Our Expertise

Explore Cognition Education’s professional learning and development expertise. Our team are skilled in discovering, designing and delivering highly effective, sustainable Professional Learning and Development for New Zealand Schools.


Increasing equality through transforming classroom and leadership practices. 

Our team of culturally responsive PLD facilitators work with schools and other learning organisations to develop the skills and dispositions known to accelerate progress and achievement for all students, including indigenous and marginalised groups.

Cognition’s Relationships First programme is our answer to developing equity and excellence for all. Developed in partnership with Professor Russell Bishop, Relationships First is based on more than a decade of research into the ways that classroom power relationships and traditional teaching methods have failed to support indigenous learners. 

Relationships First offers a fresh and proven approach to help all those working in education to meet the challenges of raising achievement levels for particular groups of learners.  Our evidence-based inquiry model is built around a series of workshops and in-school data gathering and our team can adapt the components of the model to meet your specific needs.

Culturally Responsive practice


Leading a brighter future.

Developing effective leaders at all levels throughout a school is to make sure students keep progressing and achieve their full potential. That’s why our consultants focus on providing a wide range of leadership development opportunities for schools and Kāhui Ako, including:

  • Establishing Boards of Trustees in new schools
  • Supporting Boards of Trustees to make senior leadership appointments
  • Guiding Boards of Trustees on how to run senior leadership team performance reviews and appraisals
  • Assisting Senior leadership teams with reviews of their school-based curriculum and how it aligns with the NZC
  • Looking into and assessing school and classroom practices
  • Developing leadership, coaching and mentoring techniques within Kāhui Ako
Leadership PLD


Student’s wellbeing is an important part of their education to ensure they can meet their potential.

Our wellbeing PLD is driven by Hauroa  a Māori philosophy of health and wellbeing that helps students be educated and prepared for what they are about to face in life. Our consultants recognise how important our brain chemistry is in students’ wellbeing; in order for young people to fully engage in a learning process we understand that they need to feel safe, significant and have a sense of purpose. 

We encourage students to construct their own community of inquiry, which is facilitated by Kaiako through engaging provocations. This process promotes oral language and critical thinking skills in an inclusive, safe environment, and equips students with the skills to discuss ‘big questions’, share fears and explore wonderings.

Teachers and pupils report our sessions to have a positive influence on wider outcomes such as pupils’ confidence to speak, their listening skills, self-esteem, teamwork and resilience.

Our Wellbeing PLD works to:

  • Help students think independently
  • Promote understanding about co-operation, which in turn support children to deal with conflict and seek resolutions
  • Promote student’s voice
  • Activate listening and empathy skills for both teacher and student
  • Allow students to seek other’s point of views
  • Increase oral language capabilities
  • Develop caring attitudes and fosters respect
  • Help the teacher become a facilitator of learning for students
Oral Language PLD

“Every learner has the right to a safe, healthy and supportive learning environment, where they are accepted and respected, and an education that values their identity, language and culture, and those of their family and whānau.” 

Ministry of Education


We’re developing relevant learning solutions for students of all ages.  

Students and teachers need to thrive in the digital age. With digital technology playing a key role in The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), and across most areas of modern life, it’s important to constantly innovate and find new ways of using it in the classroom. One of things that can help is Cognition’s Learning with Digital Technology programme. Covering digital citizenship, digital fluency, curriculum digitisation and eLearning, this innovative approach to professional learning uses the latest technology to give your teachers and students an edge.  

“Our teachers appreciate the way Cognition works alongside them, revisiting concepts, providing new ideas and encouraging them to think about how these can be implemented to extend student learning” 

– Jeanette Small, Deputy Principal at Mairangi Bay Primary School.

Digital Fluency


Local curriculum design that fits the NZC framework.

We’re passionate about helping schools and Kāhui Ako make a shift (big or small) in the way their curricula are set up. This is one of the ways we can give young people the best possible start in life and equip them with relevant tools they need to achieve their true potential.

Cognition consultants can support your school to design a local, responsive curriculum that prepares students to be connected, life-long learners. If you’re interested about changing the way your curriculum is designed, we’d love to hear from you.

NZ Curriculum


Creating mathematics teaching and learning environments where all learners have an equitable opportunity to achieve mathematics.

Want to grow your knowledge on the subject of Mathematics and develop better ways to teach it? By comparing our work to international best practice and research, Cognition provides world-class personalised and collaborative opportunities that help your school reflect on its practices, evaluate your research and develop enquiry skills. 

Over many years that we have been working with schools – we’ve helped schools make significant shifts in engagement and learning outcomes – like Clevedon School:

“Our Board noticed the shift in mathematics data school wide, and our team leaders all discussed the excellent PD they’ve been getting from Cognition.”

– Edeh Sullivan, Deputy Principal at Clevedon School

Mathematics PLD


The building blocks for educational success, fulfilling careers and rewarding lives.

Effective literacy learning requires schools to introduce carefully designed strategic approaches to oral language, reading and writing development. Cognition’s Leading Literacy team support’s your leaders and teachers to build sustainable and equitable school-wide literacy capability that helps students grow in confidence. 

Our Leading Literacy team will work alongside you to evaluate your current capabilities and practices, then create a system that gives teachers a choice of approaches relevant to your school’s culture, community and context. We use a robust approach to literacy that is evidence based and views literacy as the integration of oral language, reading and writing.

Literacy PLD


The foundation for learning inside and outside the classroom.

Oral language is critical for learners at all levels in New Zealand. It impacts on social, emotional and cognitive development and can be a defining factor for future academic achievement, especially given the amount of employers who are seeking creative, innovative and collaborative team players. As educators, we need to take the lead in this space and develop effective practices that integrate oral learning in a meaningful way for our learners. 

Cognition’s specialist consultants can work with your kura, school or community to understand your challenges and deliver effective oral learning solutions across the entire curriculum. Our work in this area has been significant for Hokitika Primary School:

“We’re seeing huge progress from all our students. Focusing on oral literacy has increased their skills across the curriculum.” – Shane Baillie, Principal at Hokitika Primary School

Oral Language PLD


Reimagining our learning environment.

Innovative Learning is about making collaborative practice a reality in all learning settings, including flexible learning spaces.  

For schools embarking on new ways of learning and teaching, there is a focus on creating flexible learning spaces that allow for collaborative practice at all levels.  The investment made in the brick and mortar must be supported by professional learning that can leverage the opportunities and affordances that collaborative practice and flexible spaces offer their learners and teachers. 

Many schools are finding that simply redesigning existing space isn’t enough to trigger a transformation in results. If your school is looking for new and exciting ways of learning and teaching, you’ll be interested to know Cognition can help create flexible learning spaces that encourage collaboration at all levels.

Innovative Learning


Critical, informed and responsible citizens in our society.

Many of the world’s biggest challenges can be overcome by science, so we need to find innovative and effective ways to teach it. At Cognition, we believe science learning should emphasise the Nature of Science and be taught based on authentic, real life situations. Taking this approach makes lessons on the subject much more meaningful and engaging for everyone involved.

Our team can support your school’s development of a wide range of science-based programmes, track progress and make links to other professional learning areas. We can also support the implementation of STE(A)M learning within your school or Kāhui Ako.    

STE(A)M Science PLD



Stanbeth House, Level 1
28 Customs Street East
Auckland Central
New Zealand