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NCEA Change Programme: Expressions of Interest sought for mini-pilot of draft standards

We’re seeking Expressions of Interest from secondary schools to participate in a mini-pilot of draft NCEA standards and supporting resources in 2021. There will be two mini-pilots running concurrently:

  • Four draft subject matrices (Level 1 standards only): Religious Studies, English, Visual Arts and Science
  • Literacy and numeracy unit standards


What will pilot schools do?

Pilot schools will work with the Ministry of Education and NZQA to pilot draft standards and supporting materials that are being developed as part of the NCEA Change Programme. This will allow us to test and refine the standards and supports, as well as understand the sector’s needs to support the teaching and learning that will accompany draft standards.

Pilot schools will be supported to develop programmes that use the draft standards and supports and submit regular feedback to the Ministry and NZQA so that we are able to improve them and refine our pilot processes ahead of the full development and piloting of all NCEA Level 1 standards and supports.

We are seeking a small number of schools to engage in this process.  A further expression of interest is also expected to be undertaken in the following year (2022). We will be inviting further expressions of interest from a larger number of schools on these standards in the following year once standards and supports for all NCEA Level 1 subjects have been developed.


Level 1 New Subject Matrices

A set of Level 1 achievement standards and assessment support material have been developed for four subjects (New Zealand Curriculum):

  • Religious Studies
  • English
  • Visual Arts, and
  • Science

The new standards and supports have been developed as part of the NCEA Change Programme. 

The school pilot will take place across the whole of 2021, including an external exam period just prior to the main exam period at the end of the year, and in some cases, external assessment during the year. A participating school will need to deliver the full matrix of the subject/s they are piloting (ie. not a mix of old and new Level 1 standards).

All standards, including externals, will be credit bearing and count towards an NCEA.

The Ministry will work with pilot schools in term 4 2020 to support programme development and build capability in using the new standards and supports. This is expected to include a workshop in Wellington and follow-up online support.

The pilot is open to all secondary schools and kura interested in piloting the new New Zealand Curriculum standards in either English or Māori medium settings. Science products will be made available at a later date for the Mini Pilot.


Literacy and numeracy

New standards are being developed to directly credential literacy and numeracy for NCEA. The standards will become a mandatory component of being awarded an NCEA from 2023 if we assess the requirements are ready to be implemented then.

The standards will be externally assessed unit standards and will be delivered to pilot schools and kura in Term 3 and 4 in 2021. There will be two sets of standards:

  • Literacy and numeracy
  • Reo-ā-waha, pānui, tuhituhi, and pāngarau

A pilot school will need to deliver literacy AND numeracy OR reo-ā-waha, pānui, tuhituhi AND pāngarau.

The Ministry and NZQA will work with pilot schools and kura in Terms 1 and 2 so that they are ready for the pilot in Terms 3 and 4.


Who should apply to be a mini-pilot school or kura?

Schools or kura involved in the mini-pilot should:

  • Be committed to delivering new NCEA standards (full year for a new subject or half a year for literacy and numeracy)
  • Be committed to working closely with the Ministry of Education and NZQA across this period and commit to specified reporting

We will be selecting a diverse range of schools and kura to ensure that we capture a broad range of student and teacher experiences.


How do I apply?

To apply, the principal of the school or kura expressing an interest should email ras.review@education.govt.nz by 4pm 4 October 2020 with the following information:

Trial and Pilot Subjects

1. A key teacher contact who will be the main point of contact between the school, Ministry, and NZQA

2. The matrices you wish to pilot

  • Religious Studies
  • Visual Arts
  • English
  • Literacy and numeracy
  • Reo-ā-waha, pānui, tuhituhi, pāngarau
  • Science

3. How many students you expect to pilot the new standards. 

Literacy and Numeracy

If you wish to pilot literacy and numeracy, please also indicate in addition to the above:

1. Whether you wish to trial one or both of:

  • Literacy and numeracy
  • Reo-ā-waha, pānui, tuhituhi, pāngarau

2. Whether you currently use any Curriculum Progressions Tools (Learning Progression Frameworks, PaCT, Tīrewa Ako, Te Waharoa Ararau, e-asTTle etc)

3. Whether you have a current literacy and numeracy strategy in your school or kura (and what this entails)

4. Whether you currently deliver the literacy and numeracy unit standards for students to meet NCEA requirements


 This page was last updated on 2 September 2020.