New timelines for curriculum and NCEA refresh

Timelines have been reset for the New Zealand Curriculum refresh, Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories, Te Takanga o Te Wā and the NCEA Change Programme as result of the disruption Covid-19 has had on learning.

The Government has provided more details on the changes, following last week’s announcement that the refresh of several programmes would be pushed back.

“This will make sure schools have the time and space they need to look after students and staff,” the Ministry of Education said in a press statement, which outlined the key changes. 

NCEA Change Programme

“To ensure the NCEA change programme and the sector are aligned, the NCEA planned pilot approach will change. However it is still crucial that, in 2022, the sector can test and refine the new Level 1 subjects,” said the MoE.

  • The NZC and TMoA pilots planned for 2022 will be replaced with Level 1 mini-pilots that have fewer schools participating. 
  • NZC Level 1 (full) pilots will take place in 2023, instead of 2022, with full implementation by 2024. Level 2 pilots will take place in 2024 with full implementation by 2025. Level 3 pilots will take place in 2025 with full implementation by 2026.

TMoA mini-pilots will also take place for Level 2 subjects in 2023, and Level 3 subjects in 2024:

  • Literacy and Numeracy | Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau pilots will continue as planned in 2022. The implementation of the corequisite in 2023 is subject to sector readiness, and we are preparing to make a decision (implement or defer) in mid-2022.
  • The Te Ao Haka programme will not change and pilots will commence in 2022.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s Histories (ANZH) and Te Takanga o Te Wā (TToTW)

  • The timeline for the public release of the ANZH and TToTW final content will be moved to early 2022. Schools and kura will now be expected to implement the new content from 2023, rather than from 2022 as originally intended.
  • This means that those schools and kura who are well-placed to pick it up and use the content earlier than 2023 will have the option to do so.
  • During 2022 schools and kura will be supported to access resources they need to be ready to teach the new content from 2023.
  • The adjustment to timing means that schools will be able to use the new ANZH content in the context of the refreshed Social Sciences learning area for the NZC.

Key changes to using Te Whāriki

The legal requirements for using Te Whāriki will change.

  • Consultation on gazetting the full framework of Te Whāriki was set for 2021, with a view to implementing the full framework as a legal requirement for early childhood education services from 2022.
  • This timing of the consultation will be adjusted to occur in 2022 instead, and the anticipated implementation timeframe will be extended to 2023.

The New Zealand Curriculum refresh

“These changes will help schools and teachers to manage their workloads and deal with the impacts of COVID-19, as well as provide more time for them to be involved as they get ready to adopt the refreshed curriculum from 2026 onwards,” the Ministry announced, outlining the below:

  • Testing of the vision for young people and the Social Sciences learning area draft content will now take place in term 1, 2022.
  • The refresh of the English and the Mathematics & Statistics learning areas will happen in 2022, supporting the upcoming mathematics and literacy strategies.
  • The update of the Science learning area moves from 2022 to 2023, with the Arts and Technology learning areas also refreshed in 2023.
  • The refreshes of the Learning Languages and Health & Physical Education learning areas move from 2023 to 2024.
  • Changes to other parts of the NZC which underpin it being refreshed as a ‘bicultural and inclusive’ curriculum will all be progressed in 2022, rather than being spread through to the end of 2023. This includes a refreshed Vision for Young People.
  • The phasing of the development of the Record of Learning has been aligned to the refresh of the curriculum, with the first release planned for 2024.

There will be no change to the redesign of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa as the phasing of learning areas will be aligned to the redesign process around the Te Tamaiti Hei Raukura conceptual framework. 

More information on all of these programmes is available on Curriculum and assessment changes – Education in New Zealand.


Heather Barker Vermeer

Heather has worked as a journalist, writer and editor in England and Aotearoa New Zealand for over 20 years. She fell in love with words when she received a 'Speak & Spell' tech toy for Christmas in 1984.
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