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How to plan and implement Aotearoa NZ histories curriculum

Let’s embark on a journey from planning to implementation of the Aotearoa NZ histories curriculum with the help of iUgo.
NZ histories curriculum

The Aotearoa NZ histories curriculum is a crucial component of the updated social sciences learning area, te ao tangata.

Me tiro whakamuri, kia anga whakamua
If we want to shape Aotearoa New Zealand’s future, start with our past.

The social science curriculum fosters curiosity about people, places and society and asks students to engage with current issues. To do so requires them to understand how our histories have shaped the present day.

To help students along this path, the Aotearoa NZ histories curriculum uses the Understand, Know, Do progression model.

These three elements (Understand, Know, Do) should not be viewed as separate or sequential. Instead, they should be woven to form meaningful learning (Ministry of Education, 2023).

How can you incorporate the Understand, Know, Do elements in your planning and classroom practice? Let the iUgo family show you how.

How do you plan with the Aotearoa NZ histories curriculum?

As you know, iUgo is a powerful online teacher planner that allows you to create long-term plans through to individual lesson plans.

What makes iUgo so powerful, though?

Loaded onto iUgo plans are all the New Zealand curriculums: the New Zealand Curriculum, the refreshed framework, Te Matauranga o Aotearoa and the Catholic Religious Education Curriculum.

Yes, that means the Aotearoa NZ histories curriculum progression model is loaded and ready to go.

Progress outcomes have replaced achievement objectives in the new framework.

Progress outcomes describe the knowledge and understanding expected of students at each phase of learning. These are not distinct from one another. As mentioned above, they are woven with the progress outcomes of the Do element to guide student learning (Ministry of Education, 2023).

Your planning needs to reflect the integration of the progress outcomes from each of the three elements, which is where iUgo fits in.

It is up to teachers to choose the topics and learning experiences that weave the progress outcomes together. Once you have chosen the overall topic for a unit, you select the preloaded Understand, Know, Do progress outcomes in iUgo you will cover.

This can be seen in one of the free Aotearoa NZ histories unit plan exemplars, a struggle for land and sovereignty for phase three. The three progress outcomes under the Know element for phase three are there for you to select.

Illustration of three of the expected progress outcomes at phase 3 for the Know element.
Illustration of three of the expected progress outcomes at phase 3 for the Know element.

Phases of learning have replaced the current curriculum levels in the refreshed framework. The phases ‘chunk’ learning making it easier to see progress.

Five phases of learning:

  • Phase 1 – Years 0 to 3
  • Phase 2 – Years 4 to 6
  • Phase 3 – Years 7 to 8
  • Phase 4 – Years 9 to 10
  • Phase 5 – Years 11 to 13

(Ministry of Education, 2023).

As you can see from the unit, ‘weaving’ all three elements together requires more thought, planning and possibly, writing. Having the progress outcomes preloaded means you simply have to select the applicable ones – saving you time.

Additionally, iUgo allows you to track the progress outcomes you have covered. It is easy to see any gaps in your planning throughout the year.

As progress outcomes are added to a unit plan, this automatically creates a school record against the classroom, group, or student to show what has already been covered. It is simple, therefore, for teachers to track progress and avoid repeats of the same objectives as students move between year levels and classrooms.

At any time, a teacher can use the iUgo curriculum coverage tool to report on progress across any learning area, level and curriculum.

How do you implement the Aotearoa NZ histories curriculum?

So, you have created your unit and lesson plans that align with the Aotearoa NZ histories curriculum. How can you best implement these?

Fortunately, the Do element can guide your implementation. These are the practices expected of learners within each phase of learning.

An example of this can be seen in the struggle for land and sovereignty unit plan. Individual lesson plans are also included in this unit.

The focus of the lesson is critical practices. This asks students to think critically about the past as they cover the big idea, “the course of New Zealand history has been shaped by the exercise and effects of power.”

As students engage with the text during the lesson, they discuss, research, compare and identify ideas related to the big idea.

Free history lesson plan for Phase Three.
Free history lesson plan for Phase Three.

Sign up for a no-obligation free trial on iUgo to gain access to this free unit plan, plus individual lessons. There are unit and lesson plans for Phase 1 through to Phase 3.

Past, present and future – we're with you

You may or may not be aware that iUgo is a member of the Essential Resources family. From Essential Resources, you can also purchase our two new series of New Zealand history books, Aotearoa New Zealand History and You and Discovering Aotearoa New Zealand.

If you are looking for Aotearoa NZ histories curriculum-aligned resources, these series are for you.

The change in government at the end of 2023 could bring changes to the refreshed curriculum. These are front of mind with the team at iUgo.

Whatever happens, we strive to provide an up-to-date planning tool that reflects changes in the curriculum. Our educational resources will also continue to be based on best practices.

As it stands, the refreshed curriculum will be a shift for teachers. No longer are there discrete achievement objectives. Rather, the progression outcomes need to be entwined with one another.

With the help of iUgo, though, the planning process can be streamlined, enabling you to reflect the three elements within their unit plans. You will also discover unit and lesson plans aligned to the new curriculum.

Let’s keep moving along the path towards acknowledging Aotearoa NZ histories together.


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