We asked and you answered! 

We put to the NZ education community the following questions:

  1. How do you use dates of significance to connect with your local curriculum? e.g. ANZAC, Matariki
  2. How do you make sure that you don’t repeat the same content each year? 

We have had some great responses from leaders and teachers across New Zealand and we have selected our favourites to share with you here. Let us know if you agree with these sentiments or have thoughts to add to the conversation! We always love hearing from you.

I ask the experts. The community. I listen fully. I am not the expert. And, like wānanga, I watch the leader emerge and ask them what they need for the celebration/event. One Chinese New Year, a parent (a well-known artist in his homeland) crafted ‘Loong/Lung’ the dragon for our Dragon Dance. We attempted to jump on balloons as ‘safe’ (but loud) fireworks. This was a meaningful and memorable event, which built authentic connection through communication.

Donna Chisholm

There are some significant time points in the KKPS Curriculum/calendar; Matariki is one such occasion. There is a focus on Matariki as an inquiry. We have a community gathering – after school and during school hours.

At the beginning of the year there is a school-wide focus on te Tiriti o Waitangi. This provides a teaching point to develop class ‘treaties’ around classroom expectations. During this time there are EOTC events planned to connect with local places of significance, such as Kororipo Pa.

Although there is the same context for the learning, the focus is different. For example, this year there was a Health and P.E. lens – establishing relationships – this was used to look at relationships – the treaty, KORU kids (our school values), etc.

Planning in teams ensures that the content is varied (although there are times when it is appropriate to revisit the same content; and sharing resources and using what we know works is also appropriate).

Kerry Maxwell

Deputy Principal, Kerikeri Primary School

1) We timetable our whanau day around Matariki.  Some classes focus their inquiry on other days of significance, e.g. Waitangi Day / Treaty of Waitangi, ANZAC Day etc. We also acknowledge some through special assemblies, such as ANZAC Day.

2) We do focus on these days of significance every year. We receive material that we pass on to teachers that is new / original. Our teachers are quite creative and they create their own material to keep it fresh. As the children progress through the years, greater depth and complexity is required from them around these topics.

Shelley Muston

Associate Principal/SENCo, Hurupaki School

We celebrate Matariki with a slightly different curriculum focus each year. We have had the following,

-visual art

-performance art





Sometimes we come together as a school and sometimes individual areas do their mahi at their satellite.

Sally Wilkinson

Principal, Blomfield Special School