The Halswell School Curriculum incorporates and strives to achieve the following principles:

Learning for Life

The Halswell Curriculum promotes inquiry as a state of mind across all curriculum areas. It connects with children’s lives, interests and prior knowledge. It offers a broad curriculum that makes links across learning areas, explores significant future focused issues and values New Zealand’s cultural diversity and traditions. It enables children to become self-managers and emphasizes learning to learn.

Community Partnership

Halswell School is engaged in delivering the curriculum through continuous consultation, and with the support of the families and the wider community.


The Halswell Curriculum encourages all children to achieve, to recognise success, to extend themselves in areas of strength and do their best in areas of need.

Treaty of Waitangi

The Halswell Curriculum acknowledges the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and the bi-cultural foundations of New Zealand. Te reo Maori me ona tikanga and Maori culture is incorporated into all curriculum areas where appropriate.

Inclusion and Diversity

The Halswell Curriculum seeks opportunities and embraces diversity and multi-cultural contexts. The curriculum is non-sexist, non-racist and non-discriminatory.

Literacy and Numeracy

The teaching and learning of Literacy; learning to read, write, speak and listen, and Mathematics are central to all that we do at Halswell. Excellent skills and knowledge in these two learning areas remain crucial to a child being able to achieve at their highest level. Our literacy initiatives and careful fostering of the love for reading and writing have proven successful over recent years. We will ensure all children identified with specific special learning needs, which may put them at risk of not learning, will have access to an appropriate level of support, acknowledging that every child counts.

The school’s mathematics programme, which requires the teaching of numeracy strategies, is making a considerable difference for our pupils.

Our classroom programmes include reading recovery, individualised and group literacy support, co-operative learning, hands-on and student-centred activities as well as the use of integrated programmes and positive feedback, with children involved in establishing goals for their next steps of their learning journey. Learning tasks are developmentally appropriate and adapted to cater for personal needs.

Inquiry Learning

The integration of learning experiences, addressing children’s own questions through an inquiry learning model and focusing upon real life issues relevant to the child, ensures all children have the opportunity to realise their potential and develop personally relevant understandings. Teachers carefully guide children in the development of skills and essential knowledge to ensure that they learn what questions need to be asked and how to seek out relevant information to answer these questions. Learning is supported by school-wide access to the internet through sets of laptops, tablets and large TVs.

We recognise that effective teaching approaches have a positive impact on students learning. We have identified key practices that must be consistent across our school; a positive classroom learning environment teacher modelling explicit teaching of questioning and thinking skills, strategies, tools and key competencies integrated into meaningful contexts shared learning intentions, expectations and co-constructed success criteria quality feed forward, self assessment, reflection and individualised or group goal setting a balance of opportunities to develop cooperative and collaborative shared learning integrated learning where feasible, so children can make relevant connections to their real lives and their community inquiry as a state of mind to develop deeper understanding developing and exploring children’s individual learning style.

Teachers at Halswell consistently review their teaching and its impact on students. A cyclic appraisal programme and collegial critical friends ensures a focus on teaching as inquiry.

Our students also excel on the sports field and in cultural pursuits, particularly music. Our outstanding sporting accomplishments, musicians, musical groups, choirs, as well as our successful academic individuals and teams, can be attributed to the high calibre children who attend Halswell School and the commitment of all our staff.

Year 7 and 8 Specialist Learning

An important and productive liaison has developed with Hillmorton High School which is used by our Year 7 and 8’s for specialist teaching, which over the two years includes: dance, drama, art, science, computers, woodwork, metalwork, fabritech and cooking. Hillmorton also provides a member of their teaching staff to tutor our Kapa Haka group.

Attached is the Halswell School curriculum: School-Curriculum-Brochure-October-20151