Curriculum includes the knowledge you gain through learning areas or subjects (for example, what you learn in art or science), as well as the values, attitudes, and beliefs that you are encouraged to develop.
Most countries set out their curriculum in a document. Teachers and schools use these documents to assist them with planning what needs to be taught and how.
In Aotearoa New Zealand we have two national curriculum documents for years 1-13: the New Zealand Curriculum (English medium) and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (Māori medium). These documents set out the entitlement for every ākonga to learn and succeed through rich learning experiences – knowing that success will look different for every ākonga.
The New Zealand Curriculum is then used by schools, kura, teachers and kaiako to design and implement a local curriculum that meets the needs of all their ākonga, their whānau, and of the local community.
The national curriculum and the local curriculum are closely connected, both are used together to nurture and flourish the growth of ākonga.
The current New Zealand Curriculum was published in 2007, which means it was designed before some of you were born!
Before we started doing work to improve this curriculum we wanted to hear from young people, like you, and we were told that young people want to have a greater say in their education and to learn from a curriculum that is meaningful to them and their whānau.
In 2019, the government announced the need for an update to the national curriculum to ensure it includes the most important learning, and values your wellbeing, identities, languages, and cultures.
The New Zealand Curriculum will be refreshed over the next five years so that it honours our mutual obligations to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, is inclusive of every young person, is clear about the learning that cannot be left to chance and is easy to use.
The New Zealand Curriculum is used by your schools, kura, teachers and kaiako to design what and how you learn. You might notice that what you learn at your school may be different from what is taught at other schools. This is because schools have some flexibility about what they teach.
However, what is important is that all young people should be able to see themselves in and relate to what is taught in their classrooms and have the opportunity to develop the values and knowledge to be successful in their lives.