Our Curriculum

Over recent years we have reviewed our curriculum model and developed a conceptualised framework to guide learning. We have endeavoured to create an approach that provides learning opportunities that are connected and authentic to St Albans learners.  We are encouraging children to think deeply about concepts and look to solve problems and make a difference both locally and globally.

The design of the New Zealand Curriculum means that there isn’t a specific curriculum for year groups. Every learner, regardless of their age or stage, will have their learning built on by their subsequent teacher. Our teachers are highly skilled in their craft and will all be working hard to meet the needs of all learners in their hub, identifying and working towards academic, social and emotional goals.

Our conceptual curriculum is a rich integrated approach to learning that connects the essence of the NZ curriculum. We believe that teaching through a concept will be more effective than a single subject approach.

A conceptual curriculum offers opportunities to develop understandings in ways that connect to the interests and experience of our learner (Aitken, July 2004).

Concepts are determined in the year prior to the learning based on the knowledge of our learners, their needs, interests and experiences as well as linking relevant local, national and global learning pathways.

Principles of our Conceptual Curriculum

  • aligns with NZ curriculum vision, principles, values, key competencies and curriculum depth
  • considers knowledge of the learner, their interests, talents, curiosity and experiences
  • allows for student centred, inquiry-based learning opportunities
  • is an active learning process of ‘through’ not ‘do’
  • connects local, national and global contexts
  • considers contexts and issues that are rich, meaningful, authentic and current
  • ensures learning is ubiquitous
  • allows for rich and integrated links with core curriculum
  • places teacher in the role of facilitator of learning


The school has developed an Inquiry learning process that enables students to develop: skills, strategies, ideas, knowledge, opinions and values that will help them to make meaning of their world. The key competencies, school values and learning areas are developed through this Inquiry process.

Literacy and Numeracy are our major priorities. The school has developed a strong literacy and numeracy curriculum programme that focuses on the differentiation of learning programmes, understanding learning styles and using authentic context for learning.

Physical well being is another of our major priorities. The school has developed a fundamental skills programme. We provide children with a broad range of competitive and non-competitive sporting activities.

The Arts are implemented through our conceptualised curriculum. Attack weeks, use of specialist teachers and thematic approaches are also used.

Te Reo Māori and the understanding of tikanga is incorporated into children’s learning programmes. Both attack weeks and thematic approaches will be used.

The school places a focus on teachers clearly identifying learning outcomes with students. These provide clarity for students and are a means of recognising, measuring, discussing and reporting on progress and achievement.