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Our Kaupapa

Our school realises its vision by building powerful and inclusive learning cultures. 

Where students learn creatively and strive for excellence preparing for lifelong learning 


Kia auaha te ako a ngā ākonga me te whai i te iti kahurangi mō te akoranga tūroa.


We have a clear set of values and competencies that are based on the New Zealand curriculum. Our school community is a partnership that reflects and lives these values in order to foster quality teaching and learning. Our values and competencies provide a framework for collaboration and whanaungatanga, enabling children to express and develop their strengths and identity, and to become competent and responsible citizens. 

Kelburn Normal School Competencies and Values


To enable our vision we have:

  • Students who value themselves and act effectively

  • Students who relate well to others and contribute to our society

  • Students who are knowledgeable and know how to learn

  • Students who are creative and critical thinkers


To enable our learning our students show:

  • Self-efficacy (Managing Self)

  • Interaction (Relating to others / Participating and contributing)

  • Multiple Literacies (Using language, symbols and texts / Thinking)


To enable our culture our students show:

  • Aroha and respect - Responsibility and honesty

  • Fairness - Manaakitanga

  • Inclusiveness

  • Interdependency

  • Powerful learning

  • Resourcefulness and positivity

Teaching and Learning 

Our teaching and learning is based on the Kelburn structure of the New Zealand curriculum. Guiding our teaching and learning are a set of Key Principles and defined teacher actions that promote student learning. 

The Key Principles that underpin the NZ Curriculum for Kelburn Normal School:

High expectations

Our curriculum is based on developing the key competencies and dispositions of all learners. 



Our curriculum is delivered in versatile ways that connect up the many dimensions of learners & learning; students are actively involved in learning processes and in creating a rich learning culture.


Our curriculum is coordinated through the development of the key competencies, and of the associated values. This process is linked to a long view of the learning areas as defined by essence statements and big picture objectives; achievement objectives are selected to go with these.

Learning to learn

Reflective learning is planned and delivered through the daily practice of learning conversations which unfold out of  authentic learning contexts.

Community engagement

Connections are made to students' wider learning and life worlds in all phases of the learning cycle; parents and community play their role in students’ learning stories.


Treaty of Waitangi

Te reo Māori and tikanga Māori enrich the classroom curriculum, and the school’s cultural activities.


Cultural diversity

Opportunities are created for students to take part in a variety of cultural activities, particularly those associated with the city and its community.

Future focus

Our curriculum encourages students to become resilient and resourceful learners, able to adapt to change and contribute to society.


Effective pedagogy are teacher actions that promote student learning.

Kelburn Normal School Curriculum delivery - teaching in action.


Learning as interaction

Teachers create learning cultures with their students where relationships and reciprocity are foregrounded, along with the literacies indispensable to them.

Building reflection into action

Teachers set up and guide rich learning in which reflection is implicit in both context and process, and so unfolds throughout.

Involving students as seekers after knowledge

All learning engages students curiosity and other dispositions, so they are actively involved in the discovery of knowledge and the creation of meaning.

Developing learning conversations

Students see learning as a partnership and a conversation with their teacher, their classmates and their wider community.  Learning conversations promote the development of literacy, a crucial part of which is the development of individual voice.

Constructing learning stories

Students learn to make their learning coherent by building up their self knowledge and their knowledge of learning processes, and the connection between their personal development and knowledge of the learning areas.

Less is more and deep is most

Learners are provided with authentic and sequenced learning where practice, reflection and a variety of perspectives link new knowledge with the know how of the values and the key competencies.

Professional Learning

Teachers are also learners and collaborative inquiry into their own practice and its effect on students learning is the basis of their professional development, and the development of shared knowledge.

Teachers purposefully make links with their own experience and that of other teachers, and also with research, to progress a powerful, coherent learning culture both in their own classroom and school wide.

Innovative Learning Spaces

In 2018 Kelburn Normal School was rebuilt to provide a contemporary learning environment where we have been able to further develop our innovative curriculum. In these spaces we can plan and deliver a rich variety of programmes and nurture positive relationships based on manaakitanga. 

  1. Students belong to a home learning team where the Key Competencies and essential learnings are developed to make a powerful learning culture. ​

  2. Students are arranged in other groups, according to their needs and strengths, the learning process involved, and the learning area.  

  3. Flexible groups and spaces allow teachers to build more relationships, and increase their contact with, students. ​

Creativity and the Arts

Kelburn Normal School has a long history of being a creative school with excellence in the performing arts. It is well known for these attributes. The first four words in our school vision are

…"where students learn creatively…

Creativity is at the heart of the way we learn at Kelburn. As a primary school, our children develop into competent learners who are literate and numerate learners. We have a dialogic approach to learning based on relationships where the everyday practice of multiple literacies gives children agency and voice across the curriculum. Our children learn creatively by:

  • continuing on with their play, and extending its imaginative scope

  • enhancing their learning capacity by combining verbal with other literacies

  • collaborating to explore different media, and producing well-crafted works

  • discovering their talents, and knowing how to express them

  • practising and rehearsing purposefully, and performing confidently

  • gaining the resourcefulness to draw on tradition, and cultivating creative thinking

  • inquiring into their culture and values, engaging with new roles and perspectives, and developing critical thinking

  • becoming competent in the use of a variety of contemporary technologies and media.

Fern Plant






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