Manage Banner copy

Innovative Assessment | Teachers | Students | Management


Managers and senior leaders from a range of schools describe the thinking and planning that led to the changes their school made to their assessment programmes. They talk about their desire to place the student at the centre of both the learning and assessment.

Examples from Practice

Managers and senior leaders talk about the steps their schools have taken to introduce more innovative assessment.

A Deputy Principal at Hobsonville Point Secondary outlines how they set up their assessment programmes based on whole school principles; how they set teachers up for integrated modules; how innovations can happen in any school.

Video duration: 2.33

A Maths teacher at Wellington High School tells how he set up a new Maths programme based on flipped learning and personalised assessment.

Video duration: 3.07


A Papamoa College Deputy Principal talks about how they established their future focus class for Project Based learning and assessment.

Video duration: 2.36

A Maths Head of Faculty at Wellington High School talks about why and how the department went about making changes to their programme and assessment philosophy. She also talks about the work involved and ways to do things differently.

Video duration: 3.27

A Statistics teacher from Ormiston Senior College talks about how she established personalised learning and assessment in her school and the advantages of the changes.

Video duration: 2.20

A Head of Faculty at Papamoa College talks about being involved in setting up a class based on inquiry learning through authentic contexts. Reflective practice is a continuation of their planning.

Video duration: 1.58

A Papamoa College Head of Faculty talks about Project Based assessment and the importance of choosing a rich project capable of sustaining valid assessment.

Video duration: 1.03

Discussion tools

Among these discussion tools you will find resource material you can use to:

  • stimulate thinking about what an innovative assessment programme could look like in your school
  • consider how more innovative assessment practices might improve equity of NCEA access for Māori and Pasifika students
  • learn how other schools have got started
  • generate ideas on how your school can take first steps.

Click on the links below to take you to resources which may help on an individual, department or school-wide process for change.


Te Kura - big picture learning and engagement through context

Read about how a school designed a programme of learning that is relevant to the learner and connected to the real world

Discussion question:

How could an assessment approach that personalised your students’ learning, with a focus on their passions or interests, impact on engagement and achievement at your school?


Kaiapoi High School – an organic approach to collaborative learning

Read about how this school redesigned its approach to learning and assessment

Discussion questions:

  • Looking at the challenges faced by this school, what could you do in your setting to overcome these issues?
  • If you had a collaborative teaching and learning programme in your setting what would/could this mean in relation to student assessment?


Rototuna Senior High School Social Sciences curriculum

Read this school’s redesigned Social Sciences Curriculum.

Download the PDF (PDF, 2.7MB)

Discussion questions:

  • Looking at this integrated curriculum for Social Sciences, what ideas could you take from this structure to apply in your setting?
  • What advantages can you see with regard to assessment using this integrated curriculum approach to Social Sciences?


Yes we can: growth mindset in a secondary school

Bernie Wills & Frances Horne.

A presentation to uLearn Conference 2018 [that talks about...].

Download the PDF (PDF, 1.7MB)

Discussion Questions

  • The planning and trialling of the change to and structure of the mathematics programme was a year long process.  Why do you think it is important to go through this process before making a change?
  • Looking at initiating a change process in your department/school, what “bumps” would you anticipate and how would you plan to minimise these or overcome them?


Collecting your own data

Consider tracking the achievement rates of groups of students who have been assessed in the traditional way for your subject or school. Using that data as a baseline, record and compare the achievement rates of students at the same NCEA level once you have introduced more innovative forms of assessment.

Discussion questions:

  • What does the data reveal?
  • Can you use it to inform discussion with senior management about the value of trying the same (or a further) innovation with a wider group of students?



Self-review questions for schools – promoting the success of Māori students

Read about how you can work as a school to improve outcomes for Māori students.

Discussion questions:

Engaging Māori students

  • What processes does the school use to gather feedback from Māori students about their learning?
  • How effectively do these processes support Māori students to confidently share their feedback and opinions?
  • What action has the school taken as a result of this feedback?
  • How well does the school monitor and report on the effectiveness of these actions?
  • How well does the school promote and make te reo Māori and tikanga Māori accessible to all students across the curriculum?
  • How well are Māori students supported to develop and reach goals for their learning?
  • How well are Māori students supported to develop career pathways that help them reach their potential?

Engaging Māori whānau

  • What processes does the school use to consult and engage with the whānau of Māori students?
  • How effectively do these processes support whānau to confidently share their feedback, concerns and opinions about what is happening in the school?
  • How does the school involve whānau in supporting their students and the school activities?
  • How effective are these processes and how can these be strengthened further?

The achievement of Māori students

  • How well does the school analyse assessment information to provide useful information about the academic achievement of Māori students over time?
  • What trends or patterns are evident in the academic achievement of Māori students over time?
  • How does the school use this information to improve the academic achievement of students?
  • What specific initiatives has the school put in place to raise the academic achievement of Māori students?
  • How well does the school monitor and report on the effectiveness of these initiatives?
  • How well does the board use information about the achievement of Māori students in its decision making?


Curriculum integration in New Zealand secondary schools - lessons learned from four “early adopter” schools

Arrowsmith, S., & Wood, B. 2015, New Zealand Council for Educational Research, Set 2015:No.1, pp.58-66. 

Download the PDF (PDF, 196KB)

This article reports on the multiple ways teachers interpreted and implemented curriculum integration and considers the factors which contributed to the nature and degree of curriculum integration success in programmes in these case-study secondary schools.



Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching - a New Zealand perspective

Bolstad, R., & Gilbert, J., with McDowall, S., Bull, A., Boyd, S., and Hipkins, R. 2012, Report prepared for the Ministry of Education, New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

Download the PDF (PDF, 1017KB)

This report research aims to support the Ministry of Education’s programme to develop a vision of what future-orientated education could look like for New Zealand learners.



Connecting curriculum; connecting learning; negotiation and the arts

Fraser, D., Aitken, V., Price, G., and Whyte, B. 2012, Teaching & Learning Research Initiative, NZ.

Download the PDF (PDF, 318KB)

This reading outlines a project contributing to the field of curriculum integration and the role of the arts within integrated learning contexts.


Skip to main page content Accessibility page with list of access keys Home Page Site Map Contact Us