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Schools back for Auckland and Waikato

Schools back for Auckland and Waikato

Posted November 10, 2021
Education , Health , Media Release

Media Release: Minister of Education Chris Hipkins

Auckland and Waikato students in years 1-10 can return to face-to-face learning at schools and kura from 17 November, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.

”Lockdowns can be stressful for children and young people, so returning to some on-site learning will mean they can reconnect with their teacher and friends. Starting this month will provide certainty ahead of the Christmas break and before the new school year starts,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Public health advice supports a return to onsite learning. Measures to help minimise the risk of COVID-19 will include mask wearing from year 4 up in most cases, ventilating classrooms, limiting the number of students on site, and making sure groups of children distance from each other.

“Each school and kura will decide what works best for their learners and their community. That might be by alternating days or half weeks – through year levels, or through whānau groupings. Full-time learning will continue on-site for students whose parents have needed it, for example to go to work.

While most students in years 1-8 will be returning part-time, years 9 and 10 will be able to return full time alongside those already back at high schools in years 11-13.

“With really strong vaccination rates, the balance of risk has shifted,” Chris Hipkins said.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says, the Government is ensuring schools can have the time and space they need to look after students and staff by easing the timelines for the national curriculum and assessment programmes.

“Our teachers, kaiako, learners, whānau and communities continue to manage their way through uncertainty caused by COVID-19, particularly in the Auckland region,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Helping them begin a process of sustained recovery from nearly two years of COVID-19 disruption is a major priority for next year. To make this possible we’re giving schools, kura and early learning services more time to roll out the curriculum and assessment work programmes.”

For schools this means resetting the timelines for The New Zealand Curriculum refresh, Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories, Te Takanga o Te Wā and the NCEA Change Programme. For early learning services this means deferring consultation on the gazetting of Te Whāriki.

“These change programmes remain critical for the future success of our education system but they require considerable effort. We consider that time spent reconnecting with communities and focusing on wellbeing, as well as teaching and learning, will serve communities best heading in to the new year,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The curriculum and assessment changes are happening over several years, and we want our schools, kura and early learning services to be in the best possible position to successfully deliver them and get the best outcomes for learners and their whānau.

“There is no change to their intent and ambition, and they will be adjusted to either happen at a later date or in a different way to help manage their impact on staff. This will include rescheduling engagements, giving more time for implementation and redesigning pilot schemes.

“We want to ensure teachers, kaiako, learners, whānau and communities have the time they need to engage in these changes and fully participate in their implementation.

“Positivity remains about the Government’s direction of travel in these spaces, but this shows we are listening and acknowledges the impact COVID-19 has had this year,” Chris Hipkins said.

Key changes to the NCEA Change Programme

To ensure the NCEA change programme and the sector are aligned, the NCEA planned pilot approach will change. However it is still crucial that, in 2022, the sector can test and refine the new Level 1 subjects.

· The NZC and TMoA pilots planned for 2022 will be replaced with Level 1 mini-pilots that have fewer schools participating.

· NZC Level 1 (full) pilots will take place in 2023, instead of 2022, with full implementation by 2024. Level 2 pilots will take place in 2024 with full implementation by 2025. Level 3 pilots will take place in 2025 with full implementation by 2026.

TMoA mini-pilots will also take place for Level 2 subjects in 2023, and Level 3 subjects in 2024.

· Literacy and Numeracy | Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau pilots will continue as planned in 2022. The implementation of the corequisite in 2023 is subject to sector readiness, and we are preparing to make a decision (implement or defer) in mid-2022.

· The Te Ao Haka programme will not change and pilots will commence in 2022.

Key changes to Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories (ANZH) and

Te Takanga o Te Wa (TToTW)

· The timeline for the public release of the ANZH and TToTW final content will be moved to early 2022. Schools and kura will now be expected to implement the new content from 2023, rather than from 2022 as originally intended.

· This means that those schools and kura who are well-placed to pick it up and use the content earlier than 2023 will have the option to do so.

· During 2022 schools and kura will be supported to access resources they need to be ready to teach the new content from 2023.

· The adjustment to timing means that schools will be able to use the new ANZH content in the context of the refreshed Social Sciences learning area for the NZC.

Key changes to using Te Whāriki

The legal requirements for using Te Whāriki will change

· Consultation on gazetting the full framework of Te Whāriki was set for 2021, with a view to implementing the full framework as a legal requirement for early childhood education services from 2022.

· This timing of the consultation will be adjusted to occur in 2022 instead, and the anticipated implementation timeframe will be extended to 2023.

Key changes to The New Zealand Curriculum refresh

These changes will help schools and teachers to manage their workloads and deal with the impacts of COVID-19, as well as provide more time for them to be involved as they get ready to adopt the refreshed curriculum from 2026 onwards.

· Testing of the vision for young people and the Social Sciences learning area draft content will now take place in term 1, 2022.

· The refresh of the English and the Mathematics & Statistics learning areas will happen in 2022, supporting the upcoming mathematics and literacy strategies.

· The update of the Science learning area moves from 2022 to 2023, with the Arts and Technology learning areas also refreshed in 2023.

· The refreshes of the Learning Languages and Health & Physical Education learning areas move from 2023 to 2024.

· Changes to other parts of the NZC which underpin it being refreshed as a ‘bicultural and inclusive’ curriculum will all be progressed in 2022, rather than being spread through to the end of 2023. This includes a refreshed Vision for Young People.

· The phasing of the development of the Record of Learning has been aligned to the refresh of the curriculum, with the first release planned for 2024.

Redesign of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa

There is no change to the redesign of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa as the phasing of learning areas will be aligned to the redesign process around the Te Tamaiti Hei Raukura conceptual framework.