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What's new

Social sciences resource survey


A short, online survey to identify quality resources to support social sciences is now open for teachers of years 1 to 10 social sciences.

The survey, which takes about five to ten minutes to complete, will help the Ministry pinpoint resources that best support social sciences teaching and learning.

Participants can either remain anonymous or submit an email address if they are willing to be contacted to talk about their answers.

The survey closes 29 October 2021.

Applications for Creatives in Schools Round 3 – closed 20 August


Applications are now open for the third round of the Creatives in Schools programme, where teachers and kaiako will partner with creative professionals to provide engaging learning experiences for students and ākonga.

The programme provides funding of up to $17,000 per project. Round 3 will fund up to 117 projects to run in 2022.
Creative projects are not limited to visual arts, dance, drama and music. The programme is open to other artforms such as filmmaking, game design, fashion design, spoken word, Pacific arts, and ngā toi Māori such as raranga, whakairo and more.
Schools and kura can also directly liaise with creative practitioners in their own community, to plan a project together and apply for funding. Applications close on Friday 20 August 2021. If you need further assistance, email CreativesinSchools@education.govt.nz.
The programme is delivered by Ministry of Education, in partnership with Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage and Creative New Zealand.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories books for schools – orders close Friday 25 June 2021


To promote Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories, the Ministry of Education is offering schools and kura up to $200 worth of high-quality history books for their libraries. 

Principals/Tumuaki can place an order for up to $200 worth of books from a list on Down the Back of the Chair. They may nominate another staff member, such as a school librarian, to place the order on their behalf.

The last day for orders is Friday, 25 June 2021. 

Orders will be distributed from June 2021. Schools that have not received their orders by the end of July 2021 can contact us at orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz or on 0800 660 662.

Reflecting on grief, love and hope with Aya and the Butterfly storybook


Aya and the Butterfly is a new picture book to help children come to terms with grief, cope with change, and build resilience. An online version is now available to early childhood and primary school aged children across Aotearoa New Zealand.

The book is written by Dr Maysoon Salama who lost her beloved son, Atta, in the mosque attacks. Dr Salama said she wrote this story for her granddaughter (Aya) and for other children dealing with loss and trauma.

"Aya’s father’s death is implied, but this is not the story’s focus, and children do not need to know how it happened. They do need to know that sometimes we have to say goodbye to the people and the things we love the most. In the face of such overwhelming loss, we must allow ourselves to remember and feel sad, but we must also learn to let go and keep going. There is hope," says Dr Salama.

Islamic Women's Council logo

Aya and the Butterfly is part of a four-book series designed to support, reflect, and celebrate the Muslim community in Aotearoa New Zealand. It has been developed with the Islamic Women’s Council and published by the Ministry of Education through Lift Education.

"The book joins part of a growing collection of learning resources that reflect the diverse culture and perspectives of children and young people across Aotearoa New Zealand," says Ministry of Education Deputy Secretary Early Learning and Student Achievement, Ellen MacGregor-Reid.

"The book is accompanied by a teaching guide to assist with conversations with learners around the topics of grief and loss, and the cycle of life in general. We thank Dr Salama for trusting us with her story and enabling us to share it widely to all learners."

The online book can be downloaded for free from NZC Online | Ā Mātou Kōrero – Our Stories. It will be available in English and Arabic.

Print copies of the book will be delivered to early learning services and schools during term four 2021.

MoE logo.

Refreshing our national curriculum for schooling


The national curriculum for schooling will be refreshed over the next five years to ensure it is more clear, more relevant and easier to use.

The curriculum refresh was announced by Associate Ministers of Education, Jan Tinetti and Kelvin Davis.

Find out more about the refresh of the national curriculum for schooling

In September 2019 the Minister of Education, the Hon Chris Hipkins, announced the need to refresh the national schooling curriculum to ensure it remains fit for purpose and clear about the most important learning that can’t be left to chance.

Since then the Ministry has been working with people from the education sector and wider communities to really understand how to make the improvements needed for students to succeed now and in the future.

An example of what the refreshed content could look like is the draft curriculum content for Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories and Te Takanga o Te Wā, which is open for public feedback:

Read more about the draft curriculum survey and how to take part in the Aotearoa New Zealand's Histories survey

Curriculum guide.

NEW – Leading Local Curriculum Guide: Aotearoa New Zealand's histories


This guide complements the Leading Local Curriculum Guide series

It is the first in a series of two guides designed to support primary, intermediate, and secondary school leaders to understand and plan for Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories within social sciences.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories icon.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories


From 2022, Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories will be taught in all schools and kura.

Find out about the development of the draft curriculum content, download the curriculum content, and give feedback at Education.Govt.NZ – Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories in our national curriculum.

Professional support for early literacy coming in 2021


Professional support will be available in 2021 and 2022 for literacy specialists and Years 1 to 3 teachers, with an initial focus on new entrant and Year 1 teachers.

The Better Start Literacy Approach | Te Ara Reo Matatini (BSLA) professional support will be delivered by the University of Canterbury during terms one and two 2021. The BSLA is an integrated approach to developing vocabulary, oral, listening, spelling, writing and reading skills in the first year of learning, utilising the Ready to Read Phonics Plus texts. It focuses on the link between spoken and written language, systematically supporting children’s phonological and phonic awareness, letter-sound knowledge and oral language.

Applications are open now for schools, Kāhui Ako and clusters to apply for professional support for new entrant and Year 1 teachers, along with a nominated literacy specialist, through the  PLD website. Literacy specialists include RTLits, Kāhui AKo Cross-community Leads, School Literacy Leads, Learning Support Coordinators and RTLBs with a strong literacy background.

Attached is a presentation that has recently been provided to the sector. This presentation provides information about the early literacy approach and, in particular, the professional support currently provided for schools; the Better Start Literacy Approach. The presentation outlines the nature of this professional support and how to access it.

More information will be published in the Education Gazette and the Bulletin for School Leaders early in 2021.

PowerPoint 2007 icon. Early Literacy Approach (PowerPoint 2007 4 MB)



This site is a key part of the Pacific Virtual Museum pilot project, implemented by the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga in collaboration with the National Library of Australia, and funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia. This pilot will run until February 2022.

It aims to empower people in and of the Pacific Islands, enabling them to explore, discover and view thousands of items held in museums, libraries, galleries, and collections around the world and to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of the Pacific. It includes images, objects, video, audio, text, and maps.

Find out more...

VLN Primary School – Registrations invited for online programmes for 2021


All NZ children are welcome to learn with the VLN Primary – Nau Mai, Haere Mai!
Extend curriculum choices for your learners and increase your school's confidence and capability in online and distance learning.
A wide range of programmes are available including:

  • Languages and culture
  • Digital Technology
  • Gifted and Talented
  • Creative Arts
  • Science and Maths
  • Literacy

Students may participate from school or home, independently, in small groups, or with their teachers in a whole class situation.