Curriculum Leads – Wellbeing

We have established new Curriculum Lead positions to provide frontline support to schools, kura, early learning services and ngā kōhanga reo.

The roles will be truly transformational and will play a pivotal role by working with teachers and kaiako to design local curriculum and marau ā-kura.

This frontline support allows the Ministry’s to create local curriculum and marau ā-kura that is right for today and tomorrow: supporting the cultures, identities, languages and wellbeing of all ākonga.

Wellbeing and education

The New Zealand Curriculum, Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, Te Whāriki, Te Whāriki a te Kōhanga Reo and Te Aho Matua all support the development of positive, resilient, confident and connected children and young people. 

Children and young people who are happy and healthy learn better. And learners who feel safe and confident in themselves and in their learning environments, actively engage and achieve in education, work, and in life.

National and international research(external link) shows that when children and young people have a strong sense of wellbeing; they can engage meaningfully in learning. The education profession, tell us that learners who are safe, secure and confident progress faster, engage more and achieve in education and in life. 

How is wellbeing connected to the curriculum?

A well-designed curriculum improves learning and wellbeing outcomes for children and young people.

This means learners:

  • have a sense of purpose and belonging
  • understand who they are
  • know who they are connected to
  • know how they can participate and contribute in a way that is real to them
  • know their teacher/kaiako can see them progress in learning.

Children and young people who feel safe, valued and confident in themselves and in their learning environments engage with and achieve in education, work and life.

As the Curriculum Leads will be working with local communities and in the regions, they will be able to strengthen and improve parents and Whānau understanding of wellbeing and how they can support their children, their learning and wellbeing.

Overview of the roles

The Curriculum Leads are a national team which will be based in the regions. They will:

Curriculum Lead experience

The Curriculum Leads will have:

  • Extensive knowledge and experience in teaching and learning, leadership, curriculum and assessment theory and practice, and an ability to support professional change at a school, kura, early learning or ngā kōhanga reo.
  • Experiential knowledge and competencies in supporting curriculum design that has evidenced improved outcomes for diverse communities.
  • Strong facilitation skills with highly honed interpersonal skills, diplomacy and an ability to adapt to different interaction styles and contexts.
  • Proven experience of building and maintaining effective relationships with whānau, Māori and Pacific communities.

Further information

Why are Curriculum Leads being appointed?

We have been told that schools and kura would like more support to weave wellbeing into their local curriculum and marau ā-kura.

They have been appointed to make sure teachers and leaders in early learning, ngā kōhanga reo, kura and schools have access to hands-on support for designing and delivering quality curriculum, teaching and learning for ākonga.

Where will they be based?

The Curriculum Leads will be based in Ministry of Education regional offices. Other just-in-time information and advice on the curriculum will be available from the curriculum team in national office.

When will they start working with schools?

The first leads will be working in the regions from Term 2 2021.

What will they do?

The Curriculum Leads will work directly with teachers and kaiako in schools, kura, early learning services and ngā kōhanga reo in all regions. They will provide frontline support to teachers and kaiako to deliver a high-quality local curriculum and marau ā-kura with a focus on wellbeing.

Why is there a focus on wellbeing?

New Zealanders identified wellbeing as a priority in the Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation(external link) and COVID-19 further highlighted the importance of supporting happy, healthy and connected learners.

A culturally responsive inclusive local curriculum or marau ā-kura, that supports the identities, languages, cultures of all ākonga also supports ākonga wellbeing. Wellbeing weaves across all curricula.

Has the sector been consulted?

We held several workshops with the sector to discuss the roles and the kind of experience and skills required.

The rich feedback was used to develop role descriptions. A second round of workshops has helped us further refine the roles and the way they will work. We are currently designing how these roles will effectively connect with and support leaders and teachers.

Contact for more information


Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback