation and support the assessment of children’s progression of learning over time.
Inclusion of all four parts of Te Whāriki within the legal framework will help build the mana of each part and will clarify expectations for kaiako in implementing Te Whāriki and designing their local curriculum.
We are also proposing to include a te ao Māori interpretation of the goals and learning outcomes of Te Whāriki in the legal curriculum framework. The principles and strands of Te Whāriki are currently written in te reo Māori and reflect te ao Māori and it was felt that the goals and learning outcomes should also. We have recently worked with two of the writers of Te Whāriki (2017), and a group of Māori-medium early childhood services, to develop and test the draft te ao Māori interpretation of the goals and learning outcomes that we are consulting on.
An interpretation of the goals and learning outcomes from te ao Māori perspective is intended to strengthen the bicultural intent of Te Whāriki, and support Māori language pathways and local curricula aligned to te ao Māori. The draft te ao Māori interpretation puts te reo Māori and English text side by side to strengthen the bicultural intent, and to support kaiako who are capable in te reo Māori and te ao Māori as well as those who are still developing this capability.
The online hui held with early learning kaiako to consult on the proposed changes have been well-attended and show strong support for the proposal to gazette the full framework of Te Whāriki and include te ao Māori framework.
For more information on the proposed expansion of the legal curriculum framework and to complete the survey, go to our website.
Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy – Action Plans
On 12 August, Minister Tinetti launched the Action Plans for the Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy. In them, you’ll find the specific steps we’re taking to realise the strategy’s vision: bringing joy, equity, and clarity back into the teaching and learning of literacy & communication and maths. They lay out the provision of resources, PLD, and supports to help you give your ākonga the best start in their learning of those foundational skills.
The action plans have five key focus areas, each dedicated to supporting and strengthening our education system from early learning through to the end of schooling. The actions within each focus area are informed by a foundation of research and evidence, complemented by expertise shared with us by kaiako and other experts across the sector. This collaboration doesn’t stop with the release of the action plans, either – your voice will continue to shape the strategy throughout implementation, to guarantee it works as intended.
You can download the action plans on our website alongside a road map of the actions being developed over 2022-2023, so that you can have an indication of what is coming soon.
We look forward to working together to provide learning that’s more manageable for you, and a more equitable pathway to excellence for your ākonga.
A resource to support formative assessment
Action 4.1 of He taonga te tamaiti – Every child a taonga: Early learning action plan 2019–2029 (ELAP) responds to concerns that current assessment practices do not always build a clear picture of children’s progress over time and that progress in areas of most significance to positive educational and life outcomes for children should not be left to chance.
To meet this action, we began work in 2020 to develop a suite of resources to support formative assessment and intentional teaching in early learning. The draft resource is called Kōwhiti Whakapae and it forms part of the common practice model for the Literacy & Communications and Maths Strategy. It is intended to help kaiako to notice and recognise patterns in children’s progress, and to respond through effective teacher practices that support children to grow and expand their capabilities (progress).
We are planning to develop the Kōwhiti Whakapae suite in three areas: social-emotional learning (SEL), oral language and literacy (OLLit), and maths.
The overall framing and SEL draft were trialled between October 2021 and June 2022. A huge thank you to those kaiako and early learning services who participated in the trial during difficult COVID times. Thank you also to CORE Education and their associates who led the PLD aspect of the trial, and to the evaluation team from the University of Waikato.
What are the next steps?
Findings from the trial are informing further development of Kōwhiti Whakapae. We think that changes are needed to the structure, content and language.
We will revise the content and language, and shift to an online approach that illustrates:
- more explicit alignment of Kōwhiti Whakapae to the language and theoretical underpinnings of Te Whāriki,
- progress as expanding (breadth and depth) as well as forward,
- the relationship between growing capabilities in specific areas and broader holistic learning and development,
- how contextualised information from the tools can be used to inform formative assessments,
- key concepts such as intentional teaching and local curriculum design, and how these can be supported by Kōwhiti Whakapae,
- better integration of practice and progress elements (including integrating the culture, language and identify practices), and
- links to related resources and examples.
How can you be involved?
Now that this first trial is completed, we will engage further with the sector over the next few months, to revise the overall Kōwhiti Whakapae framework and SEL, and to develop Oral Language and Literacy. We’re keen to test our ideas with you.
If you are interested in hearing more about this work, keep a look out for more information on Facebook, in The Early Learning Bulletin or email the Te Poutāhū Early Learning team at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read the Evaluation Reports and PLD report on the Education Counts website. Please note that the draft Kōwhiti Whakapae is not yet publicly available.
What’s new on Te Whāriki online
Te Whāriki Online is a central space for early learning curriculum support, that offers a place to engage with Ministry initiatives and up-to-date information regarding pedagogy and practise. It hosts resources, modules, and webinars and links to other professional development that are aligned to the Te Whāriki curriculum.
There have been a number of new resources uploaded onto the Te Whāriki Online website. We are aware that not everyone has engaged with this site so we wanted to bring your attention to some of the latest changes that support early learning curriculum.
- Updated Internal Evaluation page
- Kua Tupu Au page – new page supporting transitions to school
- Kia kori tahi / Wellbeing and Physical education resources
- Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories page
- ‘Matariki me Puanga’ and Kaitiaki’ waiata video and books. The books will also be available for order on Down the Back of the Chair in the next couple of weeks.
- You can now download ‘He Māpuna te Tamaiti’ Whakataukī cards
The website has also been refreshed and you should find your favourites with a lot more ease. A video ‘guided tour’ of how to get around the website will help guide you. We have also added a “You might also like” section to help you navigate related topics.
- The NELP page,
- More Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories resources,
- Kaupapa Māori theories page,
- Pacific theories and pedagogies page, and
- Further support for realising the potential of gifted learners.
Keeping in touch
- We welcome your stories of what you did to celebrate each other and the rising of Matariki. If you would like your story to be considered for inclusion in the Education Gazette please email to email@example.com
- Subscribe to the Te Whāriki Online newsletter. Quarterly issues to keep you up to date with what is online to support you and your service.
Learning in the home | Ako ki te kāinga
Te Whāriki online also has new content to support young children’s learning in the home. This content will be especially useful for whānau who are self-isolating, for home-based educators and services to provide support information to whānau. Kaiako can share the link and help whānau to use the content to support young children’s learning in the home.
The Learning in the Home page is divided into four sections; learning through play, learning through everyday activities, encouraging independent play and supporting learning in your home space. These sections contain information and ideas like gardening with children, calming rituals, games to play and making sensory bottles. The Learning in the Home section also has links to further information and ideas.
You can find the Learning in the Home section on Te Whāriki Online.