Supporting learning progress once students are back at school – strategies and tools

Once students and ākonga are settled back at school and kura and ready to re-engage with learning in the classroom, you will be thinking about their progress across the curriculum in a year affected significantly by COVID-19.

Students and ākonga from primary through to senior secondary will have experienced different learning opportunities at home to those in the classroom.

You will be noticing, celebrating and looking to build on interests and strengths of your learners which may have become more visible through learning from home.

You may also notice interruption of some learning and will want to ensure the impact is not lasting. Connecting your learner in the classroom or akomanga with deliberate acts of teaching to a curriculum that engages them will be important.

Here are some useful teaching strategies and resources that will make it easier to support progress in the classroom and akomanga:

Parent and whānau concerns about progress or wellbeing

Parents and whānau may be worried about their child’s progress due to the disruptions of COVID or other reasons. Encourage them to talk with their child’s teacher or kaiako so a response can be planned together that connects the learning and practice to everyday activities at home or in the community.

Check our supports for meeting the wider wellbeing needs of students. You can also share our advice for parents and whānau, including wellbeing tips(external link), if they do have concerns about their child’s wellbeing or return to school.


Online learning platform ClassroomNZ2020 provides quality, ready-to-go curriculum content you can draw upon to support learnings in Years 1–13.

You can use this content, developed by Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura):

  • to support thinking on how to progress student learning affected by the disruption of COVID-19 or any other factor
  • In classroom settings to deliver more personalised learning, matching content to the interests and needs of individual learners.

Big Picture and targeted dual-tuition programmes- Auckland

  • To support senior students in Auckland most at risk of not achieving their NCEA goals in 2020 we have partnered with Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura).
  • The Big Picture learning programme(external link) has 400 additional places this term, and there are 2000 additional places in targeted dual-tuition for Auckland students who need support in one or two specific subjects.
  • Big Picture can help ākonga who have already left school or are at risk of disengaging. Online and face-to-face learning is available at locations all around the Auckland region.
  • In agreement with each student and their whānau, students who meet the criteria [PDF, 162 KB] can either enrol full time with Te Kura or stay enrolled at their school while they participate in the Big Picture learning programme.
  • With the targeted dual tuition programme, eligible students remain enrolled at their school while accessing targeted support from Te Kura in one or two NCEA subjects. This arrangement enables students to work through their courses at their own pace.
  • Places in both programmes are still available.
  • For further information email

Funding support

There is funding available to help schools and kura with responding to children’s and young people’s, tamariki and rangatahi needs arising on from the COVID disruption:

Professional learning and development support

As you notice the learning needs students and ākonga have following disruption of the COVID-19 response you may identify opportunities to strengthen teacher and kaiako capabilities. 

Schools and kura may wish to apply to the Regionally-allocated PLD Fund(external link). The different priorities bring different capabilities to the fore, but all of them are relevant to strengthening learner progress. A range of facilitators are available with different areas of speciality.

You can also encourage your teacher aides to apply to the Teacher aide PLD pilot fund(external link). This is available to support the development of teacher aide skills and knowledge in ways that contribute to the vision of their school or kura, and to ākonga and students' needs.

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