Answers to questions about the new standards 

NZASE President, Doug Walker, contacted the Ministry of Education about teacher questions on the new NCEA standards, and received the following response from Terry Fenn, Acting Senior Manager, Senior Secondary/Te Poutāhū (Curriculum Centre).

Can we confirm there are no planned changes to the expectation that schools create their own courses, and can assess from any standards (that they have consent to assess)? 

During our school pilots we require that the set of four standards is used, because they have been designed to address the coherence principle that drives the change design.  Pilot schools understand this at the outset.
      After full implementation of each level of NCEA, schools will be able to use standards from across subjects as they do now. Coherence of learning and assessment programmes should still be a key focus of course design, of course, as this was identified as one of the ways we needed to strengthen the current NCEA. Course and certificate endorsement work as it does now for standards from different subjects.

Could you also please confirm that there is no stipulation that a course has to be 20 credits? For example, a school could put together a course that ultimately assessed one English standard, one Maths standard, one NoS standard, one Bio/Chem standard, and one Physics/ESS standard?

The NCEA changes do not include any stipulation for number of credits per course, but schools should use formal assessment only as much as needed to effectively credential a student’s learning – over-assessment was another area we heard impacted negatively on the wellbeing of both ākonga and kaiako.
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