Curriculum Leads (Wellbeing)

We have established new Curriculum Lead positions to provide frontline support to early learning services, ngā kōhanga reo, schools and ngā kura. Our Curriculum Leads are now ready to connect with teachers and kaiako.

Curriculum Leads are about the whole system learning together and from each other. Their job is to help teachers and kaiako make sense of the national curricula so that they can design great learning for ākonga.

The result will mean ākonga experience national curricula in a way that is relevant to them and their whānau and the community that they live in – and have a positive effect on their wellbeing.

How to connect with a Curriculum Lead

You can ask to connect with a Curriculum Lead through your local Ministry of Education office.

Local Ministry of Education offices

Background: 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. Learners who feel safe and confident in themselves and in their learning environments actively engage and achieve in education, work and life.

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

TKI – Seven principles of learning(external link)

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 that will be based in the regions. They will:

  • partner with teachers and kaiako to support the development of quality learning experiences that embrace the cultures, identities, languages, and focus on wellbeing of all ākonga
  • build collaborative networks within communities and actively share local practices
  • provide frontline support for curriculum design and newly developed curriculum resources, rauemi and guidelines. These include the Wellbeing and Mental Health Teaching Resource for Teachers, the refreshed Relationship and Sexuality Education Guidelines and the Social and Emotional Learning resources
  • create feedback loops between early learning services and ngā kōhanga reo, schools and ngā kura and curriculum teams in National Office.

Wellbeing and Mental Health Teaching Resource for Teachers(external link)

Relationship and Sexuality Education Guidelines(external link)

Social and Emotional Learning resources(external link)

Curriculum Lead experience

Each Curriculum Leads has:

  • extensive knowledge and experience in teaching and learning, leadership, curriculum and assessment theory and practice, and an ability to support professional change at early learning services, ngā kōhanga reo, schools and ngā kura
  • 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 have Curriculum Leads been appointed?

We have been told that schools and ngā 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, schools and ngā kura have access to hands-on support for designing and delivering quality curriculum, teaching and learning for ākonga.

Where are they based?

The Curriculum Leads are 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 do they start working with schools?

Now. The first leads started working in the regions in Term 2, 2021.

What will they do?

The Curriculum Leads will work directly with teachers and kaiako in early learning services, ngā kōhanga reo, schools and kura in all regions. They will provide frontline support to teachers and kaiako to develop quality learning experiences through their 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 and COVID-19 further highlighted the importance of supporting happy, healthy and connected learners.

A culturally responsive and 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.

Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation(external link)

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. The second round of workshops helped us further refine the roles and the way they will work. We will continue to refine how these roles will effectively connect with and support leaders and teachers.

Contact for more information


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