• This is about instruments and what we want young New Zealanders to have learnt when they leave an educational institution – what talents will be delivered and how they might be optimised through a better understanding of character, personality and practise.
  • Future-proof young Kiwis by teaching talents that will keep them nimble, flexible and able to deal with failure. For example, repositioning failure as, at worst, an opportunity to learn from mistakes.
  • Undertake teaching of high-tech skills such as coding, analytics, big data, website design and movie making.
  • Develop creative talents, problem solving skills, analytical capabilities and positive communication.
  • Teach the importance of character, ethics, effort and teamwork. In particular, good practise in the management of private data and risk management.
  • Promote good health, providing information and good habits on topics such as:

a)     Exercise (i.e. flexibility, weights [resistance], cardiovascular, and brain function),
b)    Hygiene (e.g. teeth, feet, etc)
c)     Medicine (e.g. allergic reactions, antibiotic overuse)
d)    Communicable diseases (e.g. HIV, polio, measles, TB etc)
e)     Non-communicable diseases (e.g. obesity, diabetes, respiratory and heart and cancer)
f)     Social skills (e.g. mental health)

  • Teach the arts, science and music; enough to appreciate the talents of others.
  • Teach young New Zealanders about New Zealand (our history and geography), our rights and our responsibilities to each other (civics) and our environment (ecology).
  • Teach te reo Māori to harness the uniqueness of New Zealand’s indigenous knowledge and culture.
  • Promote the languages of Asia and the Pacific; they are part of our future.
  • This is only a tentative list, please make additional suggestions by posting comments below.

Graeme Wong Grow 2

Graeme Wong speaks about building a curriculum fit for the future (Grow 2) during the launch of the TalentNZ Menu of Initiatives on 11 June 2014.


2014 New Zealand Examples

Decode, Auckland

Decode is a project developed by Christian Silver, which aims to promote programming amongst youth. It encourages them to not only use technology but understand how it works. The initiative features a website with online lessons, as well as resources and support for schools and organisations to run their own programming sessions.

The Mindlab, Auckland

The Mind Lab, a collaboration with Unitec, offers teachers a postgraduate qualification to increase their students’ engagement through digital and collaborative learning. The aim is for teachers to be able to equip students with the flexible skills they need to thrive in our changing world and encourage life-long learning. The Mind Lab by Unitec also provides courses and workshops for school-aged children that offers learning experiences that support the development of the next generation of makers, doers, inventors and creators who will shape the future with new ways of working, thinking and living.

Asia NZ Foundation

The Foundation’s education programme seeks to enable New Zealand educators to equip students to thrive in their future with Asia. The programme provides resources and gives New Zealand teachers the opportunity to visit Asian countries, experience new cultures and make connections. The programme also provides scholarships for secondary and tertiary students to study in Asia.

Science Wānanga, University of Otago

Science Wānanga are interactive, three-day learning experiences run by the University of Otago for Māori secondary school students.  Students stay on a marae with university students, scientists and kaumatua, and are immersed in particular disciplines which they have an interest in.  The Wānanga expose students to career pathways they may not otherwise have considered, as well as providing opportunities to explore the connections between science and matauranga Māori.

Pegasus Bay School, Canterbury

Pegasus Bay School is a recently-opened primary school in the Waimakariri District, and replaces the nearby Waikuku School as part of Canterbury’s earthquake recovery efforts. Pegasus Bay School’s point of difference is their ‘place based learning’ focus. All of their learning communities are named after an area they live in, and the students learn about that during their time in a learning community.  They connect their students to their local area, history, people and places with the aim of leaving better children for our planet, rather than a better planet for our children.

Tai Wananga, Hamilton

Tai Wananga is a secondary school in Hamilton that offers tikanga-based learning tailored towards a high-tech society.  It focuses on incubating talent as part of a flexible and personalised career development plan whilst maintaining its kaupapa of allowing ‘Māori to succeed as Māori’.

Otumoetai Intermediate School, Tauranga

Otumoetai Intermediate has designed their curriculum around the transition from primary to secondary education. There is an emphasis on study skills, goal setting and self-management, as well as a broad curriculum that exposes students to a variety of disciplines and encourages them to pursue their individual interests. The school has also been proactive in terms of implementing new technologies in the classroom. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programme encourages students to bring cell phones and laptops from home, acknowledging the need for the classroom to reflect new ways of learning, collaborating and accessing information.

Pasifika Power UpAuckland and Wellington

Pasifika Power Up was an eight week study drive organised by the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs and the Ministry of Education in late 2013 to encourage the Pacific Island community to engage with NCEA. There was an interactive website as well as eight study hubs in Auckland and Wellington, providing access to workshops for parents and community trainers, examination and study tips, expert tutoring on NCEA level 2 standards, assessment preparation and Careers advice.

Sylvia Park School, Mt Wellington, Auckland

Catering to students from years one to eight from a culturally diverse community, the school is characterised by high student achievement, dynamic and innovative leadership and a culture where student learning is paramount. Students at Sylvia Park School consistently achieve at or above national levels of expectation for their age in reading and writing. A major factor in the school’s success is the focus given to students taking responsibility for their learning and achievement, setting targets and taking steps to achieve these goals. The school also has a Māori bilingual unit, Te Puna Waiora, and hosts two satellite classes from Somerville Special School for students with intellectual impairments.

2014 International Examples, United States is a non-profit organisation that aims to increase student participation in computer science, especially for women and minority groups. The website provides tools, resources and teaching plans that can be incorporated into a school’s curriculum. The ‘Hour of Code’ programme provides an easy way for teachers to implement computer science in the classroom, featuring hour long, interactive tutorials on their website for all levels of expertise.