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New Zealand Curriculum Highlights New Zealand Stories

Regulus // Issue 2 // August 2022

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Hamish Faulls and Mary Leota in the College library with a table of books which are to be used as part of the new curriculum.

Teachers Hamish Faulls and Mary Leota are leading the implementation of the Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum across the College.

Looking at New Zealand stories from a variety of different perspectives is one of the key aspects of the new Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum which is being introduced to all New Zealand schools in 2022, says Mary Leota, the Te Reo Māori and Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum Lead Teacher in the Preparatory School. “There are so many rich stories around Māori history and culture, which when woven with stories that incorporate the broader history and cultural narratives of New Zealand history, and immigrant stories, creates a strong mat of learning for the students. This new curriculum challenges us to see New Zealand stories from a variety of different perspectives, and not just from the person who wrote the history.”

Teacher in Charge of History, Hamish Faulls, is the Teacher in Charge of Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum in the Secondary School. He says schools and kura can decide which local contexts they would like their students to explore, and St Andrew’s has been working actively for some time in collaboration with History and Social Studies teachers to resource the new programme. “We have the challenge of crossover between the Social Studies, History, and Te Reo Māori and Tikanga programmes in the Secondary School, so it has taken a lot of co-ordination to find a clear pathway for the new curriculum across these areas. This year, History students in Years 11–13 are being introduced to many more New Zealand history topics than in the past.”

Hamish said St Andrew’s has had valuable assistance from Māori Collection Specialists from Christchurch City Libraries in assessing the College’s Māori-related resources. “As a result, we are in the process of acquiring additional Ngāi Tahu focused resources. Our College librarians have also been really supportive, consulting with us about the books we should and shouldn’t have, and promoting our collection of New Zealand history and other New Zealand books to students.”

In the Preparatory School, students start the year answering the questions, ‘Who am I?’ and ‘What’s my story’, and weave that into their personal pepeha (sharing their connections with people and places), which they build from Years 3–8.

Mary is working closely with teachers, helping them to implement the new curriculum at an appropriate level for each year group. She teaches the first class with the teacher in the room, so they are confident to teach the subsequent class and also embed more Te Reo Māori in every aspect of their day. “We are all on a learning journey together, as for a lot of us, the curriculum includes new learnings we were never taught ourselves.”

Mary is also the Preparatory School’s Te Reo Māori kaiako. She is currently studying Level 4 Te Ahu o te Reo Māori ki Ngāi Tahu, and a tikanga course, Te Whainga O Te Ao Tikanga Level 3, at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. “I would love to see more teachers studying Levels 1 and 2 Te Reo.”

Hamish says the Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum will continue to evolve and grow in both the Secondary and Preparatory Schools. “We will continue to take a balanced approach in everything we do, to ensure we can move forward positively and cohesively across the College.”

Teachers speak on the opportunities for further exploration into Māori culture through the new Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum.