Teaching and Learning

Te Mātaiaho – The Refreshed New Zealand Curriculum 

It has become ever more essential for those in the realm of public service in Aotearoa New Zealand to have an understanding of mātauranga Māori – cultural principles, cultural practices, values and language of Māori.  This is not just to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi – though that in itself is reason enough! – but to have greater understanding and appreciation of the homeland we share. 

It is understandable, then, that mātauranga Māori sits at the heart of the refreshed New Zealand Curriculum, Te Mātaiaho. 

The curriculum takes its direction from Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its principles, particularly its provision for the active protection of taonga, including te reo Māori, tikanga Māori, and mātauranga Māori, and for fair and equitable educational processes and outcomes for Māori and for all ākonga.  

New Zealand’s vision for education affirms the importance of inclusive, equitable, and connected learning that achieves advances for all ākonga. 

This notion of “connected” is important.

“Te Mātaiaho” means “to observe and examine the strands of learning.” 

Learning is less divided into siloed curriculum areas, and more seen as overlapping across contexts, with knowledge being interdisciplinary, and skills being transferrable.  Strands cross and weave together to give clarity and form understanding. 

At Sancta Maria College, we are looking for ways to integrate learning, with projects in the junior curriculum spanning across different curriculum areas.  Planning is already in place to offer more cross-curricular courses in the senior curriculum.  

Importantly, the Te Mātaiaho framework is also a call for action, to put into practice the learning studied.  This connects perfectly with our school’s localised Purpose Curriculum – to understand what our learners can do with the learning; to have, as our curriculum document calls it, “a desire to make a difference.” 

What we want for our young people is to live fulfilled lives.  Our special character is at the heart of that – to know God and to have a strong sense of values.  And we also want every student to achieve their aspirations and thrive. 

The vision for our young people is to: 

  • Be connected – to their culture, to their learning, to their community (kura and hapori) 
  • Be curious – to have, as our Purpose Curriculum document calls it, “a drive to know more” 
  • Be confident – in themselves, adopting a growth mindset, understanding that educational success is personal and looks different for different learners 
  • Positively contribute – to our communities (kura and hapori), to Aotearoa, to the world. 

We are very fortunate that our localised Sancta Maria Purpose Curriculum marries so closely with the refreshed New Zealand Curriculum, Te Mātaiaho. 

Sancta Maria students are agentic learners readied to shape the future.  They are able to collaborate, communicate confidently, are resilient, empathetic and have a purpose for their learning and for their lives. 

We are well placed for a bright future.

Ray Green,
Deputy Principal, Teaching and Learning