THE NGUNGURU SCHOOL CURRICULUM



The curriculum, its design and implementation is in a process of significant development here at Ngunguru school. Ngunguru has embarked on our Ecology of Learning journey to develop an authentic, contextualized curriculum delivered through a combination of an Inquiry teaching and learning framework and stand alone best practice. Underpinning this process is our beliefs, values and attitudes in motivating, challenging, and inspiring all students to learn.

Guidelines for Curriculum Delivery

NAG 1

NGUNGURU SCHOOL WILL:

1. Develop a contextualized curriculum based on children's needs, abilities, interests and community expectations.

2. Implement the school's curriculum through a 'best practice' teahing and learning framework and by providing  teaching and learning programmes based on the school's curriculum plans and the new National Curriculum Statements.

3. Establish learning programmes that provide students opportunities to achieve success in all essential learning areas.

4. Give priority to literacy and numeracy in Years 1 - 4.

5. Base student evaluation on a range of assessment practices / strategies focusing on the breadth and depth of learning.

6. Analyse assessment information, monitor student progress and identify students who are not achieving, who are at risk of not achieving or who have special needs / abilities.

7. Implement appropriate programmes to address the needs of students identified in (6)above.

8. Engage the Maori community in order to identify the needs of Maori students, and to plan targets for improving the achievement of these students.

9. Provide appropriate career education and guidance for all students in Year 7 and 8.

NAG 2

10. Use the school's curriculum as the basis for strategic planning, and ensure that there is ongoing review.

11. Report on student progress and achievement to students, parents / whanau, the Board of Trustees and the wider school community.

Ngunguru School: Inquiry Teaching and Learning Framework.

The background in framing this model is one of a journey to combine the best of current pedagogy into a coherent teaching and learning framework.  The 3 key identified components within this model include.

  • Common inquiry models (identified process)
  • A framework for Thinking
  • Understanding of learning styles/preferences

1. Common inquiry models

"All learning begins with the learner. What children know and what they want to learn are not just constraints on what can be taught; they are the very foundation for learning" (Dewey)

We believe inquiry is fundamentally a learner-centered process where learning structure meets fluidity and where we can create opportunities for students to be engaged in active learning based on their own questions. We also however acknowledge that inquiry is a process that requires development from guided through to independent.

Further material detailing this process is included in our curriculum documents.

2. Framework for Thinking

"One learns first through a social setting of person to person and then personally through an internalization process that leads to deep learning." (Vygotsky 1978)

While the inquiry model attempts to end the listen-to-learn paradigm of the classroom and gives students a real and authentic goal challenges to overcome, this alone is not enough. Empowering students to understand  how they think through the design and use of thinking skills within this process is central to its effectiveness.

Ngunguru has taken Blooms as the core thinking taxonomy for its thinking base and this has informally been woven through each inquiry. To support this informal 'teaching of thinking' a framework for its organization through suggested levels and resources are being developed in the following areas.

Components of thinking: (Costa 2001)

Thinking for thinking, Thinking of thinking, Thinking about Thinking

All classes are expected to teach Metacognition  and their will be a biannual focus in term one of Thinking about Thinking, specifically Brain study, physiology and learning styles.

3. Understanding of Multiple intelligences & learning styles

Intelligence is: The capacity to solve problems and/or fashion products that are valued in a specific culture. (Howard Gardiner)

A key component infused into out teaching and learning framework is the belief that the 2 traditional views of educational intelligence have been limiting and that there are 6 other intelligences which are extremely important and depending on what the person does in life, possibly critical and more important than those first two. Hand in hand with this thinking is the belief that students understanding their genetic or nurtured preferences will empower them to make better choices for their learning and life.

Multiple intelligences are a feature of our operation (Pizza Smarts) and student profiling, re enforcement and knowledge of MI will be an ongoing part of our programme. While Profiling will be done/re-enforced each year in term 1 teachers are not expected to assess in this area.

Further work to simplify MI using the Herrman model is currently underway and it is likely that this will develop a significant direction for the holistic use of  MI in Ngunguru teaching and learning programmes.

Programme

Major inquiries will run in Terms 2-4 based on Social studies, Science, Health and Technology  within a 4 year rotating context. 

Numeracy, Literacy and to a lesser degree physed will be run as stand alone areas. The remaining math strands are encouraged though inquiry and may be integrated at the teachers discretion.

Term 1 each year is to be used as a pre-requisite term. This will serve the process of ensuring that fundamentals and familiarity with programmes for staff and students are in place leading into the remainder of the year.

Purpose:

Learning Re-Focus - Key elements of metacognition /Profiling/Mindmaping          

Thinking Tools & Modeling -organisers/thinking taxonomy/sequencing

Questioning skills - 7 levels

Staff Induction - ability for new staff to become familiar with schools operation alongside mentors.

Implementation Plans

 Implementation plans for each curriculum area are available in draft form and will remain draft until all are reviewed in the New Curriculum review cycle and or in light of identified priorities.

Implementation plans will outline the philosophy and guidelines for delivery of each learning area.

Components for each area will include:

Philosophy  -  beliefs for the student learning in curriculum areas infused with our Ecology of Learning as able.                  

Implementation Plan 

     1.  Planning -        Guidelines

                                   Templates

                                -   NZCR Linkages

     2.  Delivery overviews      -annual

                                              -bi annual

      Assessment -      how we assess in this area   

                                 what requirements

                                  time line of assessment

                                  portfolio inclusions as relevant (examples)

       Resources          archive of resources withdrawal systems

                                 location

                                 human resources

      Reporting             How we report in this area

                

     Review                 How we review this learning area