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News of May 2016



The pre-dawn rise of Matariki can be seen in the last days of May or early June every year. The Māori New Year is marked by the rise of this star cluster and the sighting of the next new moon. 

In 2016, Matariki will start on 6 June.

By celebrating Matariki at your school you can bring a range of New Zealand curriculum principles to life. Students can explore values, develop key competencies, and examine social science concepts.

This resource page from NZ Curriculum Online has ideas and resources that teachers and students can use to get involved and celebrate with their school community.

Grass Roots Ideas Initiative


If you have been using technology in a way that is innovative, or you have a brand new idea you would like to trial, the Grass Roots Ideas Initiative wants to hear from you!

The Grass Roots Ideas Initiative wants to work with teachers and school leaders to identify, test, and share learning ideas which take advantage of the internet, digital devices, digital resources, and/or digital tools.

The Ministry of Education will support successful applicants by:

  • funding release time for the person or people leading the change in practice
  • providing mentoring support from a Grass Roots Ideas Advisor throughout the application process and idea investigation

Find out more.......

Secondary schools in 2015


This report provides a comprehensive picture of the current experiences and challenges for secondary schools in New Zealand. It presents the findings from NZCER's national survey of secondary schools, conducted in July and August 2015.  

It includes the perspectives of principals, teachers, parents, and board of trustee members on a wide range of issues.

You can download either the full report, or any of the thematic chapters.

Rays of Sound: Māori and Samoan early language learning books online


Digital recordings of a collection of early Māori and Samoan language learning books have been made available online by staff at Victoria University's Language Learning Centre.

Stories and songs from readers that were published on tape by the Ministry of Education in the 1980s and 1990s are now digitised and available as an online audio teaching resource for early childhood centres, schools, and others to enjoy.

Samoa language week / Vaiaso o le gagana Sāmoa 29 May–4 June 2016


Samoa language week / Vaiaso o le gagana Sāmoa takes place this year between 29 May and 4 June.

The theme for 2016 is E felelei manu, ae ma’au i o latou ofaga – Birds migrate to environments where they survive and thrive. 

This page has ideas and resources to help you plan programmes of learning and get involved.

Garden Bird Survey - who`s in your backyard?


On this virtual field trip with LEARNZ, starting 28 June 2016, your students will become citizen scientists! They will join thousands of other citizen scientists all over New Zealand as they take part in the annual Garden Bird Survey. They will see students from other urban and rural schools do the survey and make comparisons with what they see at school and at home.

By going on this trip your students will learn how important birds are as indicators of the health of New Zealand's environment, in both the physical and social sense, and learn how to take appropriate action where species are declining.

Find out more....

2017 TeachNZ Study Awards, Study Support Grants, and Sabbaticals


Applications are now open for TeachNZ Primary, Secondary, or Area School Study Awards, Study Support Grants, and Sabbaticals.

There are 12 Secondary, Area, and Primary Study and Sabbatical Awards available for the 2017 school year.

The awards are tailored to meet the requirements of teachers and principals  intending to study part time, full time, or undertake a sabbatical.  

To find out more and to apply, visit the TeachNZ website 

Ready to Read – what’s new?


Read about the latest set of Ready to Read books – four books for guided reading (at Yellow 1, Yellow 2, Blue 1, and Blue 3) and one non-fiction book for shared reading.

Teacher support materials (TSM) and audio files are available online

Your thoughts or suggestions are welcome, and your feedback helps shape the series. Send your comments and questions to our publishing provider at readytoread@lifteducation.com

St John in Schools programme


The St John in Schools programme provides learning experiences for pre-school, primary and intermediate school aged children to empower them to act in an emergency.

Hands-on lessons, delivered by specially trained educators, align to the NZ Curriculum and enable students to gain confidence and skills to respond in an emergency.

Find out more from this Education Gazette notice, and the St John in Schools website