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Our Curriculum

What do we learn and how do we learn? Read on!

Key Curriculum Principles

These are the four guiding principles that determine our curriculum. They determine “how” and “what” we teach. The way in which these Curriculum Principles fit within individual curriculum areas are further unpacked in each Curriculum Overview section.

Student Agency

Giving students the power to act and have ownership of their learning. Each learning space and the school grounds themselves belong not to teachers but to all, equally. 


Involving students in the learning process by helping them ask questions about things they are curious about, across all curriculum areas.

Kaurilands Inquiry Process

  • Think and Question: I am curious.  I wonder and ask questions about the world around me.
  • Investigate and Collaborate: I explore and investigate my thoughts and ideas and collaborate with others to create new learning.
  • Create, Share and Celebrate: I create, share and empower others to take action with my new learning.


Modelled first and foremost by staff, students learn to work and grow together and benefit from each other's strengths.


This means valuing and planning for diversity in our learners. In a differentiated classroom, the teacher proactively plans and carries out varied approaches in anticipation of and response to student differences in readiness, interest, and learning needs.This involves differentiating content (pretesting and checking prior knowledge), process (choice/variety about how new information is learnt), product (how learning is demonstrated, choice based on task and student interest) and environment (learning, anywhere, anytime). 


Learning in Year 1 and 2 at Kaurilands

In Year 1 and 2 we are setting the foundations to become lifelong learners.  We will achieve this by offering a balanced, age appropriate learning programme. This will include opportunities for teacher and child lead learning.  We will build on early Literacy, Maths and Te Ao Maori skills alongside our Kaurilands Vision, Values, Curriculum Principles and Learner Skills. Through Discovery and Developmental Play we will explore the other areas of the New Zealand Curriculum such as Science and The Arts.

Discovery Time

Discovery Time at Kaurilands School provides opportunities for children in Year 1 and 2 to take part in rich, engaging, motivating learning activities that spark curiosity about the world.  These sessions target the needs and interests of our children. The Kaurilands Learner Skills sit at the heart of Discovery Time and will be planned and reflected on with children. Throughout the year teachers will ensure coverage of the curriculum occurs and that children experience a variety of subject areas and themes.

Developmental Play

Developmental Play is an important part of the Year 1 and 2 programme. It is an opportunity for our children to play, work collaboratively, problem solve, develop fundamental movement skills, practise their fine motor skills and use social skills and foster inclusiveness. Developmental Play happens daily in Year 1 between 12:30- 1.00pm.  In Year 2 teachers will plan for developmental time at least three times a week at the same time.  

Learning in Year 3 to 6 at Kaurilands

In Years 3 to 6, the Kaurilands Learner Skills sit at the heart of everything we do. Throughout classroom programmes students are exposed to a range of opportunities to develop and build on these skills. Students are learning to think critically, collaborate with others, have agency over their learning and contribute to the Kaurilands community through a variety of actions. 

Students are building their Literacy and Numeracy skills as well as their knowledge in Te Ao Māori and the Digital Curriculum. Inquiry is used as a vehicle to explore the different areas of the New Zealand Curriculum.  We look at a range of motivating contexts (local, national and global) and guide and support our students to be able to use their knowledge to solve problems. This will include a range of teacher-led and student-led inquiry, with the goal being that students grow independence to lead their own learning.  

Kaurilands School sits in a unique setting, surrounded by lush bush and with a stream running through it.  Children will take part in authentic and engaging Inquiry units and experiences that provide opportunities for our children to engage with and learn in our local environment and community.


Digital Curriculum

We recognise that digital technology has opened up radically new opportunities for learning. It has also rapidly changed the world that our tamariki are living in. 

As such, we see it as hugely important that students have the skills and knowledge to be a digital citizen; a person who knows how to navigate digital waters and use digital technology to their advantage. Our digital curriculum helps foster digital citizenship in our tamariki.

Digital citizenship is a powerful enabler of inclusion in social, cultural and civil society. We believe that becoming a digital citizen is ‘part of who we all are’ in school; it should be planned for and addressed, through multiple contexts including structured activities and wherever there is a meaningful opportunity to talk and learn about it. 

As citizenship is one of our Graduate Learner Dispositions, digital citizenship sits nicely with using and sharing our school values in an online world. We celebrate ākonga who demonstrate exemplary citizenship with our Graduate Learner Certificates at our whole school assemblies twice a term.

Read more!