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What do my students need to learn?

If we want science learning to start from what students know already, we need strategies to find out what they know. We also need to be clear about the big ideas of science that we want our students to understand. And we need to know how to build that understanding.

The New Zealand Curriculum sets the direction for science learning and provides us with a framework for our local curriculum.

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The Assessment Resource Bank provides support for formative assessment. We can use the resource bank items to find out what our students already know and then work out what their next learning steps might be.

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This series of 64 books published by the Ministry of Education is designed to help primary teachers build students’ science concepts in the contextual strands.

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The science exemplars are annotated pieces of students' work. Each exemplar highlights what the students' learning needs might be and suggests next steps. Exemplars can be used with students so that they can reflect on their own work.

Please be aware that these exemplars are legacy content and relate to the  curriculum levels  and achievement objectives described in the previous New Zealand Curriculum, published in 1994. These, and the progressions of learning described, may not correspond with those described in the 2007 New Zealand Curriculum. Some links and videos within these exemplars may no longer work.

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For teachers working with students at years 11–13 the NCEA on TKI community provides support for formative assessment and thinking about students' learning needs. 
You will find assessment resources to support internally assessed Level 1, 2, and 3 registered achievement standards aligned with The New Zealand Curriculum (2007).
Registered standards and additional subject resources can be found on the  NZQA website .

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The purpose of the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSSA) is to get a broad picture of student achievement in New Zealand. It does this by assessing representative samples of New Zealand school students at successive points in time so that:

  • trends in educational performance can be identified and reported
  • factors that influence student achievement can be identified and reported
  • good information is available to assist policy makers, curriculum specialists and educators with their planning
  • the public has more information about trends in educational achievement.

Reports provide information on what students know and can do in specific learning areas, how they are achieving against the New Zealand Curriculum, progress made by students between year levels, and differences between subgroups. 

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