The NZ Curriculum

The New Zealand Curriculum provides Upper Moutere School the flexibility to scope, design and shape our school curriculum to suit our students and help them achieve the national vision of becoming confident, connected, actively-involved, life-long learners.

Upper Moutere Schools Charter clearly states how Upper Moutere School will meet both the needs of our students and the requirements of the New Zealand Curriculum.

Our School Curriculum

The Upper Moutere School Curriculum places our students at the centre and is responsive to the needs of our students and community, to engage and develop lifelong learners.

  • Our Mission: To Strive for Excellence
  • Empowered by Our Learning Lights – Confident, Active, Creative, Literate, Numerate, Thinkers.
    (our vision).
  • Making the Right Choices: Responsible, Respect, Pride
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Our Learning Lights and Values reflect the New Zealand Curriculum

Our learning lights are the basis for all our learning and are the way the Key Competencies are developed at Upper Moutere.
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Big Understanding

We believe that the purpose of all teaching and learning at Upper Moutere School is…

To enhance students understanding of “the way the world works.”

Upper Moutere’s Integrated Curriculum is based on the Principles of the New Zealand Curriculum and the expectations of our community as these relate to the future of us as individuals, our society and our planet.

Therefore all our planning will evolve from and be based on the following three “Big Understandings.”

  • Looking after Self
  • Looking after Each-other
  • Looking after the Planet

Students will have opportunities to develop confidence, pursue their personal interests and gain a sense of personal achievement as they become engaged and participate in a wide variety of planned experiences to increase their knowledge and awareness of themselves, their environment and their world and how they fit into it. (The “Big Understandings”)

We believe it is important that student’s see the relevance of what they are being taught; are empowered to make connections with their own experiences and knowledge; make the links within and across the learning areas; and engage with the rich learning opportunities that their local environment provides to gain a “Big Understanding” of the world in which they live

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Big Understanding

Our Big understanding is a concept based on the work of Julia Atkin.
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Big Concepts

Underlying the “Big Understandings” are the “Big Concepts”. These are largely based on the Principles of the New Zealand Curriculum.

We expect that each of these “Big Concepts” will be planned for and covered over the time a child is at Upper Moutere School.
These “Big Concepts” will be developed through the Learning Areas and highlighted through planning using our Integrated Unit Plan.
As we develop these concepts with students, coverage will be recorded.

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Big Concepts

The Big Concepts Table will be reviewed annually to determine if the “Big Concepts” are appropriate/relevant for our students; that coverage of the “Big Concepts” is meeting our student needs; and that particular “Big Concepts” are better taught at specific levels
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Learning Areas

Literacy and Numeracy are priority learning areas and will delivered daily often with their own context of study. They may be integrated with the current Unit of Investigation when and where it is relevant/ natural to do so.

We believe it is not possible, or effective, to integrate all learning areas into a unit of Investigation. Teachers will identify a specific learning area focus from Social Science, Science, Health and Technology to base their Unit of Investigation.

The Learning Areas

At Upper Moutere has its own Overview.

Learning Area Essence Statements

To confidently…

English – Reading:
  • be able to read and make meaning of ideas or information from a variety of texts at an age appropriate level.
English – Writing:

  • be able to write effectively to communicate, engage and create meaning for themselves and others with increasing complexity
English – Oral/ Listening:
  • be able to communicate effectively and appropriately in a variety of contexts
Mathematics and Statistics:

  • use mathematical concepts effectively in everyday situations
  • solve problems creatively, critically, strategically and logically
  • process and communicate mathematical information
Physical Education:
  • to participate and develop an interest in a range of physical settings
  • problem solve using a variety of approaches, articulate their thinking/ideas and demonstrate with equipment
  • communicate effectively to enhance relationships
  • develop resilience and a sense of personal and social responsibility
Social Science:
  • describe how societies work and how people can participate as critical, active, informed and responsible citizens
  • investigate, understand and explain our natural, physical world and the wider universe.
  • develop through innovation, products and systems to meet specific criteria to make life easier
The Arts: Visual, Music, Drama, Dance
  • transform creative ideas into expressive works, communicating meaning through movement, sound and image
Learning Languages:
  • develop a means of communicating with people from another culture and further understanding personal world.