Teaching tools

The Local Curriculum Design Toolkit

The Design Toolkit helps Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako to build a shared local curriculum, focused on supporting children and young people across the entire 0 to 18 education pathway.

The Toolkit comprises a number of tools – four that are grouped in Rapua Te Ara Tika, promoting a Māori approach to curriculum development, and four that apply to English medium.

Some of the tools are already available with the rest to go live soon.

Combined, the tools will:

  • Help Kāhui Ako teachers plan a local curriculum focused on the needs of all their students, and to develop personalised learning pathways across all age groups.
  • Assist members in a Kāhui Ako to learn from each other across their early learning, schooling and tertiary pathways
  • Allow Kāhui Ako to develop, and to share, collaborative inquiry projects, in order to raise the quality of teaching capability and learning by sharing innovative practices
  • Ensure Kāhui Ako consider te ao Māori, te reo and tikanga Māori in their local curriculum. 
  • Enable Kāhui Ako to develop their curriculum with help from students, parents, iwi, employers and communities, to meet the needs of their students

The Toolkit

Kāhui Ako leaders and teachers were involved in the development of the tools before release. They have given valuable feedback in the process, and are enthusiastic about the potential of these sections of the Design Tool to support inquiries into how teacher best practice can help lift progress and achievement.

The tools are grouped into two: Rapua Te Ara Tika and the Designing Local Curriculum toolkit.

Rapua Te Ara Tika

Rapua Te Ara Tika or Seeking the right pathway, promotes a Māori approach to curriculum development, teaching and learning. Each of the tools within the Rapua Te Ara Tika are interconnected and support the development of a marau ā-kāhui ako or marau ā-kura. The four tools within the Rapua Te Ara Tika are:

Te Whare Wānanga (first iteration now available)

Te Whare Wānanga or the House of Learning, enables users to engage in a process of inquiry. It supports the development of a localised student centred curriculum through the three Pou that identify key focus questions on the learners identity (Poutiriao), relationships (Pouwhenua) and future focus (Pouawatea). 

Te Herenga Tāngata (in development)

This tool guides individuals, kura and Kāhui Ako to create and strengthen relationships with local whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori education support groups to support the learner and their learning aspirations and pathways.

Te Ara Tika (in development)

This tool guides and supports kaiako, kura and the community to design and implement key transitions for ākonga throughout their schooling from kōhungahunga through to te whare wānanga.

He Akoranga Rangatira (in development)

This tool helps ensure that the localised curriculum is relevant and meets the Kāhui Ako needs by supporting ākonga, kaiako, kura, whānau and the  to identify what is Akoranga Rangatira (Powerful to learn) and Ngā Tino Huarahi Ako (Powerful learning).

Designing Local Curriculum toolkit

There are four tools in the Designing Local Curriculum toolkit that Kāhui Ako can use to help develop their local curriculum. 

Collaborative Inquiry Tool (now available)

This tool provides a sustainable digital system for establishing strategic focus areas, developing inquiry proposals, monitoring progress, and sharing findings. It helps you to notice and respond to variations in teacher practice and ākonga outcomes, including both the ‘hard spots’ and the pockets of excellence.

Relationships for Learning Tool (now available)

This tool helps Kāhui Ako focus on the community relationships that can support their vision. It describes the key people and groups a Kāhui Ako may choose to work with to support learning. It is built on the recognition that children are born into a community. When a child learns from and with their community, they come to understand how their community works socially, politically, economically, and culturally. And they also learn how they can contribute to, and help shape their community.

Coherent Pathways Tool (in development)

This tool will help Kāhui Ako ensure that their learners experience learning continuity as they move from early childhood through to the end of their secondary schooling. It guides Kāhui Ako so they develop and capture statements at key transition points and also share the capabilities they community believes are important.

Rich Opportunities for Learning Tool (in development)

This tool helps Kāhui Ako draw on their environment and their community relationships to design meaningful learning opportunities that build the capabilities they wish to prioritise. It enables Kāhui Ako to design opportunities for their learners to contribute to their communities in ways that build on and strengthen both community and learner capabilities.

Regional support

The project team has been training Regional Office staff so they can assist Kāhui Ako to explore and to use the Toolkit. Expert Partners will also be providing support to Kāhui Ako on using the Toolkit, tailored to their needs and stages of development.


Watch the video below to know more about the tool, its various parts and how it all fits together.

Further information

If you want to know more about the Local Curriculum Design Toolkit, or arrange a demonstration for your Kāhui Ako of the three soon-to-be released tools, email us at: Curriculum.design@education.govt.nz

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


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