The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) was revised in 2007 and gives schools direction for teaching and learning. It is a framework rather than a detailed plan, and schools develop their own curriculum and teaching programmes from it.

We live in a rapidly changing world. A lot of the jobs our children will go on to do, haven’t been created yet. We need to prepare students for an exciting and flexible future. It’s not enough to teach children knowledge because a rapidly changing world means that knowledge quickly outdates.

Our job is to teach children how to learn, arm them with the skills they need to be successful citizens of the future, and to leave our school with a love of learning. To be successful 21st century citizens, children need to be able to communicate effectively, work cooperatively, be risk takers, flexible, open-minded and confident using a variety of tools and resources.

Our children have grown up with technology - they are what we call ‘digital natives’. We have worked hard to develop teaching and learning programmes that will equip your child with the necessary skills and attitudes to be as successful and competent as they can. All children learn at different stages and in different ways and our programmes reflect this.

Our learning programmes develop high-level thinking skills and teach the processes of HOW to learn, in order for children to become independent learners.  Our 'Inquiry' learning model requires children to develop their own questions within each topic, research information, then present their findings to an audience in a different form from how they gathered their initial data. This means they have to use the information they have gathered in order to decide whether it is worthwhile. We expect children to take responsibility for their own learning and behaviour, and our learning programmes develop these skills over our six year-levels.

The New Zealand Curriculum covers the following seven learning areas:

Mathematics and Statistics: Students explore relationships in quantities, space, and data and learn to express these relationships in ways that help them to make sense of the world around them.

English, Reading, Writing, Oral Language, and Visual Language: Children study, use and enjoy language and literature communicated orally, visually, or in writing.

Social Sciences: Children explore how societies work and how they themselves can participate and take action as critical, informed and responsible citizens.

Science: Students look at how both the natural physical world and science itself work so they can participate as critical, informed, and responsible citizens in a society where science plays a significant role.

Technology: Students learn to be innovative developers of products and systems, and discerning consumers who will make a difference in the world.

Health and PE: Children learn about their own well-being, and that of others, in health-related and movement contexts.

The Arts: Students will discover, refine, and communicate ideas as they connect thinking, imagination, senses, and feelings to create works and respond to the works of others in Dance, Music, Drama and Visual Art.

Maori: Children learn basic Maori greetings and phrases that are in use in everyday life in New Zealand. These are taught where appropriate as part of other subject areas e.g. children learn to count in Maori as part of mathematics.

To help us achieve our vision and prepare children for their future we also have a school-wide focus on:

eLearning:Our vision for eLearning in our school is: “e-learning at Oteha Valley School inspires a shared commitment to motivate our learning community to connect in authentic ways promoting engagement and achievement”