Achievement challenges are shared goals that are identified and developed by a Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako based on the needs of its learners.
Kāhui Ako should set between 3-5 achievement challenges. These should be related to, or derived from, the National Curricula and can include preconditions necessary for achievement such as wellbeing/hauora and student engagement. Achievement challenges should be focused on the things that the Kāhui Ako consider will make the most significant difference to all the children and young people and help them to achieve the outcomes in the New Zealand Curriculum (external link) and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (external link).
Endorsement of achievement challenges
Once the achievement challenges have been identified and a high level plan for addressing them has been developed, the boards of trustees of each of the schools need to agree to them and sign a memo of understanding. Staff members, parents, family and whānau should all be involved in the achievement challenge process.
Achievement challenges need to show:
The evidence for why each challenge has been chosen: ie. The inquiry process that led to identifying the learning need, and how this relates to the outcomes sought in the NZ Curriculum/Te Marautanga.
The story about what will happen to make progress against each challenge.
How it will be known that progress is being made against each challenge.
Guide for Schools and Kura, He Aratohu mā ngā Kura and Tips and Starters: Working Together provide guidance for Kāhui Ako who are identifying achievement challenges.
Completed achievement challenges will then need to be submitted to the Secretary for Education for endorsement. Endorsement enables a Community of Learning to access the full range of resources available to them to support the important job of tackling the challenges.
Refreshing achievement challenges
Achievement challenges and their action plan are a living document and should evolve and grow with the Community of Learning.
We expect Kāhui Ako to formally refresh their achievement challenges and high level plan when their original plan ‘expires,' or if the Community of Learning decides to make significant changes to their achievement challenges and high level plan (for example changing a focus area). A formal review or refresh is an opportunity to reflect on progress so far, evaluate the evidence in light of the work a Kāhui Ako has been doing and refine the approach as required
If one or more achievement challenges are changed we recommend that a summary of the actions you took to address each challenge, the progress you made, and the rationale for why you have decided to change focus will be included. Ideally this would again include a consultation process so that the voices of key people can be considered as part of the process.
When achievement challenges are refreshed a copy needs to be sent to the local Ministry Advisor and we will replace the original with the changed version.
All Kāhui Ako can now remove National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori from their achievement challenges if they want to do so in a formal refresh.
Examples of endorsed achievement challenges
Examples of achievement challenges are available for download below. The most recently endorsed achievement challenges are at the top of the list.
Communities of Learning identify achievement challenges that are a priority for their community. Achievement challenges should be common to all or most of the schools within a community, but may be apparent in different ways in different schools, along the learning pathway. Most Communities of Learning identify 3–5 challenges to address.
The following questions may be helpful starters.
What is our vision of success for our students?
What are the common challenges across our Community of Learning?
What do we know about possible reasons for these challenges and how do we know?
What support will be needed and what resources are available to help?
Understanding links and reasons for the challenges will help define your achievement challenges and set out your goals and objectives towards addressing them.