Teaching tools

Teaching and school practices survey tool

The survey tool provides a Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako and each school or kura, with information and insight about teaching practices, school processes and leadership capability that can be used for inquiry, review and planning. 

The survey takes 15–20 minutes for a teacher and 10–15 minutes for a principal to complete.

Read more and access the survey. (external link)

Local curriculum design tool

The Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako local curriculum design tool helps communities build a shared local curriculum, focussed on supporting children and young people along the entire 0-18 pathway. 

A concept design was released in 2016 and the tool will be made progressively available to Communities of Learning from June 2017.

The tool can be used to:

  • design and implement a quality curriculum that is responsive to the learning needs and interests of local students and their community
  • take account of all aspects of Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa
  • use assessment as evidence of progress and growth across the curriculum
  • support schools to consider the place of te ao Māori, te Reo Māori and tikanga Māori in their Community of Learning, and how these are positioned in their local curriculum
  • monitor and share information on innovative practices to increase the spread of effective teaching.

You can provide feedback via Curriculum.design@education.govt.nz 


This concept video provides an overview of the tool.  

Development process

Workshops led by English and Māori medium curriculum experts were held with several Communities of Learning | Kāhui Akoto identify the issues they face. Factors that are known to strongly influence learning were also considered.

Issues raised included:

  • how to develop shared expectations among members of a Community of Learning at key transition points to enable learners to move more seamlessly though their education journey
  • support for undertaking and sharing collaborative inquiry projects
  • how to recognise and spread great teaching practice across a community.

The workshops identified areas where an online tool could help support Communities of Learning to work more collaboratively to enhance learning. These 4 areas are detailed below and form the basis of the smart tool.

Coherent pathways

Learner profiles enable children and young people and those who support their learning to have a clear, shared view of what progress looks like. Profiles can help children and young people see where they have come from, where they are going and some of the learning they can look forward to.

Rich learning opportunities

Communities of Learning can use the expertise available across their members and wider community to design rich learning opportunities for their children and young people.

These opportunites could include inquiry based projects that enable ākonga to work with and give back to their communities and develop the knowledge, skills and competencies identified in the learner profiles.

These projects could involve:

  • learning with and from members of their wider community
  • using technology
  • sustained engagement, collaboration and research.

Community relationships

The community relationships feature supports Communities of Learning to build strong collaborative relationships with individuals, groups and businesses in their local community to share resources and enrich learning opportunities.

Collaborative inquiries

The collaborative inquiry feature helps Communities of Learning plan, manage and report on community-wide inquiries that enhance the learning experiences of their children and young people.  

Learning Progressions Framework

The Learning Progressions Frameworks in reading, writing and mathematics show the significant steps that learners take as they develop in reading, writing and mathematics from Years 1–10. The frameworks now clarify the expected knowledge and skills that students need to develop in Years 9 and 10, to support success in NCEA and beyond. 

Communities of Learning can download the Learning Progression app from the Apple and Google Play stores or access the framework online (external link) . 

Progress and Consistency Tool

The Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) supports consistent judgments of student progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in Years 1–8. The Learning Progressions Frameworks are a key part of PaCT. 

PaCT supports the New Zealand Curriculum, prompts teachers to notice what students know and can do, and can help Communities of Learning share consistent data on learner progress.

Read more and get set up in PaCT. (external link)

Te Waharoa Ararau

Te Waharoa Ararau (TWA) (external link) is an online system that kura in Communities of Learning can use to collect and report individual student achievement information in relation to Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. It is available to all schools with Year 1-8 students. 

TWA collates and reports overall teacher judgments in one place, so that teachers and kura can build a picture of how student achievement is progressing in relation to te reo matatini (literacy) and pāngarau (numeracy). 

Positive Behaviour for Learning

Positive Behaviour for Learning School-Wide (PB4L-SW) is an evidence-based framework that provides schools with a process for teaching social and behavioural skills to support learning, engagement and retention at school. 

The principles underpinning PB4L-SW can be applied in individual schools and across Communities of Learning. In a Community of Learning, working together and using data and evidence supports team-based problem solving that contributes to meeting the achievement challenges. 

Read more about PB4L-SW (external link) and other positive behaviour approaches.

Teacher-led Innovation Fund

This fund enables groups of teachers (including those in Communities of Learning) to carry out innovative projects and develop new practices to improve progress and achievement for children and young people. 

Teachers are encouraged to collaboratively develop their project proposal by working together across early childhood education services, schools and kura, depending on the project.


Projects are categorised according to their cost: less than $40,000, $40,000–$75,000 and more than $75,000.

The innovative projects will:

  • inquire into ‘puzzles of practice’ to find ways to help learners succeed
  • work in partnership with experts – academics, researchers, community and cultural leaders, innovation experts
  • spread what works to other Communities of Learning.

Find examples of previous projects in this NZCER report (external link) .

Application dates

Application rounds 4 and 5 open in November 2017 and 2018. Round 3 closes on 13 April 2017 for early childhood educators. Applications for Years 1–13 closed in March.

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