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These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are provided to support sector engagement with the draft subject materials developed through the Review of Achievement Standard (RAS) Pilot Phase:

Q: Who was on our Subject Expert Group (SEG)?
A: The members of each Subject Expert Group (SEG) can be found here.

Q: Can I respond more than once? i.e. individually and with my department?
A: Yes, we hope you will. We encourage you to provide an individual response to the products, then early in Term 1 2020, discuss the products with your department and send your collective feedback.

Q: Are these Level 1 changes compulsory?
A: Pending Cabinet agreement on the final changes to NCEA, all existing achievement standards will be replaced by new standards through the RAS.

While all achievement standards will be developed to align to the NCEA changes agreed by Cabinet, the standards provided here for feedback are draft and may change before being finalised.

Level 1 NCEA is not compulsory and schools may run alternate programmes (such as alternative courses at Year 11 or a two-year pathway to Level 2 NCEA) if they determine it is not appropriate for their students and community.

Q: Will there be resources to help support some of this? In particular the inclusion of mātauranga Māori?
A: Through phase two of the pilots, we plan to develop a Teaching, Learning and Assessment Guides for each subject as well as three assessment activities for each internal achievement standard.

Q: When will we get more detail about the external assessments for the Pilot Subjects?
A: External assessment briefs for Religious Studies, English and Visual Arts will be designed early next year as part of phase two of the pilots. It is intended that these will go out to the sector for feedback early in 2020, pending Cabinet approval.

Q: Will external assessment look the same at Levels 2 and 3, and for other subjects?
A: The Ministry is working with NZQA to explore different types of external assessment which can be used for the new achievement standards.

Each Subject Expert Group will identify the appropriate assessment for each achievement standard. Some of these will be examinations for externally assessed standards, while others will use different types of assessment. Overall, there will likely be an increase in examinations at Levels 2 and 3, but there is no rule about the number of examinations per subject.

Q: What will UE look like?
A: University Entrance requirements are decided by Universities NZ and NZQA. They will be considering this as the new standards are rolled out.

Q: What will the PLD look like?
A: The Minister of Education has allocated an additional eight days of professional development for the sector over the span of the current Collective Agreement. The Accord Working Group (including the Ministry, PPTA, SPANZ, NZSTA, Ngā Kura ā Iwi o Aotearoa and Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori) have determined that the eight days for the Secondary Sector will be focussed on the NCEA change package.

Q: When will schools be expected to make changes to reflect these new matrices?
A: These products are very much drafts and the full RAS is planned to run over a five year period. The current timeline (pending Cabinet agreement) can be found here. Changes will be supported and phased in gradually with a transition year for each NCEA level. Full implementation of new Level 3 achievement standards (again pending Cabinet agreement) won’t be until at least 2025.

Q: Will we still be able to design courses across subjects and assess them with these new standards?
A: As with current matrices, no standard is compulsory. Schools will select the combinations from within and across matrices of standards to best meet the needs of their learners, and to suit the courses they offer.

FAQs related to the DRAFT Level 1 Science materials:

Q: Will there also be matrices of standards for specialist Sciences (Physics, Chemistry etc) at Level 1? When will we know what decision has been made about which Level 1 subjects are supported by matrices of achievement standards?

A: No decision has been made yet about which of the 40 or so Level 1 subjects will be supported by matrices of achievement standards. Subject Expert Groups are currently being formed for 46 more subjects, including the specialist sciences and Agriculture and Horticulture. These groups will be involved in decisions about which subjects have matrices of standards and at which levels.
Discussions and decisions on other Level 1 subjects won’t happen until 2020, but it is worth noting that one of the reasons for choosing Level 1 Science as a subject for the RAS pilot process was to explore the development of a broad subject at Level 1 which:
1. Reflects the vision for NCEA Level 1 as a foundational qualification that encourages and credentials a broad exploration of the curriculum.
2. Provides students with the basic disciplinary knowledge, competencies and skills they need to progress to more specialised learning at Levels 2 and 3 (and beyond).

Q: Will Level 2 and 3 subject matrices also have this high level approach or will they look more like current matrices?

A: Subjects at all levels will largely follow the Level 1 Science approach of achievement standards that reflect the Big Ideas of the Learning Area/discipline. Students who have engaged with the Big Ideas through the Level 1 Science standards will have gained a solid understanding of Science as a discipline. At Levels 2 and 3 they will engage with subject-specific Big Ideas, including key knowledge and skills of the specialist Science strands. These Level 2 and 3 materials are likely to look more familiar to teachers but the requirement for fewer, larger standards applies for all NCEA levels so in most cases achievement standards will need to cover a broader body of significant learning.

Part of the NCEA Review will be the development of new Purpose and Outcome Statements for the three levels of NCEA. The NCEA vision agreed in-principle by Cabinet is for Level 1 to be a foundational qualification that encourages and reflects a broad exploration of the curriculum. Levels 2 and 3 (as signalled in the New Zealand Curriculum) are intended for a holistic education which enables increasing specialisation so their matrices will reflect more of a “deep dive” into the specialist subjects.



We will continue to update these FAQs as we receive queries and feedback from New Zealanders.