Common Practice Model

A system shift is required to address literacy & communication and maths. To achieve this shift the Strategy has identified five interdependent focus areas that need to be supported to equip every learning setting with the tools they need to provide the teaching and learning their ākonga and whānau need.

Common Practice Model

Accessible version of the image above [DOCX, 13 KB].

Details about the Focus Areas and the actions that sit under them can be found in the document Literacy & Communication and Maths Action Plans [PDF, 5.7 MB]

The Common Practice Model (the Model) sits under Focus Area 1. The wider goal of Focus Area 1 is to introduce a common understanding of the critical literacy & communication and maths skills and knowledge that ākonga need.

Why we are developing a Common Practice Model

Through the development of the Strategy we heard that the Ministry needed to provide greater clarity and direction on teaching and learning for literacy & communication and maths. This is the goal of the Common Practice Model.

Prioritising this means kaiako and leaders across early learning and schooling will be better supported in ensuring high-quality literacy & communication and maths teaching and learning experiences to ākonga.  

What is the Common Practice Model?

The Model will outline principles and evidence-informed pedagogical approaches to underpin teaching and learning for literacy & communication and maths within Te Whāriki and The New Zealand Curriculum. It will guide quality-assured teaching and assessment practices and approaches for early learning through to the end of secondary schooling, across Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Model will be embedded into supports and resources, professional learning and development (PLD), and will influence Initial Teacher Education programmes (ITE). It will provide clarity and consistency for kaiako and ākonga, bring rigour to the teaching and learning of literacy & communication and maths, and support equity and excellence for all ākonga.

How the Common Practice Model will be established

The Model will be developed collaboratively, and reflect sector experiences, evaluation and research findings. As we proceed, there will be a range of opportunities for people to be involved.

In October, we brought together a group of contributors, who are partnering with us over the coming months to help us define the principles and the pedagogies of the Model. These contributors joined one of two groups: one that focuses on the literacy & communication aspects of the Model, and one that focuses on maths. The Contributor Groups will help shape the future of education in Aotearoa New Zealand, by outlining the most effective pedagogies for the teaching and learning of those foundational skills.

In addition, we have established focus groups consisting of teachers and school leaders that contacted us with an interest in the development of the Model. These focus groups will enable us to test the thinking, direction, and content of the Model as it is developed.

Once the Contributors Groups have developed the principles and pedagogies of the Model, the Ministry will begin developing the practices that will complement it. This will include providing more detailed guidance around the teaching and learning of literacy & communication and maths skills, which kaiako have been asking for.

We will continue to update you as we progress, including details of how you can get involved.

 Common Practice Model development timeline

Term 3 2022

Term 4 2022

Term 1 2023

Term 2 2023

From Term 3 2023

Jul - Sept

Oct - Dec

Jan – Mar

Apr – Jun

From July

Formal process to accept nominations to the CPM Contributors Groups.

Selection of the members of the Contributors Groups.



Contributors Groups to complete the recommended draft pedagogies.


The Ministry will elaborate on the pedagogies with practices and examples.

Principles and pedagogies of the Model finalised.

Practices drafted.


Contributors Groups to develop the principles and start to develop the pedagogies.

Engagement with the sector on the draft pedagogies.

Engagement with the sector on the draft pedagogies.



Roadshow with regions to talk about the Model’s principles, pedagogies, and practices.




Pedagogies refined and updated based on engagement and feedback.

Identify school(s) and/or early learning services to pilot components of the Model in 2024 and plan the specifics of the pilot with them over Terms 3 and 4.

We will be providing regular updates - including upcoming involvement opportunities that might interest you and your school - on these pages:

Te Poutāhū Curriculum Centre Early Learning and School Bulletins(external link)

Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy page.

Process to establish the Common Practice Model Contributors Groups

We followed a formal procurement process to invite nominations to be considered for selection to the Contributors Groups. Our approach was to:

  1. send a Registration of Interest (ROI) to sector organisations and peak bodies to provide them an opportunity to receive access to the Request for Nominations process where they would be able to submit nominated members for consideration for the Common Practice Model Contributors Groups.
  2. Those that responded to the ROI by the 15th September 2022 then received the Request for Nominations details
  3. The Request for Nominations closed on 1pm on 6th October. 
  4. On receiving the nominations the Ministry reviewed them against pre-determined selection criteria to select 12 members to the literacy & communication group and 12 members to the maths group. Each group is now working together to develop the Common Practice Model for their areas.


Literacy & Communication Contributors Group Members

You will find the members of the Literacy & Communication Contributors Group listed below, including the organisation that nominated them. The nominating organisation may not be the member’s employer. 

Please note that the contributors and their nominating organisations are unable to talk to you directly about their work on the Common Practice Model while it is in development.

If you have any questions about the Model, including the work being done to develop it, please contact us at

Literacy contribution group

Members of the Literacy & Communication Contributors Group. Left to right, back row: Aaron Wilson, Heemi McDonald, Wendy Carrs, James Chapman, Sue McDowall, Jacinta Oldehaver, Kylie Te Arihi. Front row:  Felicity Fahey, Denise Hitchcock, Alison Arrow, Jilly Tyler, Jane Carroll

Alison Arrow

Nominated by the University of Canterbury

Alison has done extensive research into how young people develop literacy from early childhood to adolescence, was a developer of the Ready to Read Phonics Plus books, and ran the 2015-2017 Massey University Early Literacy Project. 

Jane Carroll

Nominated by the University of Otago

Jane is a Senior Professional Practice Fellow at the University of Otago College of Education with expertise in child speech and language acquisition, emergent literacy, and phonological awareness development. She has had extensive experience across the sector: in primary and secondary; public, private, and integrated; English-medium and Māori medium; and in Early Childhood Education (ECE) facilities in English, Māori, and Pasifika settings. Jane was invited to advise on the expert panel for the Oral Language Learning Initiative and is part of the current team developing the literacy content of Te Mātaiaho and the Literacy & Communication progressions. 

Wendy Carss

Nominated by the University of Waikato

Wendy is a Senior Lecturer in Literacy Education at the University of Waikato and programme leader of the Bachelor of Teaching Programme. She is an executive member of the New Zealand Literacy Association and recent board member of the International Literacy Association. Wendy has worked with educators in Fiji, Samoa, and Kiribati, and understands how Pacific peoples’ knowledge and cultures can be incorporated in the design of teaching and learning. Her current research areas include primary literacy, the literacy practices of beginning teachers, and assessment in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes. 

James Chapman

Nominated by Lifting Literacy Aotearoa

James is an experienced researcher and university teacher based at Massey University.  As well as having over 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals and books on learning disabilities, literacy learning issues, dyslexia/literacy difficulties, and cognitive motivation factors in learning and achievement, James has been an advisor for the University of Canterbury Better Start Literacy Approach research and was a member of the Ministry of Education Literacy Experts Group.  

Denise Hitchcock

Nominated by the University of Otago

As a Professional Learning and Development facilitator, Denise works collaboratively with leaders and teachers to apply pedagogies relating to literacy and communication in Aotearoa New Zealand. Her PhD research focused on embedding effective literacy practice in secondary schools. She was a member of the Technical Advisory Group for the recommended changes to literacy and numeracy (2019), the Subject Expert Group for the development of new National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) literacy standards and supporting resources (2020), and has training and experience of working with students with high learning needs. Denise has an understanding of critical consciousness that enables her to deepen her own understanding of privilege and position, and the imbalance of power and resources that exist. She has worked alongside teachers and leaders to amplify Māori voice, knowledge, and expertise. 

Sue McDowall

Nominated by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER)

Sue has more than 20 years of experience in literacy-related research, evaluation, resource development, and assessment tool development across the primary and secondary school sectors. She is a member of the English Learning Area and Literacy & Communication progression writing groups for the curriculum refresh and is also currently part of the NZCER team responsible for writing an overview of the literature on literacy principles and pedagogies for the Common Practice Model group. 

Jacinta Oldehaver

Nominated by the University of Auckland

Jacinta is Co-Associate Dean Pacific, Associate Director of Te Pūtahi Research Centre, and Course Director of the core undergraduate Literacies and Languages papers at the University of Auckland. She has had extensive teaching and research experience over the past 20 years working predominantly with Pasifika and Māori communities in low decile schools. Jacinta also has expertise in Primary literacy, dialogic teaching, culturally sustaining pedagogy, and Talanoa as dialogic pedagogy.  

Felicity Fahey

Nominated by the New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF)

Felicity is Deputy Principal and Literacy Lead at Kaiapoi North School. She has led open days and workshops that hundreds of educators from around NZ have attended to learn about and develop their understanding and practice of Structured Literacy and The Writing Revolution. Felicity has been part of a team at the University of Canterbury looking at re-designing ITE programmes, has provided Professional Learning and Development (PLD) across Kātote Kahui Ako, other communities of learning, and Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) clusters.

Jilly Tyler

Nominated by Talking Matters

Jilly  is an early childhood specialist with a particular interest in early oral language development. Jilly established a project called “Now We’re Talking” that developed teaching strategies to support oral language outcomes for children attending Early Childhood Education (ECE) services in South Auckland. She now leads a team of experts at Talking Matters. Her work with iwi, hapū, and community groups promotes the importance of combining mātauranga Māori and Western neuroscience to support children’s language, literacy, and positive social outcomes. Jilly spent 15 years at the Ministry of Education and has extensive experience in early childhood policy implementation. 

Aaron Wilson

Nominated by the University of Auckland

Aaron is based at the University of Auckland, where he is an Associate Professor in Literacies Education in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy and Associate Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Education and Social Work.  He has research interests in interventions to address disparities in education, subject English, reading comprehension, disciplinary literacy teaching in secondary schools, learning in digital learning environments, and teacher professional development. Aaron has been a senior academic consultant for the Years 9 and 10 Learning Progression Framework development project, and writer of the Leading Literacy in Secondary Schools materials on Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI).

Heemi McDonald

Nominated by New Zealand Association for the Teaching of English (NZATE)

Heemi is currently a Deputy Principal at Rototuna High School. He worked on a common practice model for the incorporation of mātauranga Māori into physical education experiences, and is currently working on a similar project with NZATE for English. Heemi has experience developing literacy and communication strategies, and is currently undertaking a Master of Education with a particular focus on designing an inclusive learning environment embedded in mātauranga Māori.

Kylie Te Arihi

Nominated by New Zealand Literacy Association (NZLA)

Kylie is a lead teacher in learning support, and a literacy practitioner with experience in bilingual and Māori medium contexts. Kylie is also President of the Waikato Literacy association.  

Maths Contributors Group Members

You will find the members of the Maths Contributors Group listed below, including the organisation that nominated them. The nominating organisation may not be the member’s employer. 

Please note that the contributors and their nominating organisations are unable to talk to you directly about their work on the Common Practice Model while it is in development.

If you have any questions about the Model, including the work being done to develop it, please contact us at

Maths contributor group

Members of the Maths Contributors Group. Left to right back row – Kris Dempster-Rivett, Jane McChesney, Tony Trinick, Kerri Spooner. Front row – Naomi Ingram, Jodie Hunter, Julie Roberts, Kim Madden, Bronwyn Gibbs, Julia Crawford. Absent: Ingrid Rinsma, Pania Te Maro.

Julia Crawford

Nominated by Cognition Education

Julia is co-convenor of the New Zealand Mathematics Society (Education Group) and was a facilitator of the Curriculum Progress Tools (CPT) online workshops for the Ministry of Education.  She is an experienced secondary mathematics and statistics teacher. Julia is a Professional Learning and Development (PLD) facilitator, and has been a facilitator of the Just in Time Maths PLD programme and Lead Writer of the Solomon Islands’ new Teacher Guides and Learner Books (Years 1–6).

Kris Dempster-Rivett

Nominated by Digital Equality Coalition Aotearoa (DECA)

Kris is a Māori educator, with a background as a teacher who later moved into providing PLD. He is Co-Chair of DECA and is involved in a range of their projects including education, pathways into employment, Māori and Pacific Peoples, affordable connectivity, digital skills, and access to devices.

Bronwyn Gibbs

Nominated by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER)

Bronwyn is co-leading the refresh of the Mathematics Progressive Achievement Tests (PATs) and the mathematics area for the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSSA). Bronwyn has been a classroom teacher, a mentor in mathematics, and is a researcher on numerous research projects with NZCER. This included a recent study for the Open Polytechnic Kuratini Tuwhera New Zealand, which focused on enhancing online learning: listening to voices of ākonga Māori learners and their whānau.

Jodie Hunter

Nominated by Massey University

Jodie’s PhD addressed best practice in relation to integrating early algebraic reasoning into everyday mathematics lessons for primary students. She has written numerous research articles and has undertaken research projects and professional development work in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, and Niue. Jodie has been invited to present to New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI), Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) clusters, Ministry of Education, New Zealand Association of Mathematics Teachers (NZAMT), New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE Mathematics SIG), Kāhui Ako, the Royal Society of New Zealand, and universities.

Naomi Ingram

Nominated by the University of Otago

Naomi teaches in the postgraduate and secondary ITE programmes at the University of Otago, including curriculum and mathematics pedagogy papers. Her research expertise includes students’ and teachers’ relationships with mathematics, parents’ involvement with mathematical learning, and using mobile technologies in the classroom. She has a full practising certificate as a classroom teacher and is a Bevan Werry Speaker for NZAMT.

Kim Madden

Nominated by the New Zealand Association for Mathematics Teachers (NZAMT)

Kim is a trained primary school teacher and currently teaches in East Auckland. She is a writer for the Mathematics and Statistics curriculum refresh, was a panellist for the Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy, and is a leader of mathematics across Kāhui Ako. Kim is also a recipient of the Jim Campbell award for Excellence in Teaching.

Jane McChesney

Nominated by the University of Canterbury

Jane has extensive experience in mathematics education that includes work in early childhood, primary, and secondary education, and working with beginning teachers, experienced teachers, and teacher leaders. Jane co-authored a paper that connects Te Whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa Early Childhood Curriculum with The New Zealand Curriculum, and links teaching practices across Early Childhood Education (ECE) and the first years of primary school. In 2021 she contributed to national and regional consultation hui for the curriculum refresh for mathematics and statistics. 

Ingrid Rinsma

Nominated by the New Zealand Association for Mathematics Teachers (NZAMT)

Ingrid currently teaches mathematics and statistics at Hillcrest High School. She was involved in the Secondary Numeracy Project and has developed resources for use by teachers and students - including being a materials developer for New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). She has been a facilitator of NZAMT workshops for the current new initiatives in teaching, learning and assessment. Ingrid is a recipient of both a Woolf Fisher and Jim Campbell award for Excellence in Teaching.

Julie Roberts

Nominated by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER)

Julie had a lead role on the development of the Numeracy Framework as part of the School Entry Kete project and is currently the National Project Lead for the Just-in-Time Maths professional learning project. She has worked on the Inclusive Education Capability Building project with the Ministry of Education and facilitates PLD through the lens of Universal Design for Learning. 

Kerri Spooner

Nominated by the NZ Mathematical Society

Kerri currently lectures at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). Previously she has taught mathematics in several Tāmaki Makaurau secondary schools over a period of more than 15 years. During her career, Kerri has won five teaching awards and had one national nomination for excellent teaching.  Kerri has undertaken research in mathematical modelling education, transitional STEM education and mathematics education in general. Kerri currently teaches mathematics for computer science and engineering mathematics at AUT.

Pania Te Maro

Nominated by Massey University

Pania is Senior Lecturer and Kaihautū Māori at Te Kura o te Mātauranga, and Associate Dean Māori at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University. Her research focuses on Māori immersion education, social justice for Māori through mathematics and pāngarau teaching and learning, success as Māori for Māori students in kaupapa English schools, and adult numeracy. Pania has been a lead writer for Ohu Matua, maths and statistics in The New Zealand Curriculum, and te reo matatini me te pāngarau in Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Tony Trinick

Nominated by the University of Auckland

Tony has extensive experience in working, teaching, and researching in the area of mātauranga Māori. In collaboration with other Māori teachers and researchers he has developed frameworks and resources that have supported the advancement and illumination of te ao Māori. He has led the development of pāngarau and current pāngarau progressions in Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. Tony has over 120 publications in journals, books, and conferences, and has developed and implemented a range of practice models which now underpin the current NCEA Levels 1-3 pāngarau frameworks. He has been involved in the development of three iterations of national curricula which have included best practice models.

Organisations involved in the nominations process

The following organisations have responded to the ROI and can now submit nominations to the Common Practice Model Contributor Groups:

  • AUT School of Education.
  • Canterbury/West Coast RTLit
  • Central East Cluster of RTLit
  • Central West Cluster RTLit
  • Clarity Education
  • Cognition Education
  • CORE Education
  • Digital Equity Coalition Aotearoa (DECA)
  • Dyslexia Evidence Base Community
  • EDconnect
  • Education Consultancy Ltd 
  • Evaluation Associates
  • FocusED LTD
  • ImpactED
  • Inclusive Communication
  • Infinity Learn Ltd
  • Learning Adventures New Zealand Ltd
  • Learning Matters
  • Learning Solutions
  • Lifting Literacy Aotearoa
  • Manaiakalani Education Trust
  • Massey University
  • Massey University Institute of Education
  • Momentum Learning Ltd
  • Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand
  • New Zealand Literacy Association
  • New Zealand Pasifika Principals Association
  • NZ Association of Language Teachers
  • NZ Association of Teachers of English
  • NZ Mathematical Society
  • NZ Principals' Federation
  • NZ RTLit Association 
  • NZEI
  • Otago University College of Education
  • Otago University Education support Services
  • PPTA
  • RTeach Institute
  • RTLB Cluster 11
  • RTLB cluster 16
  • RTLB cluster 19
  • RTLB Cluster 20
  • RTLB Cluster 22
  • RTLB Cluster 25
  • RTLB Cluster 27
  • RTLB Cluster 30 
  • RTLB Cluster 6 - Central West Auckland
  • RTLB Cluster 4 - North Shore
  • SPELD NZ Inc national office
  • Taimarino Holdings
  • Talking Matters
  • Te Puna Reo o Puhi Kaiti
  • The Education Group
  • Tools4Teachers
  • TTS Auckland
  • University of Auckland
  • University of Canterbury - Teacher Education
  • University of Canterbury-Faculty of Education
  • University of Waikato Division of Education
  • Using Technology Better
  • Victoria University College of Education
  • Vision Education

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Common Practice Model?

  • The Common Practice Model (the Model) is a key part of the Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy and supporting Action Plans. It will guide kaiako in delivering the best possible teaching, learning, and assessment, by making it clear the pedagogies that we know work and supporting their use across the learning pathway.
  • The Model will be embedded across the supports and resources, professional learning and development, and additional learning supports provided by Te Poutāhū | The Curriculum Centre. It is hoped that it will also underpin Initial Teacher Education.

Does the Common Practice Model cover the entire learning pathway?

  • The Model will support the entire learning pathway from early learning through to the end of secondary school. 

Does the Model align to the refresh of  The New Zealand Curriculum?

  • Work on the Model also connects to work currently taking place to develop draft content for the refreshed mathematics & statistics and English learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum. The draft progress outcomes for these learning areas are being developed in parallel with the learning progressions which will become part of the overall Model.
  • The new progressions will link literacy & communication and maths across all learning areas, and will provide greater clarity and detail on the important progress steps that support ākonga towards the progress outcomes for each phase of learning.
  • These progressions will strengthen alignment along the pathway. They will be informed by the work on new practice and progress tools in early learning that support formative assessment and teaching practice, so that ākonga are supported and well-prepared for their pathway into senior secondary and beyond.

Will the changes mean that all kaiako have to teach literacy & communication and maths the same way?

  • Absolutely not. What it does, is give clarity to kaiako about teaching pedagogies and practices that we know work, and supports them in delivering those to all ākonga.
  • We have trust in our kaiako to know their ākonga, and know what they need. Kaiako will still have the freedom to act on that expertise, but now they’ll be doing it with more support from us regarding pedagogies and practices that could effectively meet the needs of their ākonga.
  • However, we will be very clear about harmful practices that we know don’t work (like streaming) and be supporting schools in moving away from those.

How will kaiako be supported through these changes?

  • We want to make sure that kaiako feel confident in integrating the changes into their practice, so that we have the best possible outcomes for ākonga. This means we’ll be implementing the changes gradually, so that any shift in practice is manageable for kaiako.
  • Early learning services and schools will also be supported in leading the change on a local level, so that all kaiako have access to experts that understand how the actions affect their unique context.
  • Implementation supports (e.g., resources, guidance, tools, and professional learning) will be introduced to support kaiako, leaders, and ākonga.

What difference will the Model make to the ākonga who need more support?

  • We are focused on delivering equity to a system that has historically underserved a great deal of students, including ākonga Māori, Pacific learners, and neurodiverse learners.
  • The Model will consider teaching and learning pedagogies and practices we know work for all ākonga, with a particular focus on those whose needs the current system is not addressing and/or have diverse learning needs.

Do you know what approaches the Common Practice Model will support?

  • That decision cannot be made at this stage. The Model needs to be developed, in collaboration with the education community, before we can confirm any specific pedagogies.
  • We’re interested in supporting any resources, tools, and products that are proven to be effective in improving learning outcomes for our ākonga.
  • We are committed to supporting the pedagogies and practices that we know work, and we base those decisions on what we hear from kaiako and other sector experts, as well as research and data.

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