Curriculum

New Zealand Curriculum
Teaching in schools is guided by the National Curriculum which is made up of two documents – The New Zealand Curriculum for English-medium schools and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa for Māori-medium schools.

The New Zealand Curriculum has eight learning areas: English, The Arts, Health and Physical Education (PE), Learning Languages, Mathematics and Statistics, Science, Social Sciences and Technology. Students develop key knowledge, skills and concepts in each area and learn how to apply them in their lives.

Oratia District School Curriculum
A curriculum for our community
Each school is expected to interpret the New Zealand Curriculum and develop a school curriculum that takes into consideration the unique character, environment and context of each community. If you would like a copy of our school’s curriculum, please contact the school office.

The arts
Our community places a high value on the arts. Our children create visual art as part of their learning programmes, and weave dance and drama into their inquiry learning where possible and relevant. We are committed to creating different opportunities for our students to learn to play a musical instrument, and have a thriving choir where our students can share in the joy of singing. We have several itinerant teachers who come into our school each week to teach a range of different instruments.

e-Learning and Inquiry Based Learning
In 21st century learning environments, students and teachers are expected to use digital technologies to support their learning and teaching. They are expected to learn the skills required to be responsible digital citizens who have the necessary competencies to succeed in this increasingly diverse and highly technological environment.

One strategy for learning and teaching is through inquiry-based learning. This allows our students and their teachers to ask very focused questions towards a specific inquiry, which has the potential to result in ‘real life’ learning. Some of the learning could also result in changes that the children make to their environment or initiatives that develop out of their learning, such as a clean-up of the Oratia Stream.

Keeping Ourselves Safe (KOS) and Life Education (Life Ed)
Every three years, we invite the New Zealand Police into our school to run the Keeping Ourselves Safe (KOS) programme. This programme is carefully developed to empower children to keep themselves safe in all situations, ranging from being safe around household utensils to stranger danger.
The Life Education programme is designed to teach children about the importance of eating healthily, making good choices and making positive friendships.

ICAS (International Competitions and Assessments for Schools) Tests
International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) are independent skills-based assessments with a competition element. Children are invited to sit the tests in some or all of the following subjects: computer skills, english, mathematics, science, spelling and writing tests. The tests are an opportunity for our gifted and talented students to test themselves in an international test environment. The results from the tests help us to identify or confirm areas where we as a school need to focus.

National Standards
All primary schools in New Zealand are required to report student achievement and progress in relation to the National Standards. Twice a year we report to parents about their child’s progress in relation to the National Standards.

Moderation
Our teachers use assessment for learning. This means that each assessment tool used by teachers tells only one part of the picture. Teachers are expected to make Overall Teacher Judgements (OTJ) that inform them whether a student has achieved a particular National Standard. Moderation is the process we use in our school, and across schools, to ensure that our marking and the resulting OTJs are accurate. In this process teachers work together and refer to multiple samples of work, assessments and in-class observations to determine that each OTJ is accurate.